Overall Rating
Overall Rating (206 Reviews)
4.9
(206 Ratings)(206 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.5
SCENERY
4.7
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. The Missoula Marathon has … MORE
Local Weather (Jun 27)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 74 81 81 90 99
L (°F) 50 45 61 53 59
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Recent reviews

    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race is actually a medium to small size race which is actually pretty surprising for a state with a population the size of Montana. The only way to get … MORE

    This race is actually a medium to small size race which is actually pretty surprising for a state with a population the size of Montana. The only way to get so many people to come from so far away is to flat out do a fantastic job in terms of race experience. This race delivers on that, it felt like the entire community came out to support this race. This was my 14th half marathon and my 8th different state that I have raced in.

    EXPO: The expo was easy to get to and had plenty of parking and was held at the university of Montana. There were lots of freebies in the expo bag with your shirt and there were a decent number of booths.

    T-Shirts/SWAG: I loved both my medal and the shirt for this race. My light blue shirt has a hard to describe plaid/checker pattern although the shirt is still all the same color. It is a unique look but nothing crazy so I enjoy wearing the shirt around. I also really enjoy the race logo itself. The race medal is traditionally rust colored and it was again this year. Some years they have had horse shoe shaped or more bizarre shapes, this year was a pretty standard circle but still had a cool design on it that I really enjoyed. Run for the bling people will be happy.

    Parking/Access: We stayed less than a mile from the University of Montana parking lot where you need to catch a bus to the start line. This should have taken us mere minutes but instead took closer to 30-40 minutes because so many cars were crowding onto the bridge to access the parking lot, while I was never really in jeopardy of missing the start I like to be at the start line early which kind of got cramped by this traffic and people who were getting there after me probably felt much more pressed for time. The lines for the buses were long but moved fairly quickly and once you were on them getting to the start was pretty easy.

    Aid Stations/Elevation/Course Scenery:
    Aid stations throughout the course had water and electrolytes and had the normal spacing on the course, no issues there. The course has some hills and is not flat but none of the hills were particularly steep. I’d call it 50% flat at least with gradual to moderate hills on the rest. The scenery on the course is the kind of thing you hope to see when you are in the big sky state. You start but running through some winding wooded roads that are very pretty before you start to run by peoples houses on large acre properties around mile 3. During these first few miles the crowd support was very unique, I saw both a man playing the bagpipes while wearing a kilt and something I never expected to see ever while running a race, certainly not a rural race, a man had rolled his grand piano out into his yard on a tarp and was wearing a full tux while playing classical music, it was awesome.

    The course continues over some old railroad looking bridges and passes things like a giant cow (like 20 ft tall). You slowly start to run through neighborhoods with good crowd support before finishing at a bridge in downtown. There is a hill at like 12.8 miles that leads you to a good quarter mile downhill to the finish that is lined with people. Overall crowd support on the course was great.

    Race Management: These guys really shined, other than the difficultly with traffic getting to the start these guys have the organization of a major race. They had tons of different pace groups, even really fast past groups, I was running with the 1:30 pacers who were two former cross country runners from the University of Montana, they did a great job and were really funny guys. The finish area was well stocked with recovery food and drinks and lots more booths. When you wind all the way to the finish you can get free finishers photos printed on the spot and they even have a free pasta and other things lunch to eat. When you are all done with the finish party area you can walk a few blocks to a bus pick up location to get you back to your car. Other perks include that all race photos are also free. I am a person who is slowly trying to run a race in as many states as possible and in my opinion this marathon is the only choice to make when picking a race in Montana.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Angie Rozhon
    rozhond68 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    From the organization to the community that comes out in full force for the entirety of the race to the course itself, this race has spoiled me from any other … MORE

    From the organization to the community that comes out in full force for the entirety of the race to the course itself, this race has spoiled me from any other half or full marathon. You won’t be disappointed with the Missoula Marathon on any level.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    aumann FIRST-TIMER '19

