MISSOULA – It started out as an experiment, but race organizers say things are falling into place for Missoula Marathon weekend, which this year is two weeks earlier than normal.
It’s Missoula Marathon weekend is here and so are the thousands of people the event brings to the Garden City.
“We will probably run about 10,000 people through Caras Park over the weekend with the participants and families and friends…and they all go and hang out in Missoula for the rest of the day,” race director Tony Banovich said. “Those added people contribute a lot to Missoula’s economy, especially around downtown.
“This year the marathon is two weeks earlier which might actually help one downtown industry. There were some minor conflicts but nothing big and everybody has been able to make that work. Actually on some of the sites like the hotel use, at least anecdotally,” Banovich added.
“What we have been told is that this late June is a little bit quieter of time as we are before the 4th of July and it actually helps them fill blocks of rooms that might not have full occupancy,” he concluded.
Officials estimate that the marathon brings in around $2 million over the weekend and businesses around the
city look forward to race weekend.
“When I go in and talk to people — whatever the business is — everybody seems to be excited about it. Everybody says ‘we love the marathon, it’s so great for us. We love what it’s about.’ We’ve had this
incredibly receptive business community and I think that’s a big part of why we have been ranked the number
one marathon the past two years,” Banovich said.
It’s an event that the main sponsor — Consumer Direct Care Network — is very proud to be a part of.
“We’re proud of what the marathon brings to the city so…we like to have our name up there with the Missoula
Marathon. It gives you a good feeling to see your company’s name apart of this weekend,” Consumer Direct Care Network President and CEO Ben Bledsoe said.
In addition to improving community logistics, race organizers say the earlier date helps avoid air quality issues related to fire season.
KPAX-TV is proud to be the exclusive TV sponsor of the Missoula Marathon. We’ll bring ytu live finish-line
coverage on the day of the big race, which is Sunday. We’ll also have a live broadcast on the CW from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.