The Runner’s Edge Halloween Scavenger Haunt is BACK!

This spooky scavenger hunt is a celebration of local businesses, great costumes, our awesome community, and Halloween of course!

Meet at the Dram Shop at 6:00pm on Friday the 29th ready to run/walk around Missoula in your best costume. We’ll give everyone a list of riddles. Solve the riddles as an individual or team, then head off to collect stickers at participating downtown businesses! Each sticker = one raffle ticket. There farther the business is from the Dram Shop, the more stickers you get! Expect to run/walk between 1 and 5 miles, depending on your route choice and the number of businesses you visit. Be sure to be back by 7:30 to get your raffle tickets!

Be sure to wear a costume – if you do, we’ll buy your first drink at the Dram Shop!


Of course there are prizes! We will give out awards for best costumes for individuals and best costumes for teams, in addition to raffle prizes.


Who: You! This is a family friendly event 🙂
What: Halloween scavenger hunt around Missoula
When: 6pm-8pm on October 29th
Where: The Dram Shop (downtown location)


Foot Anatomy

By: John Fiore, PT

As runners, our feet take a beating.  The human foot is designed with locomotion in mind. Healthy foot function hinges on a balance of mobility, strength, and support. When one of these three necessary components is compromised, injury risk increases. 

Foot Anatomy

Foot Anatomy

The foot is complex!

Understanding the foot and how to avoid a few common foot injuries will enable runners to run with confidence.  The human foot contains 26 bones and nearly 100 joint surfaces.  In addition, our feet absorb 2.5 to 5.0 times our body weight with each foot strike. The bones of the foot form three distinct structural and functional units.  The rear foot is made up of the large calcaneus and talus.  The rear foot is designed for weight bearing and articulates with the lower leg bones (tibia, fibula).  The mid foot is made up of the navicular, talus, and cuneiform bones.  The mid foot has a dual role.  It absorbs shock during weight bearing and forms the stability we rely on (the arch) when pushing off to initiate the next step.  The fore foot is made up of the five metatarsal bones and 14 bones in our toes (phalanges) and plays a role in terrain adaptation and balance. 

Foot Mobility

Foot mobility creates shock absorption and terrain adaptation. During the walking and running stride, foot function changes from one of shock absorption to one of propulsion which means the foot must stiffen to lift our body weight against gravity for the next step or stride. Foot stiffness during all phases walking or running greatly increases the impact through the joints of the foot. Mobilizing the foot by rolling over a small ball or self -massage is a simple way to insure foot mobility.

Foot Strength

Calf Strengthening

A calf strengthening program. Photo:

The bottom of our feet has four layers of muscles (called intrinsic foot muscles) which support the arch and provide dexterity to our toes. The lower leg muscles control the function and support of our ankle and feet collectively. 

The calf muscle group (gastric-soleus), for example, is crucial for propulsion and Achilles tendon health. 

A progressive calf loading program tailored to your abilities and goals is a great place to start. A 31% reduction in calf muscle strength naturally occurs between the ages of 20 and 60 (DeVita, et al 2016), making lower leg, Achilles, and foot injuries more prevalent in runners over the age of 40. Strengthening the medial and lateral ankle (tibialis posterior, fibularis musculature) is important as well to improve ankle stability. It is important to have a physical therapist evaluate your unique foot and ankle function (strength, range of motion, joint mobility, tissue tension) in order to create a strengthening-loading program which is right for you.

Foot Support

Strong, mobile feet equal healthy feet with adequate support for running. Many of us, however, have feet which are less than ideal either due to genetics (thanks for the bunions Grandma), prior injury, or surgery history.

In some cases, therefore, the use of an insole or custom orthotic may be needed to support the foot and ankle. A custom orthotic is a medical device with the goal of placing the foot and ankle in a neutral position. Activity goals, prior injury and medical history is factored into the design of each pair of custom orthotics. Sapphire Physical Therapy makes custom orthotics on-site using the Amfit system which allows for an accurate, custom fit. Orthotic materials (based on activity, medical history, foot type) range from soft to semi-rigid carbon fiber and everything in between. Watch for our October orthotic special (20% off all orthotics) or contact John Fiore ( or see our website to find out more about custom orthotic options or to discuss a foot-ankle strengthening program to keep you running strong. 


DeVita P, Fellin RE, Seay JF. The relationship between age and running biomechanics. Med & Sci Sports & Exerc. 2016; 48 (1): 98-196.

McKean KA, Manson NA, Stanish WD. Musculoskeletal injury in the masters runners. Clin J Sport Med. 2006; 16 (2): 149–54.

