Overall Rating
Overall Rating (140 Reviews)
4.9
(140 Ratings)(140 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
4.6
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
4.4
The Missoula Marathon is the brainchild of a group of local, dedicated members of Run Wild Missoula who want to share the area’s beauty and Missoula’s unique feel with runners from all over. The Missoula Marathon is one of our community’s most beloved and supported events. In 2010, the Missoula … MORE
Local Weather (Jul 15)
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H (°F) 93 79 76 79 90
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Recent reviews

    By far the best three day event I have been to. The minute you enter town there is a special vibe in the air. The beer run on Friday evening … MORE

    By far the best three day event I have been to. The minute you enter town there is a special vibe in the air. The beer run on Friday evening is a great way to get familiar with the town. Everyone I meet was extreamly friendly, wanting to exchange phone numbers for future runs. The 5k was well organized and fun way to shake out the nerves for Sunday’s race. The morning of the marathon the shuttle buses ran amazingly smooth, the volunteers where supportive and the community came out and cheered. At the finish of the race they had free photos, great food and beer. I am thankful for all the hard work and planning that the organization, town, and volunteers did to offer the best experience possible. I will be back next year!

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    Profile photo of Terri Burgess
    TerriB FIRST-TIMER '17

    I have no pros for this race. Everything was organized very well and the course was flat and beautiful. I always enjoy a race were the community fully supports it. … MORE

    I have no pros for this race. Everything was organized very well and the course was flat and beautiful. I always enjoy a race were the community fully supports it. This race was by far the most community supported race I have done,the residents putting their sprinklers out in the road, one man played his grand piano in his front yard, the banjo payer in the middle of the woods, a fiddler, guitar player and a little girl even brought her sheep out for us to admire as we ran by.
    Best communication from race directors pre race and post race I have ever seen.

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    1
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    5
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    5
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    Profile photo of Julie Alexander
    jalexander REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I love this race! Great scenery, awesome volunteers and community support. Run Wild Missoula puts on a good race, everything is organized and runs smoothly. I look forward to this … MORE

    I love this race! Great scenery, awesome volunteers and community support. Run Wild Missoula puts on a good race, everything is organized and runs smoothly. I look forward to this event every year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    Profile photo of Jenny Greenwood
    jengwilson1 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The shuttles in the morning were easy and fast. Mine didn't even have a line and the driver was energetic and encouraging, especially for 4:30 a.m.! Locals really make this … MORE

    The shuttles in the morning were easy and fast. Mine didn’t even have a line and the driver was energetic and encouraging, especially for 4:30 a.m.! Locals really make this race. Many people cheer, play live music, set out sprinklers, and volunteer to man the event. It’s FUN, positive, exciting, beautiful and one that I will definitely do again!

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    Profile photo of Eric Owings
    erowings REPEAT RUNNER '17

    First things first: I love Missoula! I ran a half-marathon in Missoula in 2013, which was only the second timed race of my life with bib numbers, and the experience … MORE

    First things first: I love Missoula! I ran a half-marathon in Missoula in 2013, which was only the second timed race of my life with bib numbers, and the experience back then hooked me on endurance running.

    I ran the Missoula full marathon one time before, in 2014, and am happy to say that I ran a then-personal best time of 3:37:38, good enough to qualify for Boston in my age group. I didn’t take the opportunity to run Boston the following year in 2015, and in retrospect I wish I had. Read my previous race rave for how it went in 2017 for insight as to why. I won’t bore you with it here, and I just want to touch briefly on this race itself validating for me that I’m slowing down a little as I get older 🙁 I went out with the intention of testing my fitness level after a fairly slow result in Boston, and ended up with an even slower result in Missoula. But I want to make this about Missoula, not myself, so here goes:

    Missoula is the perfect first full-marathon, in my humble opinion. I did run it as my second in 2014, but if you’re reading this and trying to decide whether to enter next year my advice is GO FOR IT! You have one real uphill beginning right at the Mile 13 marker, and once you’re up there you are in the shade of a riot of beautiful pines, rolling up and down a bit until you head down a fast hill before an aid station a couple of miles later. Other than that it is as advertised: flat and fast.

    But that’s not all. Missoula is a college town accessible by I-90, the last town of any real size heading west on your way to the skinny part of Idaho, and there is a unique flavor to the general friendliness of the townfolk, very many of whom populate the expo and the race courses to volunteer for what I have to believe is becoming their town’s signature annual event. The support is nothing short of superb, and for a small city the amount of spectators that come out for the racers is heartening.

