Missoula Marathon

Marathon #22 is in the books. I ran the Missoula Marathon today in 4:48:00. It’s my first marathon since the American River 50 Mile Race and it put the demons from the 50 miler firmly in my rear view mirror.

I was a little nervous going into this one as my longest run since the 50 miler was only 12 miles (last weekend). I’ve been running consistently up in Keystone the last month, but shorter distances because of the altitude (9000 feet), the hills (lots of them), and the trails (most of my runs). Last week was my first week over six hours of running and I got to around 32 miles, but I felt very light on the distance going into this marathon.

I knew I had a huge base from my training for the 50 miler but I hadn’t really started enjoying running again until the beginning of June. So I started off slow using an 8:2 pattern (8 minutes running, 2 minutes walking). It took a few miles for me to settle down but my goal was to do the first half in 2:30 and then see what I had in me.


I went through the first half in 2:31:38 right on target. I felt really strong and decided to just keep cruising to mile 18 and then open it up and see what I had left. Mile 17 was 11:34 and then the following miles were 10:19, 10:06, 9:57, 9:58, 10:11, 10:21, 10:02, 10:08, 9:14 with a 7:54 for the last 0.2. Eight of the last nine miles used an 8:2 pattern (I ran the last 1.2 without a walk break) so the times are even more powerful since my running pace during these segments was often sub 9 minute miles, which is very fast for me.

Basically, I scorched the second half. 2:16:22. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a big negative split (2:31, 2:16). While I was glad to be done, I had plenty in the tank when I crossed the finish and could have easily kept going for a while.

Missoula has been really fun. I can’t remember if I’ve been here before (I’ve been to Bozeman plenty) but it’s a neat town, the people are super friendly and smart, and there’s a budding startup community which I’m going to blog about tomorrow.

For everyone who has welcomed me here the past few days, thank you! For those of you who supported my random act of kindness for Justin Salcedo, we ended up raising $11,487 for him. Wow. Huge thanks and hugs to everyone.

And Amy, once again, you are an amazing sherpa. I couldn’t do this without you.

  • Haha you talking after eating that helium balloon; nice. Happy for you to have gotten another race under your belt after dealing with the roller coaster after the 50-miler.

    • Thx. Yeah – still remembering the Apple helium balloon – yummy!

  • CliffElam

    Been wondering when we’d hear about your first longer run. Congrats.

    Truth to tell, I’ve been dead-legged since my 50K earlier this year. I’ve had to force running where there should be joy. Though the results have been good, the practice has been tough.

    So good on you and I hope you can use this to springboard your efforts!


  • Congrats on running marathon and for following your race plan. I love when that happens and the good memories help for future races. I must admit that I have only run half marathons in the past and never considered a full one. your posts on this topic are starting to change my mind

  • Gary Schwake

    Congrats Brad … way to get back on the horse (so to speak). Curious your thoughts on the Virtual Race Bag provided by the Missoula Marathon?

    • I didn’t see / get a virtual race bag. Did I miss something?

  • Good work. I PR’d doing a 9:1 strategy (3:53) at Burlington. I highly recommend you check out Mt Desert marathon in ME. Is Missoula trail?

    • I loved mt desert! Beautiful marathon. Missoula was a road marathon.

  • Good one. I plan to run my first marathon this autumn. Your posts are really inspiring. 🙂

  • Great to hear it went well, Brad, congrats. Thanks for sharing — inspiring as always.

  • Congrats!!

    What kind of shoes do you use?

  • Not bad Brad. What is your running diet these days?

  • dgay07

    Congrats on another successful finish. I really enjoy reading about your marathon experiences. I am 3 weeks out from San Francisco (marathon #5) and this post just got me pumped!

  • Keystone! I used to visit a friend in that town about 12 years ago. Beautiful place. Not much air though, as you say.

  • I ran 2:57 (but not at Missoula) 🙂

  • Hey Brad, it was great to have you in town! I wasn’t up to running this one (still recovering from my last run), but I had a blast giving out medals at the finish line – including yours!

    • Wow – thanks. I didn’t realize you had given me my medal. I was pretty fried!

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