MTC News: 10/11/2016

We're busy getting everything in order for the 4th Annual Mountain Running Film Festival taking place at the Wilma Theater on November 5th. It might be the biggest running party in Montana and we hope you'll come out and be part of it. We've lined up some great films again this year, including a few premiers. We invite everyone to make a weekend out of it by running the Mount Jumbo Elk Ramble that same day. The race is filling fast and if that's not motivation enough to take part, you might even be rewarded by being one of the lucky participants to score a Film Festival ticket in your race packet! Full details and ticket sales information coming soon, so check back with MTC.
Above the Clouds - Credit: Justin Grigg (@jjgrigg) via Instagram

Racing News:

Tors des Gents - UM Alumni John Anderson finished as top American in this 200+ mile epic in the Alps. John was my roommate way back in our UM days in the late 1990s. Over the year's I've enjoyed keeping track of his mountain exploits, but he took it to another level with this one. Check out his exceptional race report here.

Two Bear Marathon - As Anderson ran to the clanging of thousands of cowbells, I ran to the sound of raindrops on crisp leaves. What my Two Bear Marathon experience lacked in crowds, it compensated for in solitude, fall colors, and local community support. I spend a lot of time in the Flathead Valley in the summer and try to make it up to Whitefish when I can. When I do, I always try to sneak in a run on the on the ever-expanding Whitefish Trail system that's the site of the Two Bear. The trails are buffed out and the turns are banked with mountain bikes in mind, making for some smooth, albeit challenging, running. As the trail network expanded, the decade-old Two Bear traded forest road for single track. The course is tougher, but scenery is a welcome distraction with bright red huckleberry leaves setting the forest aglow. The course sends you onto pavement for the first time with 10 miles to go. From there runners follow a winding lakeside drive and bike path to complete their marathon loop around Whitefish Lake. If you remeber to save some legs for those last six miles you'll feel like you're flying after the thousands of vertical feet of climb and descent you encountered in the early going. Post race is what you'd expect with the Montana trail scene: home brew, a local BBQ feast, and plenty of friendly faces. There are cow bells here, too, with one coming in every race packet. To put a Montana twist on the cowbell experience, once your support crew is dome clanging they can swap the swap their cowbell for a free pint of post-race beer! Full results here.

Bear 100 – This classic 100 is always a draw for  Montana runners and this year we were well represented. With a nasty mix of rain, snow, and mud, it goes without saying that nobody in the race would match the course record set back in 2013 by former Missoulian Chris Kollar. In fact, the weather proved to be enough of a factor that the race directors altered the course. Despite all the challenges, a number of Montana runners battled on to record solid finishes including: Steve Liechty of Victor in 8th; Milton Zhinin-Barreto of Missoula in 15th; Curtis Adams of Helena in 61st; Mike Talia of Helena in 126th;  and Charlie Sperry of Boulder in 129th. Former Missoulians John Fitzgerald, Jed Rogers, and Hannah Riedl also recorded finishes. Full Results.

Margie Menendez jumping for joy at the Blue Mountain 30K - Credit: Tommi Burton via Facebook
Blue Mountain 30K – 100 runners enjoyed their coveted spots in this Runners Edge trail run that takes place in its namesake National Recreation Area. This event is an immediate sell-out every year and from a look at the smiling faces in post-race photos, most went home happy. If you’re unfamiliar with the Blue Mountain trail system, I’d suggest you give this race a shot sometime. It’s one of my favorite places to train, especially in winter. Come January when many other trails are snowed in, trails there are passable. Winter also gives Blue a suprisingly remote feel and an added sense of challenge, especially after a fresh dusting of snow. In this year’s event, Brian Story and Nicole Hunt took the wins. Full results here.

Whitefish Trail Run - With distances from 5K to half marathon, this event takes place on the same trail system that challenges runners in the Two Bear Marathon. Kalispell’s Michal Mazacek and Polson’s Jenni Brown took the half marathon wins. Complete results here.

Le Grizz Ultramarathon - For the third time in its 34 year history, Le Grizz followed the North Fork of the Flathead River as opposed to its original South Fork course. The new route skirts Glacier National Park and guarantees finishers the added reward of a huckleberry bear claw at the Polebridge Mercantile. For the second year in a row, Missoula’s Christi Richards took top honors among women. Her speedy sub-7:00 time was also good enough to ensure that she came across the line first of all finishers. Gwendal Le Tutour from Sandpoint, Idaho, came in first among men. Full results here.

Coming Up:

Trail Work Location
Trail Work Party - On THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20th, we will need some volunteers to help get plants back into the ground to help those disturbed and distressed areas recover and be competitive against the aggressive nature of weeds.  We will be planting seed and plugs and need some hands to get the work done.  Come out and join us for a couple hours.

Where: We will meet at the Orange St Trailhead

When:  Thursday, October 20th:  5:00-7:00 pm (or sooner if we work fast)

What to bring:  Appropriate clothes and work gloves, we'll supply the necessary tools, plants, and seed.

What if I get hungry or thirsty?  As always, we will finish up with pizza and beer after the work is complete.

To sign up follow this link.

Mountain Running Film Festival – Check back later on Friday for details on this year’s Mountain Running Film Festival. 

Montana Cup – Consider testing your late season speed by representing your city at this all-comers cross country meet taking place on October 29th in Bozeman. It’s always tough, it’s always a great time, and Team Missoula always wins. Sign up before October 16th and only pay $12 if you own your own jersey. It’s one of the best deals in running. 

As always, if you have a news item to share send an email to -jg


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