It seems like once a year, Missoula gets a day where it rains ALL day. This past Sunday was that day. Not to be deterred, Hootenanny 50k and Relay participants came out in force to run through rain, snow and mud. The sun may have been hiding behind dense clouds, but the smiles and laughs from hundreds of runners warmed up the chilly day. Volunteers brought energy to both aid stations and kept fires going to take the edge off the cold. Not to mention they pumped all the runners full of tasty food! At the base area, volunteers, spectators, and runners were treated to live music from Patty Creek Junction to keep the excitement high. Thanks to all who came out and persevered through some tough weather! Congrats everyone and thank you volunteers!
The 50k consisted of three approximately 10-mile loops, with the first loop having an additional mini-loop to get the total distance to a full 31 miles. The course was slightly different from the 2020 course, but times were expected to be very similar. The 50k started at 7am under cloudy, but not yet rainy, skies. Many runners got through most of one lap without getting too too wet. Laps two and three were wet for everyone. Rain poured down in the base area, while big fat snowflakes flew up high. Trail runners are tough cookies though, and smiled their way through the chilly slip n slide of a course. Congrats to all!
Even with a muddy course on a chilly day, the women’s race went out hot. After the first lap, it was clear that multiple women had the potential to better Evie Tate’s 2020 course record of 4:49:26. Coming off her win at the Sentinel Hill Climb, Erin Clark powered through to a new course record at the Hootenanny 50k. Clark ran an incredibly speedy 4:12:06, besting Tate’s 2020 record by a whopping 37 minutes. Keep an eye out for Clark at next month’s Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run! Also under course record were Imogen Ainsworth (2nd place, 4:30:21), Christi Richards (3rd place, 4:46:05), and Reagan Colyer (4th place, 4:46:50). Master’s winner was Renate Bush (8th place overall, 6:04:18). The women’s race saw 34 starters with 28 finishers.
The men’s race shared a similar success to the women’s race, with fast times clocked by many. The top three men came through lap one with less than one minute separating them. Jeff Mogavero pulled ahead on lap two and held on for lap three, establishing a new course record in 3:56:04. He was not the only dip under Jesse Potter’s 2020 course record of 4:42:40. Loren Davis (2nd place, 4:08:55) and Hunter MacHus (3rd place, 4:17:00) both came in under the record, as did the next three finishers (including Potter, who bettered his time by 6 minutes). Master’s winner was Ethan Richards (4th place overall, 4:25:05). The men’s race saw 52 starters with 41 finishers.
The relay took place on the same course as the 50k, with three runners each running one loop of the course. The race started at 8am, just in time for everyone lucky enough to run the first (and longest loop) to get caught in the meat of the snow/rain storm. The trails were freshly muddied by the 50k runners on their first lap and the relayers rejoiced in the sloppy mudfest. Runners stormed the course with tons of energy, excitement, and awesome team names. It was a tight race between the women’s champs and the co-ed champs. Despite covering over 30 miles, co-ed team winner Go Biga or Go Home ran 4:14:56 to narrowly edge out women’s winners Local Bacon Toasted Hazelnuts Mozzarella Maple Chipotle Driz in 4:15:49. That’s one minute!! The Sweaty Singlets placed first for men, covering the 50k course in 3:35:35. Perhaps next year there should be a winner for best team name?!
Photos from Seth Orme available for FREE download on Facebook and from Seth’s website.
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