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The Missoula Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

We are disappointed to announce that we will be cancelling the Missoula Marathon weekend of events for 2020.  This was a very challenging and difficult decision for the Run Wild Missoula Board of Directors and the Missoula Marathon race committee.

We take great pride in putting on our race and love being a part of the energy and excitement of race weekend.  

We recognize the pride that our community takes in supporting the race and showing off Missoula to thousands of people from across the U.S. and from around the world.

We know that marathon weekend has a significant economic impact for our local hotels, restaurants, retailers, breweries and other small businesses.

Race weekend also provides the opportunity to showcase our amazing sponsors, and, finally, proceeds from the race allow us to make donations to local organizations who are doing great things in our community.

But we also recognize that we have a larger commitment to the Missoula community.  In the current pandemic scenario, we are obligated to consider the health and safety of participants, volunteers, vendors, and community members.

Through stay at home orders and social distancing directives issued by the Governor’s office and local health departments, Montana has done an admirable job in managing the spread of the virus within our state.  But, in discussions with our medical director and local health officials, there is serious concern about a potential spike in virus cases in Missoula in the days and weeks following the marathon should the race be held as scheduled.

Those same thoughts and concerns have also been expressed by others in the community, including our volunteers and race committee members.  And, as we have now topped 1 million cases in the U.S., it is also reflective of the number of events in Montana and around the country that have been cancelled in May, June, July – and beyond. 

Further, there is no timeline, in Montana or elsewhere, suggesting when large group events involving thousands of people such as races and concerts will be allowed to resume. 

So, in consideration of the public health of the Missoula community and our participants, we realize that the only responsible action is to cancel the race for 2020.

This is not the outcome we envisioned for the 14th Annual Missoula Marathon.  But we do intend to be back in June, 2021.  Until then – Stay Active, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, and Stay Strong.

(05/08/2020) Views: 200 ⚡AMP
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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The 14th annual Missoula Marathon is still on track for June 28, but race officials are monitoring changes in COVID-19 restrictions

Run Wild Missoula Race Director Tony Banovich, said with new information on the virus is coming in every day, and he and his staff are continuously evaluating how this will impact each aspect of the race.

The one change that has been made is there will no longer be a rate increase for those signing up after March 31.

Banovich said with the race approaching his team is meeting at the end of next week to make more definitive decisions on whether the race will go as scheduled, be postponed, or be canceled.

“It’s much more important that we do the correct things for the public, not only for our participants that are here, but our volunteers, you know everybody that’s involved," Banovich rold MTN News.

"We don’t want to create a bigger problem by bringing people here that we shouldn’t, so we’re really trying to be cognizant of that," he added.

Banovich sayd that if the race is rescheduled for later in the year, they’re looking at dates during the late summer or early fall months.

(03/26/2020) Views: 268 ⚡AMP
by Russ Thomas
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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The 2019 Missoula Marathon ranks among the best in America

The 2019 BibRave 100 rankings were released earlier this month and the Missoula Marathon was ranked as the No. 2 marathon in the United States.

The Missoula half marathon was named as a Top 20 Half Marathon and the race weekend was named as a Top 10 Best Weekend Experience.

"We take great pride in being ranked alongside events with much larger participant numbers and event budgets," noted Tony Banovich, Missoula Marathon race director. "It’s a testament to the Missoula community that we can provide a world-class race in Western Montana.”

Now in its 14th year, the Missoula Marathon weekend of events include a Beer Run, Runner Expo, 5K, Kids Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon.

Over the years, it’s become known as a destination race and bucket list race for runners from around the world. The 2020 race weekend will be Friday, June 26 through Sunday, June 28.

(12/18/2019) Views: 461 ⚡AMP
by Bill Speltz
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Registration for the 2020 Missoula Marathon weekend opened on Tuesday

Registration for the 2020 Missoula Marathon weekend of events opened on Tuesday, October 1st and runners from all over the country have already entered.  Race director Tony Banovich noted that “Registration has been strong since we opened, with runners and walkers from over 35 states and 3 foreign countries already being represented.  Registering early allows our participants to get the best possible value for one of the top rated events in the United States.”

The Missoula Marathon has been named the #1 Marathon In The US by The BibRave 100 in 2017 and 2018; and, was named as a Top 10 Bucket List Marathon by Runner’s World Magazine in 2018 and 2019.  According to Banovich “We like to think that we provide a great weekend experience for our runners. 

