Everything perfect except results (about: 2007)|
Don Allen from Thomson, GA (7/16/07)
11-50 previous marathons
| 1 Missoula Marathon
Everything was great except for the results and awards, and in talking to one of the organizers after the race, he assured me that next year they will have the results professionally done. A finish line clock would be nice too.
When I say everything but that was perfect, I mean it. The busses to the start were well marked and on time. The starting line area had good facilities; packet pickup was permitted at the start before the race (something that some of the big races don't allow; tough for us coming from out of town on late flights) and there were plenty of free fluids, bag check, and room to stretch/warm up. The port-a-potty lines were long, but I can't recall being at any marathon where they weren't long. The announcer at the start did a good job of keeping us informed and in good spirits, and the cannon start was an excellent touch.
The route was great. I know some runners will complain about running through the middle of a container factory, but that's something that you don't get to see everyday, and as an engineer I found it a bit interesting. Initially I was a little put off by the profile being mostly uphill, but having run it, you don't notice the grade at all. The one hill was a bit challenging, but it was nice that right before and after the hill there were well-stocked aid stations. And how many races have ONLY one hill? That was the case with this one: once you got past that one hill the rest was virtually flat. ALL of the aid stations had great staffing and supplies when I passed them, and all of the staff were very friendly and helpful, despite the very hot temperatures (near 80F when I finished.)
The local support was excellent as well: and I think much of it had to do with the race staff adequately informing and preparing folks for the race. I have been in several marathons where angry motorists have expressed their frustrations to both police and volunteers when they can't get past the race route. However, the organizers had put up signs along the race route, letting people know that the marathon was coming. The signs seemed to work well, and many of the locals came out to see us. Another nice touch was the folks that put their sprinklers along the route for us to run through; some of them were even out with their garden sprayers hosing us down (if we requested it, and I always did!). Having the shower/sprayer/sprinkler device at the finish area was also great for cooling down; the last couple of miles the heat got pretty intense, even for this Southern boy.
I definitely recommend this race to anyone: even with the heat, it was a great, fun, race, and I bet they'll have the timing/results fixed for next year. This was their first marathon, and my 38th, and they did a great job, considering!