Missoula Marathon draws new 'Elite' class of runners


Missoula Marathon draws new 'Elite' class of runners

MISSOULA, Mont. - Excellent support is a trademark for the Missoula Marathon weekend. On Saturday, there were people competing in the 5k race. It was sold out, having 1,000 participants.

NBC Montana talked with the Race Director Anders Brooker, and he says almost everything's moving along as planned.

They are still short on volunteers. He's working to recruit some last minute course monitors.

On Saturday, NBC Montana checked in with some elite runners to see how they are preparing for Sunday's race. It will be even hotter on Sunday, than it was on Saturday.

It doesn't seem to faze one elite runner, who came all the way from Oklahoma City to compete.

"I'm used to the heat. So this actually feels pretty good to me," said elite runner Camille Herron.

Herron is one of the top marathon runners in the country for women, finishing 26th at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trial.

She says she's had the focus on the Missoula Marathon for more than a month.

"I actually ran the Comrades Ultra Marathon about 6 weeks ago which is 89 kilometers," said Herron.

She picked up her race bag and bib number on Saturday, which are essentials for a very ambitious goal.

"I'm trying to win a marathon in every state and so far, I've won a marathon in 10 different states," said Herron.

Herron isn't the only person with big expectations this weekend. A new program this year brought in 15 elite runners for the 5k and 15 for the marathon.

For another elite runner, Matt Flaherty, two a days are the norm,"80 to 100 miles a week and some different workouts. A lot of trail running, you know weekly long run," said Flaherty.

Flaherty ran in the Boston marathon this year and came in 32nd overall, with a time of 2:21 of his personal best in a marathon. He hopes he can break the course record at the Missoula Marathon.

"2:26;10, I think is the record so I'll be shooting for that pace range and see how the competition shakes out," said Flaherty.

The elite race coordinator says good course conditions are essential. "They're going to expect a flat, fast course with perfect temperatures," said Tim Mosbacher.

"It's going to be tough. There's some really good guys out there. I'm excited for the competition," said Flaherty.

The starting gun for the half and full marathon fires at 6 a.m. on Sunday. Click here to learn more about Sunday's race.

More Stories