With great access to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, hiking, fishing, biking, wildlife viewing and more, the Missoula Marathon can be a great anchor for your visit to the Treasure State.”  Register today and start planning your very own Big Sky adventure.

The 2020 Missoula Marathon weekend will include a Friday Social Beer Run, Friday and Saturday Runner Expo, Saturday 5K and Kids Marathon, and Sunday Marathon and Half Marathon.  Over 6,000 participants are expected for 2020.

(10/04/2019) Views: 614 ⚡AMP
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Mom of three runs 3:11 Marathon Pushing a Triple Stroller

Last year, Cynthia Arnold shattered the world record for pushing a three-kid stroller through the Missoula Half Marathon. After that race, she decided to go for the full marathon record.

And this year, Arnold shattered that record, as well, going nearly an hour faster than the previous record-holder. Arnold crossed the line in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 53.7 seconds.

While it looks like Arnold pushes through the 26.2 miles with ease, she said it’s no small task.

“The kids are a year heavier, and I was feeling that. The stroller felt really heavy this year,” said Arnold, a Polson native.

Arnold said she wasn’t even hitting her pace times prior to the race, but on race day some new energy kicked in. 

“The neat thing that happened this year was that there were a lot of spectators who knew what I had done last year and that I was going for the marathon this year, so there were a lot of people there saying things, personal things, actually addressing me about it, and that was a neat experience and really touching,” Arnold said.

On top of the 26 miles, Arnold said one of the biggest challenges was keeping the kids comfortable during the three-plus hours.

“They’re usually in the stroller more like one hour to one hour and 20 minutes, so it was a little over twice as long,” Arnold said. “So, that was going be a big challenge for us, which is where Margarite kind of came in. I thought she could read to them. They like I-spy, so she could initiate I-spy if they were kind of getting tired or bored.”

Three world records later and the kids getting bigger every year, Arnold said this was most likely the last competitive run she’ll do with the kids, but that doesn’t mean she’s done at the Missoula Marathon. She plans to run it by herself in 2020.

(07/13/2019) Views: 925 ⚡AMP
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Mark Messmer repeated as the champion of the Missoula men's marathon, breaking his personal best time with a 2:23:59, the second fastest in course history

The 13th annual running of the Missoula Marathon had nearly 4,000 participants from all over the country came out to run either the full or half marathon.

"It's awesome, hometown for me, I went out and did Boston this year and that was really cool, definitely a whole different atmosphere," Messmer said. "But this is just as cool, coming across the bridge, there's nothing like that with all the people cheering and as you pass people in the half everybody's cheering for you, yelling your name. It's really cool."

Messmer won by nearly eight minutes, but the women's race was much closer. Kayla Brown of Edwardsville, IL. won the race by less than a minute.

"I kinda risked it a bit in the middle, so i wasn't sure if that was the right move at the time, it seemed right," Brown said. "I was a little nervous near the end but, you gotta take risks."

Polson native Cynthia Arnold broke the record for fastest marathon while pushing a stroller. The previous record was 4:06, and Arnold broke the record by nearly an hour with a time of 3:11, good for 8th place in the women's race.

"I'm happy, I'm glad, I think the kids had fun. I think it went really well." Arnold said. "The Missoula Marathon is beautiful and fun and it was a really good experience, and a lot of my friends are here, so we're happy."

Kenneth Kosgei of Oregon and Bigfork's Mackenna Morley won the men's and women's half marathon's.

(07/01/2019) Views: 713 ⚡AMP
by Kevin Levine
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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The Missoula Marathon will bring an estimated $2 million to the Garden City economy

It’s not just the sound of pounding feet when the Missoula Marathon returns this weekend.

The event is also bringing the beeps of debit card readers and opening cash registers, with new estimates saying race weekend could be worth as much as $2 million to the Garden City economy.

More than 6,000 racers, plus all their families and friends will be in Missoula for the 13th annual running of the marathon, and its associated races, starting on Friday night.

And that means no small bump in Missoula’s business, from hotels to restaurants and retail.

Our news partners at The Missoula Current did some number crunching and are reporting today the economic impact of the Marathon this year should hit $2 million, if not more.

Most downtown hotels are sold out or expecting to be, and with 40% of the participants coming from outside Montana, that means expenditures have the most impact locally.

It’s not just business that are helped economically — local charities, running programs and Missoula Parks and Rec are expected to receive upwards of 40-thousand dollars of the proceeds.

