Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Missoula, Montana - Marathon

Keith and I completed the 175 mile MS Bike Ride in Logan, Utah injury-free and feeling good.  We decided that we could do the Missoula Marathon two weeks later and that we could make a fun weekend trip out of it.  The Missoula Marathon has received excellent reviews from Runner's World and the town of Missoula is a fun place with great bars, restaurants, and brew pubs set in the scenic, mountainous  portion of northwest Montana.

Keith and Melissa picked me up on Friday afternoon and we headed up to Idaho Falls, ID to spend the night and break up the long drive to Missoula, MT.  Along the way, we made a stop in Pocatello, ID at the Grapevine to stock up on pre-race beer and Portneuf Valley Brewing for a nice meal on the back patio.  Before leaving Idaho Falls on Saturday morning, Keith and I checked out the waterfall that the town is named after.  Keith was extremely disappointed and decided that the town should be renamed Idaho Spillway.

Idaho Falls

We arrived in Missoula just in time to register for the marathon and quickly headed over to the Rhino for a few pre-race beers.  Later in the evening we met up with my friend John from Helena, MT who was running his first half marathon on Sunday (Congratulations to John for his finish!!).  We had dinner at Flathead Lake Brewing Company followed by a second dinner (we needed to fuel up for the race!) at Taco Del Sol for veggie burritos.  Then it was off to bed for a 4.15 am wake-up.

Everything about the race was fantastic.  Transportation on the buses from downtown to the start line was smooth.  Fireworks sent us on our way and the 26.2 mile journey took us through farm fields at sunrise, rolling hills and pine forests, along beautiful rivers, and through the tree-lined streets of Missoula's neighborhoods.

 Running alongside farm fields at the beginning of the Missoula Marathon

 Beautiful rivers to run along

Finishing the Missoula Marathon

I finished the race in 3:35:58, a new PR by about 4 minutes.  I was very happy because I had intended this race to be more of a "just for fun" run, but I felt fantastic throughout and never had to push particularly hard to maintain a good pace.


Following a well deserved nap, Keith, Melissa and I headed out on the town for an evening of good food and beers before the long journey back to Salt Lake on Monday.

At the finish with Keith

Free Big Sky Beer at the end for runners!

Thanks Keith and Melissa for a fun weekend!