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Missoula Marathon: Remembering the late Tony Banovich

Tony Banovich
Trisha Drobeck
KPAX Marathon Promo
Posted at 2:09 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 16:14:16-04

MISSOULA - MTN News is continuing our run up to the Missoula Marathon this week by talking about former race director Tony Banovich.

He was an inspiration to the running community — even encouraging people who had never even considered running a full or half marathon to give it a try. So, when he died in his sleep in October of 2020, he left behind a legacy to the sport he loved.

Banovich made it seem like running in something as big as the Missoula Marathon was something anyone could accomplish. You didn’t have to be the fastest or the fittest to be a part of this community. He had the kind of energy that makes you believe you can do it.

Tony Banovich
Former Missoula Marathon Race Director Tony Banovich died in his sleep in October of 2020, he left behind a legacy to the sport he loved.

"Tony was a pillar of our running community. He definitely brought this race to a pretty solid level of professionalism,” recalled Missoula Marathon Race Director Trisha Drobeck.

Back in 2010, Tony was diagnosed with viral Cardiomyopathy and nine years later, doctors told him he needed a heart transplant. But he died before it could happen.

Banovich was named the executive director of Run Wild Missoula in 2015, which also made him the race director for the Missoula Marathon. It quickly became one of the best marathons in the country.

That's why this weekend — as runners gather for the Missoula Marathon for the first time in two years — no doubt many will remember Banovich greeting the winners at the finish line with a smile and a pat on the back, after a job well done, no matter how long it took to get there.

Trisha Drobeck
Missoula Marathon Race Director Trisha Drobeck

“I think of him a lot. I knew Tony pretty well. He was a big supporter of my running endeavors,” Drobeck said. “It’s weird, I mean, it will be weird not to see him on the bridge next weekend. It will just feel weird.”

We will have full coverage of the Missoula Marathon on the CW and the KPAX Streaming App starting at 8 a.m. Sunday. From the start in Frenchtown to the finish line downtown, KPAX has team coverage. The winners, the highlights, and more — all available to you Sunday!

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Missoula Marathon race director Tony Banovich passes away