(06/30/2019) Views: 749 ⚡AMP
by Dennis Bragg
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Missoula’s running community creates many great athletes and many great volunteers during marathon week

Tim Mosbacher is a retired middle school teacher taking a break as he runs around the country to once again lend a hand to his hometown race.

Mosbacher started running because he didn’t have a better option.

“I was in middle school back in the day,” said Mosbacher. “One of the P.E. coaches said, ‘You have to do a sport.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know what do do. Well, I’ll go run.’ So I started doing cross country then, and I was really bad.”

The Billings native improved enough to earn a scholarship at Dickinson State University. He tried a couple marathons in the late 1990s, but then took a break. He hit the road again a decade ago, running his hometown Missoula Marathon, and pretty soon he had found something to chase.

“It wasn’t until probably my fourth one. I said, ‘Well, I’ve done four different states,'” said Mosbacher. “And then I started picking ones I liked. And so once I did my 10th one, then I said, ‘I’m all in.'”

Mosbacher has now run marathons in 47 states. After Portland, Maine in October, the New York City Marathon in November, and a run in Maui in January, the 53-year-old can claim all 50. He has seen most of the country and every kind of race on his trek.

“I’ve run Boston, and I’ve run Chicago, so you’ve got those big ones,” Mosbacher said. “And then I’ve run really small ones. I’ve run one that had, I think, 15 runners in it.”

Ironically, Mosbacher has not run the Missoula Marathon in a decade. For the past six years, he helps the event by organizing and recruiting the elite runners who come to town.

“I go to other people’s communities and take from their community, really, when you’re running there,” said Mosbacher. “And so it’s really neat to give back.”

He admits he wants to run the Missoula Marathon again some day, because he wants a better time. In retirement, he is running faster than ever. Mosbacher won the Eisenhower Marathon in Kansas this year in a personal best time of 2 hours, 48 minutes, nearly 50 minutes faster than his 2009 time in Missoula.

Mosbacher also wants to run Tokyo, London and Berlin to finish off the six majors in the marathon world. He is excited to watch others chase fast times at the Missoula Marathon this week.

(06/26/2019) Views: 787 ⚡AMP
by Derek Buerkle
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Cynthia Arnold smashed the triple-stroller half-marathon world record

People in Missoula, Montana were astonished last year when Theresa Marie Pitts set the first Guinness world record for a woman running the half-marathon while pushing three kids in a stroller, but that record has been broken–first by Ashlee Eskelsen in Montgomery, Alabama this past March her record is 1:47:29, and most recently this past Sunday, again at the Missoula Half-Marathon, by Cynthia Arnold of Polson, Montana. Arnold ran a blazing 1:29:08. Her record has yet to be verified by the Guinness organization. “I feel really good,” says Arnold, two days after her record-breaking run. “I can’t be as fast with the stroller, so I’m not as beat-up as I might be without it.” The 34-year-old mother of three is recognized as an accomplished runner in the area, having won the Governor’s Cup half-marathon in Helena, MT in 2016. Her result Sunday had her finishing 14th in the women’s division, and she was third in her age group (30-34). Her half-marathon PB (sans stroller) is 1:17. And her marathon PB is 2:48. (07/18/2018) Views: 1,163 ⚡AMP
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Myrtle Miller, 85, had a bounce in her step as she crossed the finish line of the Missoula Half Marathon

For the first time since Miller started running competitively more than 50 years ago, all three generations of her family strode across Higgins Bridge together, cowbells and cheers giving them energy for the final few yards. Miller ran her first marathon at age 51 and is still a staple participant in Run Wild Missoula’s walking community, inspiring all those who hope to stay active and healthy as they age. “I’m going to keep going till I drop,” Miller laughed after the race, hugging her family. Her son, Brian Miller, and grandson, Kyle Miller, ran the full marathon, so she had four family members with whom to celebrate. Her daughter Heidi is a busy physician in Billings, but Miller finally convinced her to walk the half this year, together with Mara. “I have never done the half before with my mom,” Heidi Duncan said. “It’s ridiculous. I’ve never been over to cheer her on at the finish line, mostly because we’ve been on other trips. But last year I decided for sure I’d be there at the finish line. Then I thought about it a little more, and decided we should walk with her. She’s amazing.” Miller credited her daughter with pushing her this year, giving her a time of 3:37:51, a good half-hour before she anticipated crossing when she spoke with the Missoulian on Friday. “She really helped me,” Miller said. Miller trains four to five days a week, averaging about 15 miles as she trains. (07/16/2018) Views: 1,073 ⚡AMP
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Mark Messmer runs a PR to win the 2018 Missoula Marathon

