Jul 16, 2013 12:38 PM by Derek Buerkle - KPAX Sports
MISSOULA - Another Missoula Marathon is in the books after the seventh running of the annual race crossed the finish line in downtown on Sunday.
About 5,000 runners took part in either the full 26.2 mile race, or the half-marathon. Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 helped volunteer in one way or another and thousands more came out to cheer on the competitors along the route.
Organizers spent Monday cleaning up the course, and they feel every year gets a little bit easier.
"Now we're just dialing things in. The weather was great. The volunteers were unbelievable. The community support was great like it's always been. And it's hard 24 hours later to think how much better it could have gone. We were pretty lucky," race director Anders Brooker said."
Meanwhile, the event continues to create new fans. Both of Sunday's marathon winners were running the race for the first time, and they both praised the setup after breaking the tape.
"I'll take listening to those irrigation sprinklers over a crowd any day. So you know, those early miles running to the rhythm of an irrigation sprinkler is really peaceful. And then late in the race when you get that support is a great thing too, when you really need that support," men's winner Jason Delaney observed.
"Beautiful course. Just gorgeous. Kind of a digger of a hill at mile 13, but doable. And then just rolling and flat. So lovely, lovely course," added Elizabeth Paddock, who took the women's title.
Brooker also said the cap they put on entrants this year really helped them prepare for the race. Organizers will use the limit again next year, but Brooker says they might raise the number of runners for the race.