• Juan J. Arrieta

5 things I'm looking forward to at Missoula Half

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Missoula Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro by going to https://www.bibrave.com/bibravepro. Find more race reviews like this one at www.bibrave.com.

Running a top-rated race

For two consecutive years, the Missoula Marathon has been named as the top-rated marathon in the BibRave100 list. This year, the half marathon distance also made it to the Top20 list, so it is clear that inside and out, this is high-quality event and I feel fortunate to be able to participate in it.

Runners who voted for this race rated it as being exceptionally well organized, having outstanding community support, and offering one of the most beautiful courses out there, with 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and a fast finish downtown.

I plan to bring my GoPro camera with me on this trip and take tons and tons of pictures during my visit.

Cool, favorable weather

The weather, although entirely out of our control, plays a role in both the enjoyment of the race as well as with the hopes of having a strong showing and obtaining good results completing it. The average temperatures in Missoula for the month of June range between 47F and 74F degrees with 65% humidity. If race day conditions fall on the lower to mid-end of that range, they would be optimal for me. It would make tackling this challenge easier and mirror good results I have experienced in similar conditions.

Meet fellow BibRave Pros

It is always a unique experience to have the opportunity to not only meet but also run a marquee event like the Missoula Marathon with other BibRave Pros. We generally interact with one another quite a bit on social media, such as during our weekly Twitter BibChats on Tuesday evenings. However, it is not often that we get to meet face-to-face and run together, as we live literally all over the world, so being able to experience this with a few of them will definitely make it a special weekend for me.

Do the marathon beer run and take brewery tours

According to the Destionation Missoula website, Montana ranks #2 in the nation for craft breweries per capita, and Missoula is clear evidence of that with its share of them right in town.

So I plan to visit at least a couple of them while I'm there, starting with what has become a great tradition of race weekend, the beer run on Friday evening. It is a free and fun social run that starts and ends in downtown Missoula at Caras Park Pavillion, with a party that includes live entertainment and free Big Sky Brewing Company beer for all finishers who are over 21 years of age.

Go fishing

Missoula is well known for its accesibility to outstanding rivers, lakes, and prized trout fishing. Many years ago when I lived in Utah I really got into trout fishing and absolutely loved it, but have not done so in such a long time. I want to take advantage of the opportunity I will have being there and enjoy a day of fishing the day after the race. I feel it will make this not only a memorable trip but also a more relaxing one that will allow me to get away and disconnect from it all as part of my summer break.

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