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@dfitz0223

Helena, MT Raving since 2015 active 2 months ago

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My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jul 9, 2017
Half Marathon Helena, MT Jun 13, 2015

My Raves

Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

This has evolved from a nice race to a fun, festival-like 3-day event. Run Wild Missoula does it right. It gets better every year! The expo is bigger and there's … MORE

This has evolved from a nice race to a fun, festival-like 3-day event. Run Wild Missoula does it right. It gets better every year! The expo is bigger and there’s a buzz in the air all over downtown from Friday through Sunday. I liked how they moved the post-race food line down to Caras Park under the tent this year, instead of near the finish line where bottlenecks could occur. That was a good change. Medals were a different shape this year — no more obnoxiously large horseshoe. Nice-looking, but still too big. Just a personal opinion… I know some people love them! The shirts are always good.

My only real disappointment is with the photography company they’ve used the last two years. In prior years, several photographers would be stationed along the course in scenic spots, but that’s no longer the case. There seem to be just a couple of guys that take a few shots at Mile 25 and some at the finish line. Yes, the photos are free to download — a nice perk. I am sure the prior arrangement was more expensive. But I’d pay for the opportunity to have more photo locations to choose from, and I bet others would, too. Maybe an extra $2.50 or even $5.00 at registration for those who want photos. (And maybe that would finally convince those “bib on the back” folks to wear it on the front where it belongs, so photographers and race organizers can identify them!) The free photo booth and free beer at the end are always a hit and a nice part of the experience.

I still do and will always give this race a 5-star rating. The half has been my favorite for years now, and I did my first full marathon here in 2015. I tell everyone I know to come experience it.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Governor’s Cup

Governor’s Cup

Thanks to the Governor's Cup race directors for ordering up such perfect weather. I'm a local and have run the 10k several times and the half marathon three times now. … MORE

Thanks to the Governor’s Cup race directors for ordering up such perfect weather. I’m a local and have run the 10k several times and the half marathon three times now. This year was by far my favorite, not only because weather was postcard-perfect but because the organizers have smoothed out some rough spots and improved the overall experience quite a bit in recent years. It really helps to have staff who know running.

Previously I didn’t think of the half marathon as being one of my favorite courses, probably because I was never well trained enough to attack the last 5 slightly uphill miles. This year was better, and the post-race awards ceremony was great if not sparsely attended, even by some of the winners. I don’t know how that could be ‘advertised’ better to encourage people to check their results and find out if they should stick around! Lots of people missed the Competitive Timing tent, tucked back where it was (although I understand why it was situated there at the finish line).

I liked the new, earlier start time and if I had run the 10k I would have much preferred the 7 am start than the previous time (was it 8:30?). However, if the marathon should get more popular, I would worry about conflicts between mid-packers and 5k runners in the narrow finish area, given the large number of small children, strollers, etc. It seemed to work out okay this year but if either race has higher participation, that could be a bit of a challenge.

A couple of suggestions (not complaints!) for race directors:

1) A lot of people like to run both the 10k and the 5k (or even the half and 5k), but these options are not offered as a package. Other races promote those options, such as Riverbank Run in Missoula and IceBreaker in Great Falls. Here, those who want to run both and be timed in both have to sign up separately, which means two shirts and two bibs and standing in line twice at packet pickup. If other races have figured out smoother ways, then…

2) The drop bag setup for the half and full is sort of… well… silly. There is no reason to include a flimsy garbage bag and a pencil; this is extra expense and just confuses people. The white drawstring bag that you provided for packets is all you need! You could print a box on it and have people write their number in that box with a big marker, provided at packet pickup (like the Missoula Marathon does). I put the unnecessary garbage bag under my sink at home, the pencil in my husband’s golf bag, and used the BCBS bag for my drop bag because it’s better and sturdier. I didn’t want to chance having a hole ripped in the flimsy garbage bag during transfer from the bus. Several people asked me “What is the garbage bag for?” Save yourselves some hassle and eliminate those.

The medals were great this year! I liked my G-shaped medal for the half; some other races have gotten really carried away with heavy, obnoxious hardware. That one was neat and petite. And the gold pans! Genius! You are doing a good job of tying Helena’s history to the event. Thanks!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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