Missoula Half-Marathon

Many of you know I just completed the Missoula Half-Marathon this past Sunday and James completed the full.  What a great little racecation!  It was a whirlwind, but totally worth every moment we spent there and on the road.

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To recap, we left the Seattle area on Friday afternoon and drove to Spokane to stay the night, meeting up with fellow blogger Renee on Saturday morning.  We then drove the rest of the way to Missoula, just in time for the expo and to see Jeff Galloway.  Dinner was at 7 and sleep for me came at midnight.

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Rocks! In a river!! Apparently great for fishing!

RACE DAY:  We woke up at 3:30 for a 6 a.m. start time… mind you, this was Montana time.  In Seattle time, it was only 2:30 a.m.  Ack!  And we all know sleep doesn’t come easy the night before a race.

Logistics were easy… we walked across the bridge right behind the hotel and there were the shuttle buses hauling people to the start line.  Once at the start line, it was port-a-loo heaven! And I’m not kidding.  They were everywhere.  No one had to suffer or stress.  Kudos to the race director on the potties!  (For those who don’t race, port-a-loos are a super important part of the start line, which is why every runner will report on them!)

As well, they had fireworks going off about every 6 to 7 minutes.  Okay, that was a little unnerving and unnecessary, but it was entertaining.

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Then at 6 a.m., the cannon fired (yes, a booming cannon, just in case the fireworks didn’t wake you up) and the finale of the fireworks were set off (for those of us who had to wait a couple of minutes to cross the start line).  By the way, Jeff Galloway was running the half with his 90-year-old friend. How’s that for inspiring?!!  If I would’ve known they were behind me, I totally would’ve backed up and ran with them.

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THE COURSE:  Gorgeous.  Farms, trees, rivers, historic neighborhoods, and basically flat.  Loved it.  I ran out of air at about mile 9 or 10, but that’s what happens when you train at sea level.  I’m thinking James and I probably need to go hike up one of the mountains here to get some practice with breathing at different elevations.

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An entertainer playing a violin on the side while we went past. There were also bands, drums, people with stereos to keep us going.

THE PEOPLE AND VOLUNTEERS:  So very nice, so friendly, so helpful.  I didn’t run into one single person who wasn’t encouraging and uplifting throughout the race.  I wasn’t too impressed at mile 11 when people were saying, “you’re almost there” (because I wasn’t anywhere near the finish line), but that was my emotional breakdown, not theirs, so I really appreciated their support regardless of my state of mind.

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THE FINISH LINE:  Again, fabulous!  For recovery food, they had a lovely quinoa salad, bananas, oranges, watermelon, frozen fruit bars, nuts, bagels, fig newtons… a great spread!  At the family meetup area, all racers got a free beer and a free finisher picture, and they were selling fry bread and other things, just in case the food at the finish line didn’t quite get it done for you.

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A moose with running shoes on the bling… too cute.

POST-RACE CELEBRATION:  I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.  After sleeping for a couple of hours, we went out and enjoyed.  Our eyes were much bigger than our stomachs, but it was nice having a sample of everything.

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Chicken strips, quesadilla, and nachos.

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James and his father Rick, who came to watch and celebrate, and who also brought AJ back after he spent the previous week in Boise.

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This was a fabulous race and a fabulous time, and I felt it was very well organized.  Thankfully we didn’t run into even one snafu, and that’s always bonus.  This race may actually have moved to the very top of my favorites list, so I highly recommend it if you’re looking to run in Montana!!

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I think this bike totally works for the treasure hunt!

Be sure to stay tuned to 50 in 50 Marathon Quest to see his full race report.  He had a nasty mountain to climb that forced practically everyone to walk…

42 thoughts on “Missoula Half-Marathon

  1. spearfruit

    Very exciting Paula – I felt I was right there with your and James! The scenery looks wonderful and inviting and having the music and people along the way to help in motivation – incredible! 🙂

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    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you Terry!! It probably sounds funny, but the races really can be quite spiritual and good for the soul!! I know you used to run, but did you race too? Regardless, I’ll bet you felt that way on some of your runs as well!

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      1. spearfruit

        I would run in 5Ks mostly, and the longest race was a 9K. I thought one day I would do a 1/2 or full marathon. Running days are over, but I can certainly walk! And yes the races and any running at all is quite spiritual and good for the soul! Happy day Paula! 🙂

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  2. Tasha

    I’m always so proud of you Paula when you get your bling! You put in a lot of hard work running these races. You and James are really good role models for AJ because he sees what you both are doing to accomplish your goals. Congrats once again my dear friend! 🙂

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  3. Tamsyn Smith

    Well done! Those medals look so cool – and enormous, but maybe that’s just the perspective!

    Does the race start that early because it’s too hot to run later in the day, or for the runners’ safety as there are fewer cars on the roads? I’m interested because races never start that early in the UK – 9am is about the earliest we do here, but we also never have to contend with extreme heat 🙂

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    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you Tamsyn! Yes, the medals are huge, they’re awesome! The race starts that early because of the heat usually. Thankfully we didn’t run into that issue as it was rainy and overcast… perfect running weather!

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      Reply
  4. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Oh wow, that sounds like SUCH a marvelous race! It sounds a lot like my Gettysburg half, minus the flat part. And I love a well organized race. But hate the idiots who tell you you’re almost there — if I can’t see the finish line, I ain’t almost there. Too bad you didn’t get to run with Jeff — that would’ve been the cherry on top!

    Congrats!

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    Reply
  5. SlowRunnerGirl

    WOW! Great race and fantastic report 🙂
    Can’t believe how many treasures you are finding! I think the bike is my absolute favorite, but there was also the photo of Jeff … you are making it really hard to choose!
    Gotta go – heading over to James to read about the giant hill 😀

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    Reply
    1. neveradullbling Post author

      Thank you so much!! I do have fun hunting for things, 😀
      James doesn’t have his report done quite yet, it’s been hectic, but hopefully by this weekend he will!! I saw the graphics of this hill… OMG, no thank you, lol!!

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  6. Pingback: Day 1 Training for Tulsa | Never A Dull Bling

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