Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 Bozeman (MT) Marathon Race Report and Video

Here is Holly's Bozeman (Montana) Marathon Report with video and comments from Dave:

I chose the Bozeman race because it was a good time of year (September) and it was close to Yellowstone so we could make a return trip to see the things we missed from our trip last year. Unfortunately they moved the race up a week so we were just going to be back from a Disney World trip and then head to Bozeman. Not ideal for running a marathon.

We got into Bozeman the day before the race (Dave will handle the pre race activities). Our friends Jan, Mike, and Michael arrived early and picked up my race packet.

The race started at 7am and they said everyone had to take a shuttle to the start. The shuttle left at 5:45am so we had an early wake up. Michael and I were running this one together. Stan and Pam were to join us but they had a family emergency and had to cancel. We missed them both dearly. Dave was nice and got up and drove us to the shuttle pick up point. Michael and I got on the bus and we drove out to the middle of nowhere.

We were dropped off in the middle of an un-mowed field with 5 port of potties and a small tent. We immediately got in line for the bathroom and then went to huddle in the tent because it was actually chilly. Dave made his way to the start even though they said spectators couldn’t get there. He did park right by the starting van and Michael and I laughed at him trying to move. We finally started after one more visit to the bathroom.

It was a beautiful morning and we saw a group of elk running in the distance. We were enjoying the morning and feeling good. We ran through the one and only town on the course around mile 5.5 and saw Dave.

It was shortly after this that I started thinking that my legs felt dead. I said this to Michael and figured he would say it’s in my head. No such luck. He said his were too and was wondering what was going on. We were in trouble. I’m not sure if it was the heat, altitude, tired legs from Disney or a combination of all of the above.

We kept seeing Dave and he kept giving us drinks and salty chips. I know it was warm. We both didn’t have many gels at all. I only had 3 and I think Michael had 2 for the whole marathon. Very unusual and not good! At the halfway point we ran into some women walking their dogs. They asked us what we were doing. I said we were running a marathon. The one woman asked where it ended and I said downtown Bozeman. She said, woah, that’s really far from here. Thanks Lady! We got to Mile 16 and we agreed to drop our running ratio to 1:1. That helped tremendously, that and the fact that it was all pretty much downhill from there. It was REALLY getting warm. We were running through Montana's wide-open spaces with zero shade and a smoky haze from the wildfires in the area.

We finally make it to downtown and I have to say I was pretty disappointed in all the people that were having lunch along the finish line. Not many cheers and most not even looking. It was not the usual finish. The race announcers did a great job of calling us in though and it was a sweet medal! I’m not sure I would recommend this one due to the challenging course and the weather can be unpredictable. It actually snowed the following weekend.

Here's the video

Dave's Comments

Hooray for friends arriving early and getting to skip the expo! After landing we met up with the others (who enjoyed a morning hike) at lunch. Starky's had some great food, decent local beers on tap, and baked goods too! We enjoyed downtown Bozeman and wish we had more time to explore its shops and other eating / drinking establishments. After lunch we visited White Dog Brewing's beer side and wished some folks didn't have a race so we could have visited their distilling sister business next door. We stopped into the NU2U! pawn store on the way back to the hotel. It was massive! It did not live up to its square footage. Later that night we had dinner at Pizza Campania - a comfy newer space not too far from our hotel. The food was excellent. A few of us wanted a dessert so we went to The Chocolate Moose in town. Holly picked up some of their in-house made salt water taffy and Dave ordered a single serving cone of two flavors. It was like they stuck a pint of Ben and Jerry's on a cone. Even more absurd was the low price of $2.50 for the cone.

Race day was long. After driving Michael and Holly to the bus I went back to the room to shower, grab a few items from the hotel buffet, and illegally made my way to the start line. Where the hell were we? This was the middle of nowhere. I didn't follow the course at this point because the runners were so compacted. I took gravel roads back to the 5.5 mile point, and the last time I'd see a business (like gas or food) until mile 25-point-something. The course was pretty at times, but mostly a bore fest. I tried to entertain runners by blaring Hanson from the rental - didn't work. Given Holly and Michael were having a tough day I made frequent stops to keep them engaged and fueled. Back in town I scored great parking by the finish line and enjoyed local beer while sitting in a bar's windowsill. Best finish line ever.

After the race Holly was able to get a shower at our hotel, then we took off on the 90 minute ride to Yellowstone with a stop at Arby's in Livingston to pick up some lunch.


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