We opted to fly from Portland to Spokane, rent a car and drive to Missoula; it was prohibitively expensive to fly directly to Missoula. This really worked well though as we were able to see some sights along the way.
Our first stop was Haugen, Montana.....the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar/Store/Restaurant for some carb loading.
We spent Saturday in Butte, Montana (my husband's home town) at the National Folk Festival; what a hoot!
Sunday morning came very, very early; the race had a 6:00 a.m. start and we needed to catch a bus to the start, the buses started running at 4:15 a.m. This meant I got to set the alarm for 3:45 a.m. UGH :-( We got to the start at 5:00 a.m. and had lots of time for visits to the porta potties. We met up with our other Portland friends and took off as the cannon sounded; I bet the neighbors loved that part.
Missoula is about 3300 feet and I was a little worried about the elevation; I never even noticed it. There is one significant hill on the course and it was at about mile 14; other than that I would consider it a relatively flat course. Montana is pretty darn rural and the first 14 miles or so were through the country; it was beautiful.
My running mate, Vicki, has been nursing an injury and was hoping to finish in about 4:30. I really didn't have any big goals, except to finish. Vicki and I have travelled to quite a few destination marathons together and we usually stick together on these races; it is more about the experience than the pace. Of course, if one of us really wanted to go for it; we would. Vicki has gotten me to the finish line a lot of times; it was my turn to get her to the finish line.
|Mile 17, looking good and feeling strong|
|This is feet from the finish; I felt like a million bucks|
|We finished; 4:28!|
|Great friends and running buddies all from the Portland Area and all Missoula finishers; celebrating Sunday evening|
|With Brad on the University of Montana Campus; his Alma Mater for both under grad and grad school|
|We're not sure what this was, but we found it on the University of Montana campus; it is made from "recycled" items.|
Monday morning we had to head back to Spokane to catch our flight home. We made one pit stop though; we stopped in Wallace, Idaho.
|Did you know that "The Center of the Universe" is in Wallace, Idaho? How much fun is this?|
Up next......St. George, Utah on October 2!