MISSOULA - For Roman Mamonov running in marathons is a lot like the process he went through to get his U.S citizenship.
Originally from Russia and coming to the states nearly 10 years ago, the process hasn’t quite been a spirit, which is why he’s lacing up his shoes to run in the Missoula Marathon to celebrate. He started running marathons as a way to challenge himself, with a goal of running a race in every state. The Missoula Marathon is his next stop.
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Seeking asylum from Russia, he came to the states and applied for citizenship. It's a process that he says is very similar to running a marathon — with lots of time, effort, mental strength, pain and joy that comes along with it. The only difference is the finish line.
“What I will say is different is the finish line the marathon is absolutely just so mind-boggling excitement," said Mamonov. "[The] oath ceremony is very formal official and kind of boring. The real excitement actually just like waves over you the moment you actually leaving the federal building, you see all the people around you because it's usually like 25 or 30 people with you. And everybody's smiling, chatting, helping each other to make a picture. And that's when you've ever realized like, ‘yeah, I finished my marathon. ten years of waiting and paying taxes and doing my civic duty duties’ and yes, building your life.”
You can cheer Roman and other runners on June 26 starting at 6 a.m.
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!