Q & A with Island Challenge RD Carly Wheatley

Start of the half marathon - PC Montana Island Challenge

The Montana Island Challenge half marathon on July 8th is the second race in the Treasure State Trail Series. This event serves as a fundraiser for the Lewistown-based Combining 4 Kids, which benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lewistown, Central Montana Jaycees, and the Lewistown Ice Skating Association. The Montana Island Challenge includes a mountain bike race, a hiking division, and the half marathon all of which are held on the property of the Cottonwood Log Cabins in the foothills just west of Lewistown. Race Organizers Carly Wheatley and Abby Franks hope to share the beauty of central Montana with trail runners from around the state, all while raising money to help keep kids active and engaged in the local community. 

How did the Montana Island Challenge get started?

Central Montana is a landscape of beauty - truly where the mountains meet the prairies. To showcase this beauty, youth organizations gathered together to start an event that would capture this great beauty while also raising funds for the important youth they serve! Hence the MT Island Challenge was born.
Some of the gorgeous on course scenery - PC Montana Island Challenge
How many people participate in the event? 

The MT Island Challenge has grown steadily over the past few years - most recently having near 200 participants. Specifically in the Half Marathon we host 30 participants.

Tell us about Combining 4 Kids...

Combining 4 Kids is the collaborative effort of the Boys & Girls Club of Lewistown, Central Montana Jaycees, and Lewistown Ice Skating Association Youth Program, whose mission is to “supplement fundraising efforts of our individualized programs and services benefiting children 0-18 years of age.” Because “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Out on course - PC Montana Island Challenge
How can participants help Combining 4 Kids in other ways?

As you register for the event you have the ability to give a donation above and beyond your registration gift amount. That would be a great, easy and efficient way. Also look for our Montana Island Challenge store on our website where profits directly support the MT Island Challenge.

How did you settle on Montana Log Cabins as the race location?

Because the hostess, Al Lake is one of the nicest guys around!  He is super accommodating as far as being a host and is even building a pavilion to serve as race headquarters. In addition his land is 100% fantastic - mountains, prairie, trail running, running creek, wildlife, cabins to rent, land to camp on - truly a great place! We are excited for him to join us!

A look at Lewistown - PC Montana Island Challenge
What makes the Montana Island Challenge special?

Because Central Montana is that neat part of Montana where you get spectacular views, but are not closed off in viewing the "Big Sky" of Montana. You might ask - why "Montana Island" - because our mountains are unique in that they are "island ranges" not a part of a larger mountain range such as the Rocky Mountains. They host their own uniqueness that literally surrounds the Lewistown community. Lewistown is actually nicknamed "Snowhole" because of how the mountains sit in a circular shape around our community - we tend to be greener in the summer and whiter in the winter because of how these mountains contain the clouds holding weather.

Thank you Carly for your work in promoting an active lifestyle on the trails! There is still time to register for the Montana Island Challenge and get a leg up in the standings of the Treasure State Trail Series. Registration for the July 8th race can be found here

Thanks to Altra Running for being a supporting sponsor of the 2017 Treasure State Trail Series.


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