Overall Rating
Overall Rating (11 Reviews)
4.5
(11 Ratings)(11 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.2
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4.3
Established in 1974, the the Governor’s Cup caters to families, recreational runners and elite athletes looking for a great way to celebrate the benefits of a health lifestyle in Helena, Montana. Staged in the picturesque backdrop of the Treasure State’s capital city and its surrounding countryside, the Governor’s Cup features … MORE
Local Weather (Jun 09)
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
 
H (°F) 66 76 87 77 82
L (°F) 52 55 54 48 47
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of David Loessberg
    dalmx416 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The good: The scenery! You start in the countryside looking at the Helena hillside and surrounding mountains. The first 9 miles are mostly downhill with the last 4 being a … MORE

    The good: The scenery! You start in the countryside looking at the Helena hillside and surrounding mountains. The first 9 miles are mostly downhill with the last 4 being a steady yet easy uphill with the terrain varying from paved roads, gravel, roads, urban trails, and meandering old town streets. For me, I thoroughly enjoyed whisking through the park tunnel, running past the carousel, and meandering through the old town streets before funneling into the final stretch. That last stretch dashes past old, historic buildings while the streets are lined with cheer sections. You cross the finish line into a beautiful park where you can lay on the grass, soak up the sun, and watch others finish the race just feet away from you!
    The medals, though small, were very nice and I liked the technical T-shirts as well.
    There were SO many volunteers at every corner that you felt well-supported throughout the race.
    Overall, the race was very well organized and just a few small changes would really turn this into a top-class race, in my opinion.
    The bad: Post-race options were sparse being only water and orange/apple slices. The race bags were just thrown randomly under a tent for all to search and find their own. I searched for about 5 minutes before finding mine. A little organization would go a long ways in this department!
    The ugly: Race bags! We were handed white garbage bags (e.g., Kirkland signature bulk trash bags) and were given Sharpie markers on the bus to attempt to write our bib numbers on them. It was nearly impossible to write as the bags were so thin and there were no hard surfaces that the Sharpie would poke through the bag or would catch & stretch the bag. Next time, I would just use a race bag from a previous run.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Ryne Dougherty
    rwd289 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Adequate water stops for 5K Good challenging course with hills Pretty run alongside Capital Building Great finish line in walking mall For marathoners/half marathoners the recovery food was sparse (only … MORE

    Adequate water stops for 5K
    Good challenging course with hills
    Pretty run alongside Capital Building
    Great finish line in walking mall
    For marathoners/half marathoners the recovery food was sparse (only water, gatorade, and oranges)
    Excellent swag bag with $1 pints at Blackfoot

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Barbara Mitzkus-Munro
    mitzkus1 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    First aid station was at 5 miles vs. 3 and only had ONE portapottY so try not to have to need one. Ugh. Beyond the first aid station the others … MORE

    First aid station was at 5 miles vs. 3 and only had ONE portapottY so try not to have to need one. Ugh. Beyond the first aid station the others were great. Volunteers were expert and friendly. Announcer was clear and on the ball. Loved having the coffee available at the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Darla Fitzpatrick
    dfitz0223 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    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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    Profile photo of Collin Fehr
    cmfehr REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Both an amazingly scenic and technical course with lots of change of pace. Presents a formidable challenge for those runners who like to test their willpower over the last 5 … MORE

    Both an amazingly scenic and technical course with lots of change of pace. Presents a formidable challenge for those runners who like to test their willpower over the last 5 miles of gradual uphill. Event organizers put on a class-act race and the community truly embraces this iconic event in the state’s Capital city. Marathon champions receive, by far, the coolest winner’s trophy (awesome gold-pan to symbolize the discovery of gold in Last Chance Gulch) of any race I’ve run. This race will be on my calendar many more years to come!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Beth Mazanec
    bmazanec REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Smoothly run, beautiful views, great crowd support! The race starts out of town and runs through the west Helena valley and into town, through historic Last Chance Gulch. MORE

    Smoothly run, beautiful views, great crowd support! The race starts out of town and runs through the west Helena valley and into town, through historic Last Chance Gulch.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Jesse Zentz
    grizmiler FIRST-TIMER '98

    It took me 13 years to get back, but after my first experience at the Governor's Cup in 1998, I always wanted to return to Helena for the event. Same … MORE

    It took me 13 years to get back, but after my first experience at the Governor’s Cup in 1998, I always wanted to return to Helena for the event. Same great course and same great event.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Jesse Zentz
    grizmiler REPEAT RUNNER '14

    This was a big PR in my third marathon attempt and on my beautiful home course. It doesn't get much better than that and gave me a big boost of … MORE

    This was a big PR in my third marathon attempt and on my beautiful home course. It doesn’t get much better than that and gave me a big boost of confidence for the Chicago Marathon the following fall.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Jesse Zentz
    grizmiler REPEAT RUNNER '13

    Coming back from hip surgery, I was pleased with this race. It wasn't as fast as I would have liked, but I regained some confidence and had a great time … MORE

    Coming back from hip surgery, I was pleased with this race. It wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, but I regained some confidence and had a great time running with three training partners.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Jesse Zentz
    grizmiler REPEAT RUNNER '12

    I didn't run they time I had hoped for, but I still left the race satisfied and eager to do it again in 2013. The 10K course features a moderate … MORE

    I didn’t run they time I had hoped for, but I still left the race satisfied and eager to do it again in 2013. The 10K course features a moderate hill at 3 miles that beat me up.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Jesse Zentz
    grizmiler REPEAT RUNNER '11

    This was my first time running the event since 1998, and it was exactly as I remembered, only my legs didn't seem to move as quickly as they did 13 MORE

    This was my first time running the event since 1998, and it was exactly as I remembered, only my legs didn’t seem to move as quickly as they did 13 years prior.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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