Perhaps you've heard this one: Montana has more cows than of people. So, if you've had enough running with the "herd" at big events like Chicago and New York, let me suggest that the open prairie might give you a chance to hear your heart beat, hear your feet trot, and hear your lungs sing. And maybe hear a cow or two...
This USATF certified course travels from the open prairie to Montana's urban center, Billings. While the first ten miles feature some rolling hills, the final 16 treat you to a loss of 1,000 vertical feet. It is a Boston qualifier: maybe you should start dreaming about that PR again!
“I’M IN LOVE WITH MONTANA. FOR OTHER STATES I HAVE ADMIRATION, RESPECT, RECOGNITION, EVEN SOME AFFECTION. BUT WITH MONTANA IT IS LOVE. AND IT’S DIFFICULT TO ANALYZE LOVE WHEN YOU’RE IN IT.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
If you want a bucket-list marathon, make sure the area checks all the boxes. Billings is your gateway to Yellowstone National Park and Beartooth Pass. We've got a jam-packed events calendar and a wide selection of attractions and "must sees" to make sure your down time is as amazing as your run time!More info at
Download the Race Bible (PDF, 221K). In it, you'll find all of the times, places, and details that surround our marathon, half-marathon, and 10K race!
The one and only Jeff Galloway will be in town to kick off our marathon in style! Seats are available for his training school, which is held at the BestWestern Plus ClockTower Inn, 2511 1st Avenue North, from 9:00 - 12:00 on Saturday, September 16. His revolutionary running system has made the sport better for thousands of runners. Ciao Mambo is providing lunch directly after class and Jeff will be available to answer questions and give helpful running tips. More details and signup are available on his webpage...
Looking to finish off your taper in a creative way? The Yellowstone Rim Runners will lead a short group run on top of the Rims at 7 AM on Saturday, September 16th. There is no charge for the run, which is intended for runners new to Billings who would like to learn a little about the area. The pace will be easy, with a number of stops to admire views of Billings and the Yellowstone Valley and to discuss a bit of local history. The run is on the asphalt bike path and will feature a 2 mile out and back leg followed by a 2.6 mile out and back leg. Runners can leave after the first leg if they like. The run will start and finish at the parking area 1.3 miles east of the airport; head up North 27th St., take a right at the roundabout at the top of the hill, continue 1.3 miles, and look for the parking area on the right with a vault toilet and picnic shelter.
Let's face it: sometimes a well placed question is better than pages of instructions! We've got a list of answers below... feel free to send us your questions!
Is this event a Boston qualifier?
YES - this USATF certified course is an official Boston qualifier event.
I've changed my mind/been injured/decided to climb a mountain. Can I get a refund?
The Marathon is not able to give refunds, but you are able to roll over your registration for the next year. Rollover requests will not be considered AFTER race date. Rollovers will be given a code for 80% of the registration amount.
Is there a cut-off time where course will be closed?
Yes- the course will be closed at 1:00pm and anyone left on course will be picked up and driven in. If you can't finish by 1:00, please take the early start.
Can anyone take the early start?
No- If you are able to finish before 1:00, you cannot take the early start. The 5:00am start is only for those who are walking or running at a slower pace.
I am flying in from out-of-town, do a need to rent a car?
Not necessarily. There is a shuttle from the airport to our partner hotel (the Best Western Clocktower Inn). There is a shuttle from the hotel to the bus pick up for the race. Busses take runners to the race start. Shuttles will get you back to the hotel and the airport. Downtown Billings is walker friendly and has many great eating establishments.
I signed up for the full, but want to switch to the half.
You can switch races at packet pickup. Also can be done on runsignup.com (most effecient). Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the early start (5am) only for walkers?
No. The early start is REQUIRED for walkers and any runner who cannot finish by 1:00pm. All early starters are required to have a light on them. It is very dark at the start, and runner's safety is always priority #1.
I am running the half and do not want to take the bus, can I drive out to the half start or get dropped off?
You should take the bus- keep the course clear and safe for all participants, the race is not on a closed course. Let's be courteous to everyone out there and have a good time!
RACE BIB PICK UP
You can pick up your bib at the Billings Family YMCA, 402 North 32nd Street. Pickup dates and times are: Friday, September 15, noon - 6pm, and Saturday, September 16, 10am - 4pm. If you are unable to pick up your bib during the day, you can pick up your bib at the Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn, 2511 1st Avenue North, on Saturday evening between 5pm – 8pm. There will be NO bib pickup on race day. You may have a friend pick up your bib for you. For late arrival into Billings, please contact email@example.com to make arrangements to pick up your bib.
Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn
2511 1st Ave N.
Billings, MT 59101
Hotel provides shuttles to the bus transportation location for all race start times. Bussing is also available from the finish line to the hotel; you will need to make reservations with the Best Western ClockTower front desk. Contact the front desk for more details.
PRE-RACE PASTA DINNER
We do not have an official Montana Marathon pasta dinner. With all the great restaurants in Billings, we want to give you a chance to experience our city. Please visit Visit Billings for a list of local restaurant.
RACE START TIMES
5:00am Full Marathon Walkers and Early Start
7:00am Full Marathon Relay
7:00am Full Marathon
8:15am Half Marathon
11:00am Kids’ 1ml Run – The Montana Marathon offers a free 13 week running challenge for kids. Participants will track their miles on a log sheet. On September 17, all participants will bring their log sheet and run the kids’ 1ml run to finish their full marathon and receive a Finishers medal. Register online billingsymca.org
BUS TRANSPORT START TIMES (Senior High School parking lot)
4:00am Full Marathon Walkers and Early Start
5:30am Full Marathon Relay
5:30am Full Marathon
6:30am Half Marathon
Any runners who will need to drop a bag of personal belongings/clothing at the start line will want to bring along (provide their own bag). Anyone who does so will be able to pick up their belongings at the finish line.
Warm and low humidity. Expect to start the race in the mid 40s and end in the high 60s.
COURSE AND COURSE SAFETY
The course is marked very well, but it is open to traffic. There will be volunteers at most of the intersections and security personal at the busier intersections. Please remain on the right side of the road unless otherwise directed. Because the course is open to traffic, we recommend that all participants wear bright clothing to improve visibility. Music devices and earbuds/earphones are strongly discouraged.
There are 13 water stations for the full marathon. The water stations are at approximately 3, 5, 6, 9, 13.1, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, and 25 miles. Please see course map for more details. Each water station will have Gatorade and water. Restrooms are also available before boarding the bus and at the start line of each race.
Awards will be held at 11:30a for the top 3 male and female in each age group in the Full, Half, and 10k. For the Relay, we are awarding first place for each of the three categories: male, female, and co-ed.
Speaking of the Relay... relay teammates are responsible for their own transportation to the location. They are welcome to ride the bus to the full, half and 10k start lines.
Relay hand-off locations are:
FINISHER SHIRT AND RACE MEDALS
All finishers will receive their finisher technical short-sleeve shirt and a medal in Daylis Stadium at the end of the race.
All runners will finish near Daylis Stadium. Finishers will then proceed through the finish area, Daylis Stadium, which is limited to race participants. Spectators, family, and friends can meet up with participants in Pioneer Park.
POST- RACE CELEBRATION
We are congratulating each runner’s achievement with a post-race celebration! We will have music, food trucks, and fun games for the entire family in Pioneer Park at the finish line. We encourage everyone to join us in cheering for the Montana Marathon Runners! Check back for more details.
Submit any and all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org