    You begin on a yellow school bus in the early morning hours (4:30 a.m.) along with 50 of your new friends, on your way to be deposited 17 miles outside … MORE

    You begin on a yellow school bus in the early morning hours (4:30 a.m.) along with 50 of your new friends, on your way to be deposited 17 miles outside of Missoula. It’s all part of the experience, and believe me, it was a great experience! Everything from the running expo to the beer run, from the course and its views to the post-race environment were thoughtfully planned and well-executed! Highly recommend a trip out to Big Sky country for this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Julia Houston
    juliagulia0142 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Not only does this race take place in the “last best place on earth” the community involvement in this race is phenomenal. This race goes thru numerous neighborhoods and there … MORE

    Not only does this race take place in the “last best place on earth” the community involvement in this race is phenomenal. This race goes thru numerous neighborhoods and there were always people in their drive ways cheering you on or offering food and snacks and a few even had sprinklers up for runners to run thru. The swag for this race was also awesome. This race was highly organized and ran very smoothly.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Shane Bird
    shane_bird FIRST-TIMER '19

    Absolutely loved it! Amazing experience from start to finish. The Race officials, the volunteers, the community support all combined made this a very memorable milestone for me. Easily understandable why … MORE

    Absolutely loved it! Amazing experience from start to finish. The Race officials, the volunteers, the community support all combined made this a very memorable milestone for me. Easily understandable why Missoula Marathon has been voted the best! The Hill about halfway was a RUNNERS GIFT, made me feel like I worked for it. Hit the WALL around mile 22, but by that time I was in Missoula and the crowd kept me moving. Cannot wait to do it again!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    runvirginia FIRST-TIMER '19

    This marathon reminded me of the Clarence Demar marathon in NH. It was a little difficult to get to, nice mid-size race, and extremely well run on a point to … MORE

    This marathon reminded me of the Clarence Demar marathon in NH. It was a little difficult to get to, nice mid-size race, and extremely well run on a point to point course.

    I stayed near the UofM (and a man I met stayed in the dorm!), and did not rent a car. Flew in to MSO. I also talked to people who flew into Spokane and drove, saw the sights. There are many sights!

    Lovely race, lovely people–ice cold sponges near the end, residential streets with some shade, cool finish line area with yelling fans. Bring sunscreen and a hat/visor! It was sunny, but a dry heat. Bring throwaways or use the drop bag–it was cold at the start. Well-run hydration stations. Cool medal!
    Highly recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    TerryDavis FIRST-TIMER '19

    Lots of aid stations and port-a-potties. Beautiful scenery Flat! I did not have any elevation issues with breathing at all at 3200 feet Great medal and shirt Great post-race food … MORE

    Lots of aid stations and port-a-potties.
    Beautiful scenery
    Flat! I did not have any elevation issues with breathing at all at 3200 feet
    Great medal and shirt
    Great post-race food
    Well organized for shuttle transport and gear check and retrieval

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    jessies9686 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The community support for this race really set it apart. Despite the 6 AM start, there were tons of spectators along the route cheering, especially toward the end of the … MORE

    The community support for this race really set it apart. Despite the 6 AM start, there were tons of spectators along the route cheering, especially toward the end of the race when you run through residential neighborhoods. People were also playing music (including a grand piano in someone’s front yard, and multiple bluegrass bands), offering their own aid stations with freezer pops and cold sponges, pointing their sprinklers into the road to cool down runners, and providing “adult” refreshments. Major shout-out to the group handing out beers at mile 23!

