At The Races: Missoula Marathon Post-Race Report
(8-27-07) From Press Release – More than 1,300 runners made history at the inaugural Missoula Marathon on Sunday, July 15, 2007. Thousands of Missoula residents lined the streets with sprinklers, spray bottles and cow bells to cheer the runners as they made their way up the Clark Fork River valley from Frenchtown to the center of town.
In the half marathon, almost 700 runners began their journey on Blue Mountain Road south of Missoula, then joined the marathon course at Maclay Bridge and followed it into the heart of Missoula. And nearly 500 racers committed to the full marathon. All racers crossed the finish line under a rainbow of balloons on the Orange Street Bridge in Missoula.
While hundreds of out-of-towners lace up their shoes for the races, it was the hometown crowd that took top honors at the Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon. With just one exception, the top three finishers, both male and female, in the 13.1-miler and the full marathon were all from Missoula. Top marathon finisher Kiefer Hahn (2:43:30) did not even decide to run until the evening before the race. Local runner Jenny Newton took the women’s title, finishing in 3:21:29.
Ralph Egger completed the full marathon in 2:27:01 as Missoula’s first wheelchair competitor.
Two-hundred children also took part in the festivities. They logged 25 miles prior to race day, then ran the final 1. 2 miles along the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail and up to the official finish line on Orange Street.
High temperatures slowed some runners as the mercury climbed in the late morning. Race director Jennifer Boyer said racers were urged to take their time and stay hydrated. A golf cart followed some the final finishers in, supplying icy-cold beverages along the way. The Missoula Marathon medical staff was on hand to treat injured runners and reported only a handful of heat-related conditions.
Hundreds of volunteers donated their time to make the first-ever Missoula Marathon a success. They handed out water, biked the course, ran as pacers, administered first aid to runners, stuffed race bags and worked at the expo.
Another two dozen members of the race committee also worked tirelessly to put on the Missoula Marathon. They came from all over western Montana and worked together for more than a year to create a new community event for all to enjoy.
Photos and race results from the 2007 Missoula Marathon are available at www.missoulamarathon.org. Join the fun next year on Sunday, July 13, 2008.