Missoula Marathon – Sunday – The Big Day [AUDIO]
The seventh annual Missoula Marathon starting gun sounded at 6:00 a.m. sharp on Sunday, July 14, both at the full marathon starting point in Frenchtown, and the half-marathon starting location on Blue Mountain Road.
Race official and past-participant Daryl Little, who called her title 'Mom", said the participants in the event provide all the inspiration to keep it successful, and bigger each year.
"The participants are so excited to be here," Little said. "The half-marathon has a very special feel to it, because many of those participating have never done this before. You don't see too many brand new people at the full marathon, but here at the half-marathon, its so exciting to see so many people attempt something they've never done before."
Little said the half-marathon won't last all day.
"It's 13.2 miles, so running at a relaxed pace, you could finish in about an hour and fifty minutes," Little said. "In fact, all this will be gone soon, and the half-marathon course will be entirely shut down by 1:30. We have 3,500 runners registered for the half-marathon, and we actually filled our quota about seven weeks ago, so even though many requested to race, we had to turn them down. We have about 56 volunteers here on-site (at the Peak Fitness center on Blue Mountain Road) making this happen for them."
Little said new improvements have been added to the event every year.
"We have a lot of new equipment this year," she said. "Our new starting arches are brand-new. They've measured the road, so the race exactly fits this road perfectly, and there are separate gathering areas for elite runners to casual participants."
The voice heard in the background of the attached audio interview is that of Missoula pastor Glen Moyer, also known as 'Clothman', who was encouraging the participants on a loudspeaker from the top of a pick-up truck.
Both races will finish in front of the Wilma Theater, just across the Higgins Street Bridge.
Missoula Marathon race official Daryl Little