    I was asked by my adult daughter this year if I’d like to volunteer at the expo the day before the race this year, and I had so much fun that I will most likely do it every year going forward. They put the two of us on the chip verification table, helping folks wave their bibs over a reader and check their own data on PC monitors. I come to this race from 1,000 miles away from Colorado, and though I knew that most of the United States and a lot of the rest of the world have entrants it was a blast meeting so many of them. I even met a guy from my mother’s home town in Ohio!

    Every year the shuttles to the start get more and more organized – they now have a shuttle running from the finish area downtown to the university where racer’s are required to park, adding to the convenience.

    Besides the scenery, the people, the relative smoothness of the course, et al, there is also a feature that I believe is completely unique to American marathons: the piano guy. A local professional musician dresses up in tux and tails every year, wheels a grand piano out onto his lawn along the course at about the 16th mile, and plays for the runners as they go by. He’s very good, too! I put a tip in a snack baggie this year, and wrapped it around a dog fetch ball with a rope tied through the holes to toss to him, and because I left him a note he replied thanking me, too. This is a tradition I’d love to see at least a few other people pick up and help me get started – the first time you’ll see him I think you’ll understand why I am compelled to show my appreciation.

    Then there’s the Higgins Street Bridge, which is the very last stretch to the finish line just before Front Street. The locals line the bridge on both sides, cheering their hearts out for everybody.

    I Love Missoula! Even after Boston, this is still my favorite race. Try it and see for yourself.

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    5
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    Profile photo of James Richman
    j.richman FIRST-TIMER '17

    Very well run event. missoula is a beautiful town in a gorgeous setting. The race starts before sunrise and runners are treated with a big sky sunrise during early miles. … MORE

    Very well run event. missoula is a beautiful town in a gorgeous setting. The race starts before sunrise and runners are treated with a big sky sunrise during early miles. The community comes out big for the race and there are few lonely stretches since people are out in the yards with sprinklers, etc, cheering on the runners. The finish is welcome and well supported.

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    Profile photo of Barb Albro
    balbro REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The cheering is amazing. The guy that plays the piano in the yard is really real- he plays rain or shine. The medals are fabulous and so are the shirts. … MORE

    The cheering is amazing. The guy that plays the piano in the yard is really real- he plays rain or shine. The medals are fabulous and so are the shirts. Run the beer run Friday, the 5K Saturday and the half Sunday to make it a full weekend! Friday and Saturday are fun runs- bring the family and walk or run! Those days are on the trail so very stroller friendly.

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    5

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    Profile photo of Mike Micheletto
    mmicheletto FIRST-TIMER '17

    Great community involvement and support the entire way. Great comradore with other runners/walkers. Lots of aid stations that included wet sponges in the heat. Regular email updates on event changes. … MORE

    Great community involvement and support the entire way. Great comradore with other runners/walkers. Lots of aid stations that included wet sponges in the heat. Regular email updates on event changes. Good call on shutting early due to heat. Free photos. Lots of cheering at the finishline for every last person, even 6 hrs into it and 90 degrees.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
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    5
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    Profile photo of Casey Kuehn
    CaseyK REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Such a well-organized race. From the event organizers/volunteers, to the local support (thanks for putting your sprinklers out!), to the amount of porta potties at the start, to the great … MORE

    Such a well-organized race. From the event organizers/volunteers, to the local support (thanks for putting your sprinklers out!), to the amount of porta potties at the start, to the great shirt and good food at the end. We will be back next year (our whole group of 6!).

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    3
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    5
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    5
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    Profile photo of Nicole Choquette
    nchoquette85 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This race is so fun! I like how they make it a full weekend event even though I haven't had a chance to participate in all activities I hope to … MORE

    This race is so fun! I like how they make it a full weekend event even though I haven’t had a chance to participate in all activities I hope to someday. The course is fun and beautiful. It is well organized, the shirts are always nice and have cool designs! The medals are the best part, I love how they are different every year and BIG!
    I really like that the whole town gets into the race and there are so many spectators and supports along the course, and the piano guy!

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    Profile photo of Juliet Nelson
    Juliet_Nelson REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The community support is fantastic. The race is well organized and the scenery is beautiful. It's always a pleasure to see the guy in his tuxedo playing the piano in … MORE

    The community support is fantastic. The race is well organized and the scenery is beautiful. It’s always a pleasure to see the guy in his tuxedo playing the piano in his yard and the fantastic crowds cheering you on!

