Kicking off the 2019 Treasure State Trail Series

The 2019 Treasure State Trail Series kicked off this morning under blue skies in downtown Helena. 213 participants lined up for the Don't Fence Me In 30k, which serves as a fundraiser for the Prickly Pear Land Trust. Combined with the 12k, 5k, and dog walk over 1,000 participants registered for the event!
Monte Cole leading at mile 8

While the finish line area was bustling with activity, the real action was taking place out on the trails. As the race unfolded Helena local Monte Cole and Michael Kaiser from Clancy pulled away from the competition. At the eight mile mark Monte had a slight lead over Michael with Matt Roberts of Helena trailing in no-man's land. The three would hold those positions for the remainder of the race with Monte able to extend his lead to over five minutes.

Michael Kaiser a few seconds back at mile 8
"Michael had me running scared," said Monte. "I was able to gain a few minutes on the ridge with the flatter running."

Monte Cole finished very well at the Bitterroot Runoff a few weeks ago and looks to continue his string of strong performances into the Old Gabe 50k as well as Speedgoat. He may jump in a few Treasure State Trail Series races in the fall so watch out!

Matt Roberts giving chase in 3rd

Although Kristina Trygstad-Saari of Bozeman spent most of the race out front by herself, there was more movement in the rest of the podium positions than in the men's race.

Kristina Trygstad-Saari coming out of the mile 7.7 aid station looking comfortable
Kristina rolled through the aid station at mile 7.7 looking calm and composed and never relinquished her lead. She was followed by Abby Levene of Boulder, CO and Emma Tarbath of Bozeman. Christina Richards came through in 4th just under a minute behind Emma, but looked to be on the hunt.

By the end of the race Christina Richards battled up to second place, while Kristina Trygstad-Saari simply ran away from everyone and crossed the line nearly 12 minutes in front of second.

Christina Richards in 4th at mile 7 before moving up to 2nd

Richards went into the race knowing that "people tend to go out too hard." She decided to keep it comfortable and pick people off one-by-one.

Abby Levene ultimately finished 3rd

Complete results are available at and the Treasure State Trail Series leaderboard will be updated soon. Next up in the Series is the Copper City 14k hosted by the Bozeman Running Company.

This year the top three men and top three women in the series will win swag from Alpine Running Guides with a free trip going to the overall winners.


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