The winner of Sunday's Missoula Marathon knows the area well. Mark Messmer, the former Missoula Sentinel Spartan, took first in the men's 2018 Missoula Marathon. Messmer ran the marathon in 2:27, a personal record.“I feel like I never reached my full potential in college, definitely not in high school,” said Messmer. “And it was always the longer the race the better, so moving up into the marathon was kind of just a natural progression for me.” Keeley Baker, who finished second in the 2017 race, took first place on Sunday. Missoula's Trisha Drobeck finished second.  Keeley victory makes it a clean sweep for Montanans in the 2018 Missoula Marathon. (07/16/2018) Views: 1,059 ⚡AMP
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Deena Kastor is the honored guest at the 12th annual Missoula Marathon weekend

Deena Kastor started running at age 11 in 1984, after witnessing Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first American to ever win the Olympic marathon, and she ended up breaking Benoit Samuelson’s American record at the London Marathon. Kastor is here this weekend as the honored guest of Run Wild Missoula for the 12th Missoula Marathon weekend. She described her start in running at a very young age. “I set the American record 15 years ago at the London Marathon, and it was Joan Benoit Samuelson’s record,” said Kastor. “She is a hero and mentor of mine for many years. The year she won the first ever women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984 in the L.A. Olympics.” Kastor recently completed a book about the true challenge in running, the mind. The book is titled ‘Let Your Mind Run’. “It’s a memoir of my running life, but it only takes place in my head,” she said. “It reveals the mental twists and the great qualities of the mind that we get to cultivate over time. We just fall into habits of thinking, but it’s our job to create the right habits of thinking. So, I like to think of it more of an instructional memoir and the feedback I’ve gotten has proven that I’ve done a good job of doing that.” (07/13/2018) Views: 1,002 ⚡AMP
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George Kraehe wanted to finish a marathon in all 50 States, Missoula will be number 50

Coming up this weekend is the extremely popular Missoula marathon. Thousands of runners are expected to race in both the half and full distance races. One runner is looking to accomplish a lot more by finishing the race this weekend. George Kraehe set out to run a marathon in all 50 states and Sunday will be number 50. Kraehe is doing it for an organization called the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Team TAPS does endurance races to raise money in remembrance of fallen heroes. TAPS provides all sorts of resources for families who have lost a loved one in the armed forces, such as counseling, support groups and a 24/7 hotline if you need someone to talk to. They provide this service to families for free. (07/12/2018) Views: 1,082 ⚡AMP
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Missoula’s Mark Messmer hopes to win his hometown marathon this weekend

Missoula Marathon spectators cheer for every winner, whether they come from Polson, Corvallis or Kenya. But they haven’t celebrated a hometown win in the men’s full race since 2010. Mark Messmer hopes to change that this Sunday. Messmer has considered himself a competitive runner for as long as he can remember, but the former Missoula Sentinel Spartan and Montana Grizzly feels he is just now catching his stride. “I feel like I never reached my full potential in college, definitely not in high school,” said Messmer. “And it was always the longer the race the better, so moving up into the marathon was kind of just a natural progression for me.” Messmer knows it will be painful and difficult to reach his goal on Sunday, but he admits to dreaming of a possible victorious scene in downtown Missoula. “I’ve always kind of been obsessed with the banner you run through,” said Messmer. “I want that. I know they give that to the winner. That’s something since a little kid I’ve thought about.” (07/12/2018) Views: 881 ⚡AMP
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Future Missoula Marathons will be held in June because of the threat of summer wildfires

This year's Missoula Marathon is still on for July 15. However race dates starting 2019 are going to be move prompted by the threat posed by summer wildfires.  A June marathon date allows for better air quality for participants. Race Director Tony Banovich said in a press release, "We're concerned about the trend we've seen with earlier and earlier starts to the fire season in the northwest United States.  As we've seen over the last several years, the air quality can degrade to the point of causing outdoor events to be cancelled," says Tony Banovich.   The 2019 Missoula Marathon will be held June 0, 2019; and the 2020 marathon is scheduled for June 28, 2020. The marathon is held in conjunction with a half marathon, a 5K, and a Kids Marathon.  (06/22/2018) Views: 988 ⚡AMP
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