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    3
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    5
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    4
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    5

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    Profile photo of Adelle Thompson
    Adelle6 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The best part of the race is Missoula and the community members, the other participants and volunteers! They make you feel inspired, motivated, and truly care about each person! My … MORE

    The best part of the race is Missoula and the community members, the other participants and volunteers! They make you feel inspired, motivated, and truly care about each person! My favorite part of the race was running by the river in the early morning. I have spent a number of years in Missoula, but each time I go back home, I am taken back from the beauty! I cant wait to go back next year and see how I do! This was my first half marathon, my time was slow, but I did it! I am back to my training schedule, and am excited to see the improvements! Goal for next year’s half marathon is to complete it under 2.45!! Oh, all of my group of friends did the Big 3 Challenge! That part was awesome, the medals were beautiful, and will do that each and every year!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
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    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Darryl Marcocchio
    dmmarco SPECTATOR '17

    I was unable to run this event due to a last minute injury. However I was able to take in this amazing marathon as a spectator. I was able to … MORE

    I was unable to run this event due to a last minute injury. However I was able to take in this amazing marathon as a spectator. I was able to watch my wife and many others run.
    It is a truly amazing event!! Well organized and FUN!! Everyone involved deserves a huge amount of credit!! We will definitely be back next year!!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
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    5
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    5

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    Profile photo of Lindy Rueb
    lindy REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Amazing people in Missoula! From spectators cheering and adding fun signs to volunteers motivating you along the way, everyone made this race fun. The course is well marked and beautiful … MORE

    Amazing people in Missoula! From spectators cheering and adding fun signs to volunteers motivating you along the way, everyone made this race fun. The course is well marked and beautiful as well.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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    Profile photo of Leasa Welter
    leasaw FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my first Montana half marathon. I happened to be in the area for a family reunion and decided to run Missoula. The temps were hot all week in … MORE

    This was my first Montana half marathon. I happened to be in the area for a family reunion and decided to run Missoula. The temps were hot all week in the 90’s. The event staff kept runners informed with frequent email updates throughout the week of weather predictions and adjustments. As a half marathon runner, the weather and adjustments didn’t effect my race. This was my first event that isn’t a loop route. You’re required to take a shuttle provided by the event to the start line. The majority of the course is gradual downhill grades. The first few miles are in the foothills of the moutains, rural area and provides a picturesque running view. You’ll run on paved roads with the river nearby and wild life can be seen. Eventually you’ll run the majority of the course in shaded residential areas. Event staff and local police enforcement are at each intersection to control traffic. The crowd support is limited in the first few miles due being a rural area. You’ll come across more spectators and crowd support during the last half of the course in the residential and downtown areas. Missoula was an enjoyable experience. I would run again if I’m the area.

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    Profile photo of Donna Swanson
    donnajswanson FIRST-TIMER '17

    Really well organized and scenic marathon, with good spectator (and sprinkler!) support. Some nice touches like FREE beer at finish, FREE race photos both on the course and after, NICE … MORE

    Really well organized and scenic marathon, with good spectator (and sprinkler!) support. Some nice touches like FREE beer at finish, FREE race photos both on the course and after, NICE race shirt, LARGE finishers medal, nice post-race venue at Caras Park. In a great location for exploring both the nice college town and as a jumping off point for visiting Glacier National Park or other parts of Montana (or Idaho). Email communication about the race was excellent too! Enjoyed the cowboy greeting runners at about halfway, the man playing the grand piano in his yard, banjo players, bagpiper, sprinklers!

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    5

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    Profile photo of Lori French
    lfrench FIRST-TIMER '17

    Missoula is such a great race town! Beer Run on Friday night, 5K on Saturday morning (Farmer's market next to race finish was awesome), and Half on Sunday morning. Great … MORE

    Missoula is such a great race town! Beer Run on Friday night, 5K on Saturday morning (Farmer’s market next to race finish was awesome), and Half on Sunday morning. Great volunteers, lots to see along course, spectators were awesome setting out sprinklers to keep cool! After race…food was so good, free pictures, atmosphere…will be back next year!

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    Emily Scharmann Jul 17, 2017 at 10:53am

    Running, farmers markets, and Beer? Sounds like such a fun event! Congratulations on finishing the race!

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    Profile photo of Ariel Cornelius
    arielcornelius FIRST-TIMER '17

    I loved the community spirt around this event and all of the musicians who were out playing music. I really enjoyed the community feel. I do wish the swag was … MORE

    I loved the community spirt around this event and all of the musicians who were out playing music. I really enjoyed the community feel.
    I do wish the swag was up longer and more variety.

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    Profile photo of Darla Fitzpatrick
    dfitz0223 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    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.

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    dfitz0223 Jul 16, 2017 at 2:49pm

    AND I forgot to mention the tremendous job that the volunteers and local police department do, as well as residents along the course. This is a wonderful race in a wonderful place!

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    coopers354 FIRST-TIMER '17

    If you are looking for a beautiful, friendly and very well put-together race. This is the one to do!!! I could never say enough about how awesome of a time … MORE

    If you are looking for a beautiful, friendly and very well put-together race. This is the one to do!!! I could never say enough about how awesome of a time I had!

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