Half Marathon #55
I have had the Missoula half on my to-do race list for quite some time. After we caught the National Park bug last year, it seemed like a great opportunity to do the race and Glacier National Park. It also worked out nicely with the 4th of July holiday and having 2 days off and only having to use 3 vacation days!
Rich and I hiked A TON in Glacier the week before the race and biked and walked around Missoula on Friday and Saturday so I had no expectations at all for the actual race.
The expo was right downtown and we biked to pick up our packets and then walked around the market that they have on the weekends. We actually rested on Saturday in our Airbnb after a long, fun week of exploring. It was a much needed lazy afternoon.
Sunday was an early wakeup. This was another bus to the start and run your way into town for the finish, which isn’t my favorite (I just don’t love that early of a wake up). We got dressed and I had my usual breakfast of a gluten free bagel and Nuun.
Our Airbnb was right along a bike path around Missoula. We were able to bike to where the buses were loading (instead of walking), about a mile away. It was a seamless process and the loading area had lots of volunteers and didn’t take long. When we got off the bus to the start, we had plenty of time to chill and use the port-o-potties. I was really happy to see Kathleen again! We met in Nebraska and she’s also doing the 50 states. I lined up in the first corral and could tell this was a popular race for the fast runners.Miles 1-8
The first few miles were really pretty and peaceful. We ran through what seemed like the country side, with a decent downhill and gorgeous views. I felt good. I worried I started a little too fast, but figured I would go with it.It warmed up quickly- Montana was having a bit of heat wave (big shocker with my weather luck, I know) and it was definitely more humid than I would’ve expected it to be. I got passed by a stroller dad and he sure made it look effortless.
Even though we were in a rural area, there was crowd support. There was even a guy playing a piano in his yard! One of my favorite views was running with the sun coming up and running over the bridge.I took my glukos chews at mile 5 and my endurolyte pills. The course was pretty flat, with just a few turns at this point.
By mile 9, I was ready to be done. This seems to be a common theme for me lately, just not having enough energy to keep it up. Not sure if it’s just me over doing it all of the time with travel, work, etc. or just summer running, but either way I could tell I had slowed down. I’m sure all of the hiking really caught up with me- but I always think I can hold out the pace I start at and haven’t really been able to hold it like I used to do.
The course was making its way back downtown and winding through some super cute streets. I didn’t really know where we were, but I enjoyed the views and the locals out cheering. The overall support from the race volunteers and the locals was really awesome. As I continued to slow down, I got passed by ANOTHER stroller dad. These guys were quite impressive! The last mile or so had a few turns before the final stretch across the bridge to the finish. Major regret on the holding the arms up (why does that always look so terrible!?!)
Race ResultsHow bout that positive split?
I waited for Rich to come through and we went to the post race area which was pretty awesome. The food spread was great and you could get several free beers. We didn’t hang out long because I wanted to get our bikes (a mile walk to the bus loading from the finish) to go grab breakfast and watch the rest of the half marathoners and the top marathoners come in. We didn’t have too long before we had to shower and head to the airport. We got back to Mobile around midnight.
- the organization
- water stops well marked & aided, course well marked
- post race- food and free picture printout
- FREE photo downloads
Not so Much
I can’t think of a single thing.
If you can, make a long trip out of this and go to Glacier National Park.I LOVED our airbnb and can’t say enough about how great the location was and how helpful it was to have free bikes for the weekend to get around (hotels were sold out when I looked and that was very early on in the year. Book early if you prefer a hotel stay).
- Eat at the Notorious PIG, Scotty’s Table and get ice cream at The Big Dipper
- Hike the M- great views of the city. If you have time, explore the campus.
- Rent bikes- it’s much easier than driving!
- If you have the money, flyfish (we didn’t do this). You can also float the river.
Loved the bling for this race and I love their Run Missoula logo.
This goes in my top 10 races. They did everything right. I know there are a lot of Montana races, but I can’t say enough about this one. I LOVED this trip and the race.
This is must do for 50 staters and anyone looking for a great racecation.