Blue Mountain 30k Start

By Adam Peterman

The Blue Mountain 30k went off with surprisingly great weather last week! Smoky skies on Saturday were pushed out by a front that brought rain and wind on Saturday night. Fortunately for us, the forecasted rain for Sunday didn’t come to fruition, and runners enjoyed perfect weather for running. Temperatures stayed in the 50’s all morning and the clouds were spectacular.


Chris Hurd after breaking the course record!

It was a year for fast times on this 10-year old course! Chris Hurd, a student at the University of Montana, took advantage of the great conditions and decided to push the pace early one. Chris tackled the first climb impressively fast, running no slower than 8 minute per mile pace up to the first aid station. Chris said after the first hour, it was “the worst my body has ever felt. Cramping and blurry vision for the last 10 miles. I didn’t know what was happening but kept grinding.” Luckily for Chris, the fast pace early on saved him enough time to come away with a new course record of 2:06:59. Chris shaved nearly three minutes off Tyson Warner’s old course record of 2:09:56 from 2011!

The women’s race matched the men’s with speedy times. Shayna Barbash of Missoula took the win with a time of 2:28:15. That gives her the fourth fastest time in a decade of racing at Blue Mountain. Shayna said she used this race as a tune up for an upcoming road marathon that she is training for. Hopefully this quick Blue Mountain run pays off in your marathon!

Full results from the race can be found here.


Runners at the start of the Blue Mountain 30k

The Blue Mountain 30k was the first race that Runner’s Edge Events ever hosted back in 2010. During its 12-year history, the race has always been a fundraiser for the Hellgate High School Cross Country Team. This year was no exception, and the Knights were out in full force crewing the aid stations during the race (although their coaches will note that the team’s aid station music choice may be questionable at times). We hope that having Hellgate out there brought a smile to your face and made you feel a little lighter on your feet!

Thank you volunteers and sponsors!

Congratulations to all the runners for joining in on this year’s Blue Mountain 30k! We also owe a big thank you to our sponsors and volunteers. Our volunteers did a wonderful job running packet pick up, race day food, course marshalling, and the aid stations. These races would not be possible without you!

As for our sponsors, we had Hammer Nutrition keeping everyone fueled during the race, Sapphire Physical Therapy giving out post-race massages (and John from Sapphire out there pre-running the course at 5:00am!), post-race beverages from Big Sky Brewery, and ice cream from Big Dipper. Additionally, thank you to Scariano Construction for their continued support of this event.

Location of shin splints pain

By: Evie Tate, PT, DPT

Shin splints, more formerly known as “medial tibial stress syndrome”, is a common overuse injury seen in runners. It is characterized by pain along the inside of the shin (tibia), typically in the area closer to your ankle, that can be present in one or both legs. Here are some ways you can directly address risk factors associated with shin splints.

Improve your calf muscle endurance (specifically plantarflexors)

Studies have shown that poor plantarflexor is associated with increased risk of developing shin splints.1 The plantarflexors are the muscles that you use doing a heel raise. Try doing heel raises to strengthen your plantarflexors and help keep shin splints at bay. Goal number: 25 single leg heel raises (1).

Evie demonstrating weighted single leg calf raises

Rest days

Shin splints are considered an over-use injury (2). When you are training, make sure you are utilizing rest days and/or low-impact cross training (swimming, biking) activities. When our training exceeds what our muscles and bones can tolerate, we develop overuse injuries. The best way to combat these injuries is by giving our body the rest it needs. If you are finding that you are not sleeping as much, have increased your activity levels dramatically and/or are feeling more fatigued during your runs than what is normal, don’t be afraid to take a rest day. One day of rest will sometimes far exceed the benefits of going for a run when fatigued! 


If you have shin splints, one thing you can try is using an orthotic.  While they don’t work for everyone, orthotics may help reduce your pain if you have developed shin splints (3). The best way to see if orthotics work for you is to simply try on a pair, walk around and if they feel good, they may help you! 

If you are battling shin pain, talk to your physical therapist to develop the strategy that will best suit you and your specific needs. 


1 Madeley LT, Munteanu SE, Bonanno DR. Endurance of the ankle joint plantar flexor muscles in athletes with medial tibial stress syndrome: A case-control study. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2007;10(6):356-362. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2006.12.115 

2 KORTEBEIN, PATRICK M.; KAUFMAN, KENTON R.; BASFORD, JEFFREY R.; STUART, MICHAEL J. Medial tibial stress syndrome, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 2000 – Volume 32 – Issue – p S27-S33

3 Moen, M.H., Tol, J.L., Weir, A. et al. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. Sports Med 39, 523–546 (2009).