    In addition to the community support, the race also had beautiful scenery and was really well organized. I’d definitely recommend this race

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    domino76 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    To add to the Missoula Marathon weekend experience this is a must 5k. You get to run all around the town, get the coolest 5k medal I have ever seen … MORE

    To add to the Missoula Marathon weekend experience this is a must 5k. You get to run all around the town, get the coolest 5k medal I have ever seen & add to your swag to get the 3 challenge medal if you do this, the beer run & the marathon on Sunday.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    domino76 FIRST-TIMER '19

    What a great event Missoula puts on. I see why this marathon is rated #1 in the country. The whole town comes out on the course to cheer you on … MORE

    What a great event Missoula puts on. I see why this marathon is rated #1 in the country. The whole town comes out on the course to cheer you on with signs & water hoses, they lime the streets even out in the country side. The course starts off with a fireworks going off at the starting line which makes it super exciting, you go thoguh a National Forest with along a river for great views, than go though the country side and finally downtown. The finish line is lined with people & really makes you feel like a accomplished athlete. 3 racing events over the weekend, free food, photos & nice bling make this a perfect race weekend for anyone.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    flashgordon FIRST-TIMER '19

    I ran the Big 3 Challenge. Great overall race weekend. Plenty of toilets at the start and along the route. Plenty of aid stations. The handing out of energy gels … MORE

    I ran the Big 3 Challenge. Great overall race weekend. Plenty of toilets at the start and along the route. Plenty of aid stations. The handing out of energy gels could be better spaced out. Very flat besides one quick, but STEEP hill just after the halfway mark. There’s minimal shade on the course and the sun comes early – first time I made the call to run with sunglasses. The sun also added some heat towards the end of the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    lovingtwins31 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Super organized race with amazing community support! The scenery was beautiful, the people were friendly, helpful and encouraging. Is so this race again in a heartbeat! If you go, do … MORE

    Super organized race with amazing community support! The scenery was beautiful, the people were friendly, helpful and encouraging. Is so this race again in a heartbeat! If you go, do the Big 3 Challenge. The whole weekend was a win in my book.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Christina Maloney
    kristeena5 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The scenery was fantastic. Aid stations were plentiful. Crowd was incredibly supportive and eccentric. Overall great race. Only drawback was the gear bags all seemed to be in one truck … MORE

    The scenery was fantastic. Aid stations were plentiful. Crowd was incredibly supportive and eccentric. Overall great race. Only drawback was the gear bags all seemed to be in one truck for drop off so caused a little backup but nothing serious.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    HammerinHank FIRST-TIMER '19

    The Missoula Marathon absolutely lives up to its reputation. This is a well organized, highly scenic and friendly race. I ran this race as my 50 States Montana race. The … MORE

    The Missoula Marathon absolutely lives up to its reputation. This is a well organized, highly scenic and friendly race. I ran this race as my 50 States Montana race. The hospitality by race staff, volunteers and spectators were spectacular. The weather was perfect for the 2019 race. This is a point to point race so you get a real feel for the beauty of the area. This is a smaller, uncongested race. You must pass through a lot of intersections on the last part of the race, but they are well monitored. Race bib pick-up is very smooth. The shirt and medal are excellent. The expo is small with few give-aways. The finish line food was underwhelming but the free beer was appreciated. $25 for a post-race massage.
    Plan your logistics carefully for this race. Rooms and cars are expensive and difficult to find during the last weeks before the race. Uber is available but pricey. There is a free public bus but it has a limited schedule. Missoula is a fun town with good food and beer.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    erbVanZan FIRST-TIMER '19

    We were lucky with the weather, early start helped. Volunteers at all water stations were awesome! Nice medal! Tech shirt is a little heavy. Post party was awesome. I was … MORE

    We were lucky with the weather, early start helped. Volunteers at all water stations were awesome! Nice medal! Tech shirt is a little heavy. Post party was awesome. I was not thrilled with the expo however. Not that there was not enough there, but it was too small of a venue! No parking! People were angry with each other trying to get to the event. I was going to do the beer run, but it was so congested, I about had it. Caras park was fine for the post race, but I think an inside with large parking lot would’ve been better for the expo.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Soldbull FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was a great race. The hardest part was waking up in the morning to catch the shuttle. But the course was mostly flat. There was a lot of country … MORE

    This was a great race. The hardest part was waking up in the morning to catch the shuttle. But the course was mostly flat. There was a lot of country scenery and some of it was next to a river. The best part was running across the Higgins bridge at the finish line.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Soldbull FIRST-TIMER '19

