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MONTANA – Snow Joke
February 25 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Snow Joke is a timed half marathon footrace run during mid-winter in a remote community with potential for cold and heavy snow. The average high temperature on race day in nearby Missoula is 41 degrees, but record lows have dipped well below zero. The race organizers intend to hold the event regardless of conditions. Partcipants should come prepared for the weather.
Race officials will not enforce any time cutoff. However, entrants who run slower than 12 minutes per mile cannot count on continuing aide or active course marshals, although finish times will be recorded until every runner is in.
USATF Montana Championship – Entrants are encouraged to register with USA Track & Field before the race at http://www.usatf.org/membership/. The USATF recognized the Snow Joke as Montana Half Marathon Championship race. Racers who reside in Montana and who are members of the USATF will automatically be entered in the championship. Results will be determined by USATF Montana and posted at http://www.mtusatf.org.
From the start/finish area at Seeley Lake Elementary School, the route follows state highway 83 for the first six miles, then circumnavigates Seeley Lake along seven miles of county road. There’s a big climb at three miles, a moderate uphill grade at six miles, and a short climb at 12.5 miles. The course is not certifiable due to variable snow plowing width, but has been measured in summer with a calibrated wheel to an accuracy of 20 feet.
On the highway, always run on the left side facing traffic, crossing only where a course marshalls are controlling traffic for you. Marshalls will be available to handle medical problems and dropouts at each of the three aide stations. Runners may leave clothing with them to be brought back to the finish line. A port-a-potty will be located at or near each aide station.
Between miles six and ten, runners cross the “Charlie Cheetah Preserve.” Imagine if you will, you and your tribe running over the Serengeti Plain, which is so bright and shimmering under the hot African sun it appears white as snow. You effortlessly round up cheetahs at full sprint and herd them to your village corrals because, well, because you can. All you need is a little endorphin and a really twisted imagination.
At 13 miles, the course returns to the highway, and runners will make a left turn for a finishing stretch through town and back to the school.