MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | 2016 RWM Award Winners

Congratulations to all the 2016 award winners. Following are some of the comments we received about each award recipient, and their own answer to a question we posed to accompany this article.

Male Runner of the Year | Jesse Carnes

Jesse_CarnesDescribed as one of the most enthusiastic racers in town, Jesse loves all aspects of running. Sometimes its about the speed, and sometimes its about the combination of speed, love for running, and participation in the sport. He will race anything, and always has a smile on his face regardless of how deep in the pain cave he is.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

I cannot pinpoint when I became a runner; I have thought of myself as a runner as long as I can remember. In the broadest sense, that is why I run: because it is who I am. In recent years, though, I have become aware of more specific reasons. In addition to helping build friendships, it helps me affect positive change in my community. The more people value being outside and being active, the more inspired they will be to protect the environment, public land access, and the overall health of the people who surround them. I hope that my ability to inspire people through running helps to promote those values, which I hold dear.

Female Runner of the Year | Miranda Ming

Kelsi_And_MirandaMiranda, and her Beginning Running 101 instructors (Kelsi Camp & Spring Mills), have been described as the best thing to happen to Missoulas new runner community. Without Mirandas encouraging spirit, many runners report they wouldnt be the runners they are today. She makes the sport less intimidating, and is a great ambassador of the running club. Lastly, she always has a smile and welcoming attitude at Run Wild Missoula events.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

I run because it brings a sense of peace to my life.  Whether it’s a run alone to clear my mind and enjoy the scenery or with friends for fun, it’s always time well spent.  You almost always feel better after a run.

Male Masters Runner of the Year | Dick Everett


A great example of pursuing excellence regardless of age, Dick always speaks encouraging words to fellow runners even while hes running. In fact, one person noted they specifically look for Dick at their own races to help them get through the tough miles. Altruistic by nature, Dick generously volunteers his time at various Run Wild Missoula events throughout the year when hes not running.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

I run, walk, walk the dog, and hike as a great way to get out and see what is happening in Missoula, and other venues. Running is an activity that I share with my wife Chris. I run for the health benefits. 




Female Masters Runner of the Year | Tammy Mocabee & Sue Falsey

Tammy Mocabee

TammyTammy inspires runners of all abilities, and especially new runners who often seek out her advice and encouragement. A constant within the running community, she competes in distances from 5Ks to full marathons, and is known to travel for a good race both within Montanas borders and to other states. A year round runner, Tammy ensures a good balance between running and spending time with her family.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

There are many reasons I like to run. I initially started running as part of a boot-camp class. It was a way to get in shape but it soon became a lot more. As I started participating in races and local events, I met an amazing group of friends and it soon became as much about socializing as it was about running. I love the solitude of running alone some days, but other days I prefer to head out on a lunchtime or early morning run and share time and stories with friends. Sometimes I like to run slow and easy and sometimes I like to challenge myself and really push. I have fun traveling to races as well as going on an adventure for a fun run.

Sue Falsey

An active and positive presence in the Run Wild Missoula community, Sue always has an encouraging word for other runners. Whether its at the Missoula Marathon Training Class or at various races around town, she effortlessly SueFalseymanages to put a smile on peoples faces. Sue also inspires those around her by living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

Why do I run?  For friendship, for energy, for sanity.  Bonne Bell was my first race, back in late 1970’s.  I ran with a buddy, Judy, for 21 years in Washington DC.  Met Brad, my husband, on the streets in DC, we’ve been married for almost 30 years.  Still running and racing, from one milers to half marathons.  I enjoy the company, the competition, the sun and sleet and snow.  



Male Trail/Ultra Runner of the Year | Forrest Boughner

Forrest_BoughnerPositive, kind, welcoming, and a great ambassador for the sport, Forrest has been actively engaged in both trail and ultra running on numerous levels. He makes people feel that they belong on the trails and within the trail community regardless of their ability and/or pace. His name is at the top of the list for every known Strava segment near Missoula, pushing distances hes raced and winning. Finally, Forrest works hard to always bring support to the running community, and has a passion for exploring new places.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

This year I was fortunate enough to organize the intermediate/advanced trail running classes through Run Wild Missoula and the Runner’s Edge. We had two great groups of people, who despite some suffering on the trails, had a blast and got a lot faster at the same time. 

There are a lot of reasons why I love trail running, but I think for me the biggest thing is the fun factor. I enjoy the sensation of flying through the trees or over scree fields and having to work with the terrain to obtain maximum velocity. Running on the edge of control on technical terrain requires intense, in the moment focus that creates a positive adrenaline rush; as long as you stay upright. I love that feeling!

Female Trail/Ultra Runner of the Year | Kelsi Camp

Kelsi_And_MirandaAnother encouraging Run Wild Missoula community member, Kelsi loves trail running and does so with a dominance youd not know about unless you followed her performances. Described as a humble runner both on trails and roads, she welcomes runners of all abilities encouraging them to accomplish whatever they set their mind towards. She volunteers her time to help new runners join the sport leading the Beginning Running classes (with Miranda Ming and Spring Mills) each fall.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

I used to run for the race shirts but now I have way too many shirts, so I run for the vitality of it, and to prove to myself that I can.