    It was the first time I received a medal for a 5k and it was a pretty awesome one. The course was pretty easy and partly ran next to the … MORE

    It was the first time I received a medal for a 5k and it was a pretty awesome one. The course was pretty easy and partly ran next to the river.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    freeja REPEAT RUNNER '19

    EXPO: I was a late registrant so my bib wasn't available in the general pickup line and I was directed to the info/services tent. I expected to wait but they … MORE

    EXPO: I was a late registrant so my bib wasn’t available in the general pickup line and I was directed to the info/services tent. I expected to wait but they set me up with my bib in less than a minute and I was quickly off to get my shirt (in a separate area). I then set out to enjoy the expo…but it was TINY and I had basically walked across it already. There were only a few vendors present. I was very underwhelmed and wondered if this was any indication of how the overall race would be (spoiler -it wasn’t).

    PARKING/TRANSPORTATION: There is ample parking at the event center where the buses pick-up. Alternatively, one can park downtown and walk the few minutes to the event center in order to have their vehicle close to the finish. Either option works. The bus transportation was like a well-oiled machine and the worry I had felt from the expo dissipated. The full and half runners were very clearly separated so there is no chance of getting on the wrong bus. Lines were orderly and buses loaded quickly and left immediately so new buses could roll in. The drive to the start was quick and uneventful.

    START: The start area is large and, while the layout is a little odd, it is organized. Tons of port-o-pottys and gear drop is really simple and moves fast. Water is available but nothing else. Fireworks and a canon start the race!

    COURSE: The course is gorgeous and flat with just a couple of teeny gentle hills. . The first half is countryside and beautiful, the second half starts working through residential areas into town, but it is still scenic and pleasant. Aid stations are well placed but can get a little crowded if you are running with a pack as the stations are on the smaller side. There is a small but decent amount of spectator support along the way including a lot of pop-up aid stations by residents.

    FINISH: The announcers try very hard to say every single person’s name as they cross. A very nice touch. Immediately after finishing, you get a medal and there are giant containers of water, Powerade, and cola so runners can get something in them straight away. After the fluids, there is medical, then portable toilets, a mist/shower to cool off, then baggage claim. All this is ‘runners only’ so it isn’t overcrowded with family and friends. After exiting the finish chute, there is a short walk to the finish area where there is food, pictures, and beer. The runner’s food tent had lemon pasta salad and spicy bean/quinoa salad plus other things like fruit chunks and bagel pieces. It was tasty albeit pretty small in portion size and you are only allowed one serving and no reentry. The beer was provided by Big Sky Brewing and they offered a variety to choose from which was incredible. Additional vendors were at the finish area with food available for purchase.

    SWAG: The race shirt is really great and I’m so in love with the medal. I give these two thumbs up. Pictures are included and photographers are all along the course, not just the finish. I never received the virtual swag bag email so can’t comment on it’s contents, although, in my experience, those are just coupons and not really swag at all.

    Overall impressions = this race is fabulous. I’ll be back for sure!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    nchoquette85 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race is my favorite for many reasons, the start line is probably my favorite next to the finish if course! This year we were joined by some deer but … MORE

    This race is my favorite for many reasons, the start line is probably my favorite next to the finish if course! This year we were joined by some deer but they were running the wrong way! The scenery at the start is breathtaking, the sunrise is beautiful, I get chills every time! All the volunteers are super friendly and the aid stations are always ready for you! And the town is so welcoming, people sitting in their yards at 6am to cheer you on is awesome!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    alicia91 FIRST-TIMER '19

    It was a beautiful morning and the course was gorgeous. Everything went very smoothly during registration, packet pick up, aid stations; all without a hitch. And what a great community … MORE

    It was a beautiful morning and the course was gorgeous. Everything went very smoothly during registration, packet pick up, aid stations; all without a hitch. And what a great community of people!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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