More than 500 ran in 40th annual Montana Marathon and half marathon, with COVID-19 safety measures and healthy air for the first time in several days.
The race started at the Molt Community Center and finished on 3rd Street West outside Daylis Stadium.
Patrick Hutton from San Diego was the first man to cross the finish line with a time of 2:31:48.07.
"I’m a U of M Griz," Hutton said. "Went to University of Montana and I knew back in day what course record was. I know that it was 2:32. I ran a 2:31, so I got it I think by a minute or so.”
The first woman finished in 2:55:09.99.
"It was great," said Sworupa Khadka, who is from Kathmandu, Nepal and now lives in New York. "I’m just grateful that Montana, that the YMCA was able to put the event together.
Mile markers on the course let runners know how far they had gone on their 26.2 mile run.
“They did a great job with the mile markers," Hutton said. "Credit to Montana Marathon. This event they put on was spectacular.”
"It’s kind of nice," YMCA C.E.O. Kim Kaiser said about the mile markers. "The runners love it. You see a mile away and you’re like I’m almost there. “
Kaiser said this is one of the few marathons held in the country this year.
"We really wanted to make it a bang here on our 40th," Kaiser said. "And I think the more important thing is we’re all looking for a sense of normalcy in a time that’s not normal.”
The runners talked about COVID and training.
“Training went well," Hutton said. "I was putting in a solid hundred mile back to back to back weeks.”
“I wasn’t putting myself into the proper marathon training," Sworupa said.
"COVID helped with my training," said Josh Bashioum from Chicago. "Silver lining for me is I didn’t have to commute to work anymore. So that was an extra hour or so a day I could commit to running."
Bashioum finished in 2:50:08.02.
"Went well." Bashioum said. "Came in second overall, which I’m very happy about. I ran a Boston Marathon qualifying time, which was the main goal for me.”
"Going to Yellowstone and I have some friends over here," Sworupa said. "So it’s been great.”
“Just happy to be out here," Hutton said.
“My wife and baby joined from Chicago,"Bashioum said. "My parents came in from Pennsylvania. Now we’re going to see my brothers in Helena. So pretty special trip.”
Kaiser said the marathon is the Y's only fundraising event.
Some of the money raised also goes to the volunteer groups that help with the race.
Race results are available online.