MTC Weekly News: 7/6/2016

Start of the Bangtail Divide 38K. Credit: Bozeman Running Company via Instagram

At the races

An abundance of local road races highlighted the 4th of July weekend, so little trail racing took place. The exception was the Bangtail Divide 38K near Bozeman, which brought close competition up front with Ben Stout taking the win in course record time of 2:48:34. Gus Gibbs came in less than two minutes later in 2:50 and Ethan Wilhelm rounded out the podium in 2:53:52. Emily Allison took the win among the women in 3:31:47. Rhea Black finished second in 3:40:50 and Lindsey Anderson finished 3rd in 3:42:42. Full results here.

Mike Wolfe saying goodbye to his mountain
Sentinel Farewell

Continuing a tradition started by Justin Yates a few years ago, MTC board member Mike Wolfe spent a full 24 hours running up and down our mountain as a last farewell before he moved home to Bozeman. Wolfe added an extra lap to Yates' feat running up and down the mountain 18 times for a collective vertical gain approaching 40,000'! We look forward to seeing how many laps he can do on Mount Baldy. 

Trail Work

On June 29th a group of Montana Trail Crew volunteers got our long-planned Orange Street Trailhead project underway. As many MTC blog readers know, we adopted the Froelich Trail a couple years ago and it has been the focus of several of our trail work days. Since that time, we funded the acquisition of a pair of parcels of private land adjacent to the trail in order to realign the trail and build a new trailhead. There is plenty of work ahead so sign up for our email list and continue to follow our news to learn how to contribute to this exciting project. The Missoulian published a story about the project here

Trail Guide

Another article in today’s Missoulian reports on a new Missoula County trail mapping site. Read up on it here.

The Week Ahead

Missoula Marathon week is here. This is the biggest event in Montana running and there is a lot going on, so head over the event website and find a way to be a part of it. Although this is a road marathon, the marathon will once again include a strong trail running presence in the lead pack. 

Headlining this year’s event is 2:17 marathoner Michael Wardian, who also holds a variety of ultrarunning records and is a multi-time U.S. ultrarunner of the year. Read more about Wardian in our Q&A with him here and consider coming down to Missoula’s Double Tree Hotel on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 PM to hear him speak about his love for running, whether it be trails, roads, desert, treadmill, or whatever.

Polson’s Jason Delaney is a former Missoula Marathon champ with some impressive trail running credentials. This year’s Governor’s Cup Marathon winner with a 2:19 personal best at the distance has won such local events as the Snowbowl 15K and the Marshal Mountain Trail Run, but he has also performed well on the national stage with a win at Pikes Peak Ascent and one of the fastest times ever on the Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon double.

Thomas Morgan is a former professional on the track with a 13:25 5K best. But in recent years he has jumped into a number of trail races as he has moved up in distance, including the Rut 25K. He recently debuted in the marathon in Eugene with a 3rd place 2:30.

Geofrey Terer of Kenya is also entered. He’s a 2:25 marathoner and his trail running background includes competitive finishes at Colorado’s Pikes Peak Marathon and Mount Sneffels Half Marathon. Most impressively, however, is his performance at the 2015 Summer Roundup 12K where he outkicked U.S. trail running elites Joe Gray and Andy Wacker for the win.

Several other athletes in the field, including Helena’s Jesse Zentz, former Missoula Marathon champs Trisha Drobeck and Elizabeth Paddock, as well as Bay Area speedster Sarah Hallas are all accomplished trail runners.

This will be my 6th time running the Missoula Marathon and I’m looking forward to seeing how my trail training translates to the roads. Like a lot of other runners, I enjoy the challenge of testing myself on the roads and switching up the terrain. Regardless of how things play out, expect an entertaining weekend of running featuring athletes who are getting it done regardless of the surface. 
Full elite field here.


Other regional events filling out a busy running weekend are the Beaverhead Endurance Runs, which follow the Continental Divide Trail between Idaho and Montana and the Beartooth Runs near Red Lodge. Check back next week for a full recap. 

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