BILLINGS – The Montana Warrior Run provides a challenging, difficult run and a chance to think about the men and women who have served in the military.
The event, held on Saturday, featured the 8.5-mile warrior run and a shorter 5-K course and uses part of the Billings Trail System. The man who started the run says he was inspired after working with veterans who also help with the race.
"I’m constantly amazed at the number of veterans who have served that come and thank me,” said Russ Palmer, founder and race director. “And it’s just very humbling and I have so much gratitude for these guys that come out.”
In both races, the runners start with a yellow ribbon to honor a veteran or emergency responder. Halfway through the race, they place it on the post at Yellowstone Kelly’s grave site.
“They’ve all got somebody that they’re running for," Palmer said.
"It’s kind of a visual of how many people serve our community, serve our community,” said George Blackard, a member of American Legion Post 117. “When they go to put their name up there and they’re at Yellowstone Kelly’s site, it’s kind of ceremonious."
The Montana Warrior Run is the biggest fundraiser for American Legion Post 117. The plan for next year is to change the date of the event and hold Montana Warrior Run during Memorial Day Weekend.