MISSOULA, Mont. - On Saturday, the Missoula area's Marathon Weekend kicked off with several events, including a 5-k race in the morning. Roughly 700 runners showed up to the event. The race started and ended in the Higgins Street Bridge area. Many marathon runners used the event to kick off the weekend, but family members, spectators and community members joined in too.
"It was a great thing to do. The scenery was gorgeous, and the help along the way was encouraging. It was just a great way to start your morning," said Great Falls resident Mary Brodock.
Right next to the 5-K's finish line, local vendors got a chance to sell their wares at this week's marathon expo. Many businesses point to the marathon as a major economic boost in Western Montana. The expo is a big part of that.
"The merchandise is just flying out here this morning. It's a great event for Missoula, and I think it's probably one of our biggest economic boosts for the whole year" said Run Wild Missoula member Heidi Heitmann, who helped run the organization's booth at the expo