COVID Updates – 2021

March 4, 2021

After careful consideration, the 2021 Missoula Marathon weekend of events will shift to a fully virtual event that will be held in late June.

Through fall and winter, Run Wild Missoula staff worked with the Missoula Marathon Medical Director, Missoula Marathon Race Committee, Run Wild Missoula Board of Directors, and the Missoula City-County Health Department to plan for a COVID-modified, in-person event. However, due to the current state of the pandemic, new variants of COVID-19 in the United States, and the timing of vaccine distribution in both Missoula and locations where participants will be traveling from, it has become clear that safely holding a mass-participation, in-person event in June will not be possible. 

“When we opened registration in October, we were cautiously optimistic that we would be able to return to large in-person events, and welcome participants from all 50 states and around the world for our 15th annual marathon weekend,” Race Director Ashley Cossairt said. “As much as we want to see runners crossing the finish line in downtown Missoula and celebrating their accomplishment after a difficult year, we have come to realize that the time still isn’t right.”

“While we are extremely proud of our ability to attract participants from far and wide to our event, we must acknowledge the impact that could have on COVID-19 transmissions,” Cossairt added. “We know marathon weekend brings thousands of people to downtown Missoula and is a significant draw for local hotels, restaurants, breweries, retailers, and other small businesses. However, the medical support staff we rely on will still be very busy serving our community in a significant way by providing treatment and vaccinations, and it would clearly be irresponsible for us to put our community at risk by hosting an event with this type of reach.”

The Missoula Marathon has become emblematic of fellowship – it’s a celebration of the connection between runners through our sport, our admiration of each other as athletes, and our appreciation of the community that hosts and fosters the event,” said Dr. Rob Amrine, the Missoula Marathon Medical Director. “Unfortunately, the protocols that we would require to ensure your safety, our volunteers’ safety, and the safety of our city would only deflate the celebration that makes the Missoula Marathon such a treasured event.”

Catherine Redfern, Run Wild Missoula Board President, added, “This decision was not one we, as an organization, made lightly. However, after taking into account the risk factors, we believe cancelling this year’s in-person event is the best decision for our race participants and the Missoula community.”

The Missoula Marathon, which takes place annually on the last weekend in June, consists of a Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K, Kids Marathon, Beer Run and Runner Expo. 

All 2021 Missoula Marathon registrants have been notified of the change in plans by email and will be provided one week to request a refund or move to a virtual event at no additional cost. Deferrals to 2022 are not available.

“As part of the virtual event, we are delighted to send Missoula to participants with an innovative Runner Box to make their race experience as fun and interactive as possible,” Cossairt said. “We hope that by sending a little bit of Missoula to them in 2021, they’ll be excited to experience all of Missoula in 2022.”

The Virtual Missoula Marathon Experience will include:

  •     A custom Runner Box delivered to your door with Missoula- and Montana-specific goodies.
  •     In-person pick up option for local residents.
  •     Discounted registration for 2022.

To learn more about the 2021 Virtual Missoula Marathon Experience, visit our website.

February 12, 2021

On February 12th, Governor Gianforte announced a Directive eliminating the State wide mask mandate. However, Missoula County is retaining its mask mandate and Run Wild Missoula will be adhering to the county mandates.

  • Click HERE for the State’s mandate by Governor Gianforte
  • Click HERE for the Missoula City-County Health Department Order
  • Click HERE for Missoula City-County Health Departments Order on Events & Gatherings of more than 25 people

Run Wild Missoula is committed to the safety and well-being of its members, volunteers, staff, and the Missoula community at large.  We will continue to go to the lengths necessary to ensure that we are properly mitigating Coronavirus risks within the context of the Missoula City-County Health Department Orders.

February 5, 2021

In preparation for the 2021 Missoula Marathon weekend of events, our race committee continues to analyze several changing factors to determine appropriate safety measures and potential risks. We are working closely with Missoula City County Health Department and our event Medical Director who are monitoring the changing situation and conditions.

Updates about our operations plan will be posted here as they become available.

September 25, 2021

The continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic provides some interesting challenges to planning for races into the first half of 2021.  We certainly don’t pretend to have all of the answers as to what COVID will mean to the the 2021 Missoula Marathon; but, in order to be as transparent as possible, we wanted to let you know what actions we have taken to date and what steps we might be considering over the coming months.

  • We will monitor conditions throughout the winter and early spring and intend to determine the status of the live, in-person race no later than Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
  • Our “early bird” registration fees will remain unchanged from 2019 and 2020, and will stay in place until March 31, 2021.
  • To allow for flexibility in race operations, we have reduced our race caps for 2021
    • 5K – 1,000 (from 1,500)
    • Half Marathon – 2,750 (from 3,500)
    • Marathon – 1,100 (from 1,300)
  • Should conditions improve, we will consider moving race caps upwards.
  • A virtual race option is available right from the beginning of our registration period.
  • We have made changes to our Refund & Race Cancellation Policy.  To view the 2021 policy, please go HERE.

If new or existing COVID restrictions on “mass gathering events” exist in June, it may be necessary to modify race operations to mitigate risk.  This may include, but not necessarily be limited to, items such as:

  • Race start times & start line venues
  • Wave starts
  • Changes to the Beer Run and Big 3 Challenge
  • Changes to the Runner Expo
  • Changes to Packet Pick Up

We will provide updates as and when appropriate to the Missoula Marathon website, our social media platforms and via direct email.

Copyright © 2019 Run Wild Missoula