Friday Beer Run Kicks Off Missoula Marathon Weekend

The organizers of the Missoula Marathon (Run Wild Missoula) not only put on one hell of a great race, they’ve turned the entire marathon weekend into a destination-worthy event.

The fun kicks off on Friday, July 12, at 6:00 p.m. with a Beer Run and Social at the Iron Horse Bar & Grill at 501 N. Higgins.  You’ll have an opportunity to go for a 2.3, 3, or 5 mile run to shake out the legs with runners from around the world. Afterward, stick around for food, beer and plenty of great conversation at the Iron Horse.

Missoula Marathon sponsor Big Sky Brewing Co.‘s beer will be featured, healthful food options will be available straight off the grill, and local band Smoke will provide live music.  Yep, it’s a big damn deal.

The runs will be led by tour guides – I (Alan) will be serving as one – who will point out some fun historical and cultural facts about Missoula along the way. I apologize in advance if my historical and cultural facts tend to be dominated by beer.  (Run/walk/run method runners take note: former Olympian and pioneer of the method, Jeff Galloway, will be taking part in the Beer Run.)

Everyone is welcome to take part in the event whether running or not and the 2.3 mile course is perfect for a walk to take in the sights.

Marathon weekend continues with an Expo and Festival at Caras Park from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.  It also includes the Missoula 5k which begins at 8:00 a.m. on Higgins Ave. and finishes at the Expo.  While Sunday’s Full and Half Marathons are full, there are still spots available for Saturday’s 5k.

Along with race packet pickup at the Expo, you can browse numerous food, beverage and gear vendors while listening to live music.  Again, everyone is welcome whether running or not. Plus, it’s just a very short walk to one of Missoula’s fantastic farmer’s markets, the Clark Fork Market, taking place from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon take off with a shot (literally a canon) at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 14.  All finishers (of age) are treated to a Big Sky Brewing beer.  From experience I can tell you it never tastes better.