The Missoula Marathon is less than two weeks away and summer trail running ultras are sending Missoula runners to races near and far. The Missoula Marathon training class began in March and the runners who were able to stick with the training program will be rewarded with a trip to the start line on July 13th.

Standing on the starting line of any race is a privilege. Day after day, week after week, and month after month you tracked your mileage, pace, nutrition, and cross training. The hours we spend training for and preparing for a race can be likened to a part-time job!

But what about the behind the scenes reasons you will be toeing the start line on July 13th? Without our families, friends, training partners, and coaches/mentors none of us would be nearly as successful in reaching the start line. Our support network and the incredible Missoula running community not only enables us to start the race, but is there in full force when we cross the finish line. I was reminded of this fact two weekends ago in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. I surprised to see such a large group of Missoulians present racing and crewing. The finish line felt like a homecoming complete with the Run Wild Missoula tent and high-fives down the finishing stretch.

Thank your running support network before you line up for the Missoula Marathon or your next trail running ultra. Remember how fortunate you are to be at the start line. If for some reason you will not be able to start the race (due to injury or otherwise), use the set back as motivation to go back to the drawing board and return next year. I wish each and every Missoula runner success in the month of July and beyond!

John Fiore, PT
Sapphire Physical Therapy