BOPer or Walker of the Year | Connie Chestnutt

Connie_ChestnuttLeading the Back of the Pack (BOP) trail running classes for the last few years, Connie has introduced many a new trail runner to the sport. Not only have new and BOP runners had an opportunity to explore the many trails around Missoula due to Connies lead, but theyve also learned trail etiquette and safety along the way. Shes a positive presence within the BOP community and encourages fellow and new runners alike.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

Its still hard for me to believe that Im a runner. Ive received more benefits from starting this sport than I could possibly imagine. Running has taught me that nothing is out-of-reach, and its opened my eyes to opportunities that I never dreamed were possible. I may not be as fast as Id like, but I never quit trying. Running (and hiking) give me a strong and healthy body, and mentally provides a great stress relief when needed. Those first few steps out the door can be the hardest, but I always feel so much better afterwards. Lastly, the friendships Ive made over the last seven years are the cherry on the top!

Inspirational Runner of the Year | Roger Lewis; Micheal Lee

Roger Lewis


A gentleman whos overcome a life threatening illness and powered through beyond recovery with a zeal for life that is flat out inspirational, Roger has earned the title super heroby many within the running and walking community. Participating in The Rut 28K this year, and logging a whopping 1,600 miles last year, he continues to challenge himself daily, inspiring others with his tenacity, hard work and giving spirit. He continues to get out there piling up the miles, challenging himself each day, all the while smiling and creating opportunities for others to do the same.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

I/we RWR because others can’t, won’t or don’t (mantra). Amy and I remain amazed at how becoming part of Missoulas running community changed our lives and in all probability saved my life.  We both thank all of you for all you do to promote running, walking, hiking and moving.  This would not be possible without the support from Runners Edge, Run Wild Missoula, all the sponsors and last, but not least, all of us that will never win an event but we signed up and gave it nothing less than our best.

Michael Lee

Michael_LeeMichael is a positive light within the Run Wild Missoula family. He inspires runners of all ages and abilities, and makes them feel as if only their run matters, even when he might not be feeling his best. Its just in his nature. During the Beginning Running 101 class last fall, he was determined to learn every class membersname and would speed up and/or slow down to run along side and get to know them. The most epic running story teller ever,a fellow classmate said.

Why do you run, walk, and/or hike?

Primarily I run for the health of it. I have a long family history of cardio vascular disease and physical fitness has been a lifetime goal for me to fight off the genetics. I run for so many other reasons, though. Staying fit has allowed me to accomplish things that a lifetime couch potato never could including seeing things that are only possibly when on foot. Additionally, I have made so many lifelong friends through running and training together.

Thankfully, I love running! No matter how difficult a run/race might have been, I never thought that I wouldnt do it again. Im always anxious to get out again and challenge myself to do better. Just keep going, one foot in front of the other. I have experienced bad days while running, and thankfully my running buddies helped me get through them. This is something I try to pay forward. Whenever I see someone struggling while running, I stay with them knowing that its easier to get through a tough day when youve got company. I hope to encourage them not to give up because running isnt just about running. It transfers to so many aspects of your life.accomplishing things you never dreamed of, self-discipline and motivation of yourself, and others around you.

Volunteer of the Year | Thurston Elfstrom; Tim & Carol Brooker

Thurston Elfstrom

Thurston_ElfstromIf youve ever participated or supported the Diva Day runners, youve seen the finely dressed course marshals organized for the last five years by none other than Thurston Elfstrom. Yes, some of them are in tuxedos! Or perhaps youve noticed the improvements at the Missoula Marathon Expo over the last couple of years including moving the Friday afternoon Beer Run to Caras Park? Again, think Thurston. This gentleman volunteers countless hours to the running community and is always looking for a way to enhance the overall experience for his fellow runners.

What motivates you to give back to the running community?

When my wife, Suzanne, and I moved to Missoula in 2008, we didnt know anyone in town. Run Wild Missoula gave us an amazing opportunity to change that. Some of our closest friends are people we met at different RWM events and programs marathon training class, beer runs, races, weve always so enjoyed the inclusiveness of the club.

I guess thats why I like to volunteer. I get to enjoy the friendship and camaraderie of all the great people in RWM and it’s just fun and exciting to help put on events that are so near and dear to my heart.  I love not only being healthy, but helping others to do so, all while having a blast, cheering people on and supporting such an incredible organization!

Tim & Carol Brooker

TimCarolBrookerTogether with their son Anders (Runners Edge), Tim and Carol Brooker have been a driving force in building Missoulas running community, but youd never know it by talking to them. Kind, humble and generous of heart, these two dedicate so much of their free time to the running community and helping out wherever needed: coordinating and supporting races, handing out finisher medals, or cooking a mean breakfast for the Missoula Marathon training class each Sunday. While asking for nothing in return, they generously dedicate untold hours to serving Missoula’s runners and walkers alike.

What motivates you to give back to the running community?

Its such an easy thing to do. Helping people that are so positive and having fun. I’m lucky to be able to be around such great people. – Tim Brooker

The running community is easy to love. Folks are positive, friendly and care about improving their lives and health. Volunteering for the running community has many rewards for me. I love to cook and runners LOVE to eat. I dont run but love to surround myself by runners; it gives me a sense of purpose. I receive much more than I give. Thanks to each and every one of you. Be Happy. – Carol Brooker

Race Director of the Year | Courtney Babcock, Turkey Day 8K & 3K Family Fun Run

It is our pleasure to recognize Courtney Babcock for her countless contributions to Run Wild Missoula, but specifically for launching the Turkey Day 8K & 3K Family Fun Run many years ago. While only 100 runners participated in the inaugural race, it grew to over 1,000 participates (2015) under her tutelage. It has become one of the largest attended local races, bringing together families and friends on Thanksgiving Day as a way to stay fit, active and healthy.