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Missoula Marathon

Missoula, MT

Race Dates

2017: Sunday, July 9, 2017
2016: Sunday, July 10, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Point to Point
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 66°F (18°C)
Average High: 82°F (27°C)
Average Low: 50° F (10°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 97.57
Course Score: 97.57

Race Size

2016: 982 Finishers
2015: 998 Finishers
2014: 1,168 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 10.2%
2015: 10.7%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The Missoula Marathon course is a slight net uphill with a significant hill just past the halfway point. It starts at 3040 feet and ends at 3200 feet with the hill rising from approximately 3100 to 3256 feet.

The marathon course begins in the Montana countryside of Frenchtown, Montana. The course follows the Frenchtown Valley and the Clark Fork River into the City of Missoula. The course travels along tree-lined streets toward the finish in Downtown Missoula at the Higgins Avenue Bridge.

Marathon Rankings

The Missoula Marathon was the 87th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 88th largest in 2015.

Last year 10.2% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 10.7% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Missoula Marathon the 206th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 161st highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 97.57 ranks it as the 333rd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in Montana.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Missoula Marathon a PR Score of 97.57. This PR Score ranks it as the 291st fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 1st fastest in Montana.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 3256 feet (992m)
Min Elevation: 3041 feet (927m)


Ratings & Reviews: None

review of 2014 Missoula Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


I liked the scenic views of mountains and rivers, and the small town feel of the race. What I didn't like was the weather (59 at start, 80 at finish), numerous turns in last few miles, and crowded expo site.

Race Tips

The race starts just off the interstate in Frenchtown. The first 14 miles or so of the course are largely long straight stretches through farm areas. Just past halfway you have to climb a significant hill. After that the course is primarily on residential streets (not in the best condition) with many turns. Be prepared for a lack of shade which can be a problem given time of year (hot temperatures) and the altitude (3000 ft plus).

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

You have option of parking on city streets around finish line and walking about 1/2 mile to shuttle bus staging area OR parking at shuttle bus staging area and walking 1/2 mile after race to your car. Problem was that route from finish to staging area parking lots was not marked and volunteers were not to sure how to get there.

review of 2014 Missoula Marathon.   

296 / 5 Stars


I liked the scenic views of mountains and rivers, the spirit of the residents of Missoula, and the finish area treats. What I didn't like was the weather, including the heat at the expo, and the lack of places for lunch after the race was over. I will remember this as a sweet, charming small marathon. Also Jeff Galloway presided at the start line and ran the marathon, which was inspiring.

Race Tips

2014 saw high temps. It was 59 at the start line, but once the sun came up (25 min. in), it instantly began to warm. This might be a course in which positive splits are appropriate. The sun really warms the valley quickly, so plan accordingly. Also wear sunscreen! The altitude increases the UV intensity.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

We stayed at the Hampton Inn on Reserve St., and it was nice to be out of the congestion post-race. The downtown area seemed unprepared for hungry marathoners (to be fair, the finish line reception was quite good - but I still wanted a real lunch). We tried multiple restaurants before finding one (Iron Horse) that could accommodate us. It was also FIFA final match day, so the service was badly overwhelmed.

review of 2012 Missoula Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Garden city is lovely. Easy, free parking. I stayed in Logan (50 minutes away) which was fine by me.

Race Tips

Flat except for one tough hill at mile 14. Final miles are in residential areas and this year when it was hot many of them set up sprinklers and hoses to keep runners cool. So nice! Great finishing stretch across a bridge into Missoula!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I camped @ local KOA. Free parking at garage in Missoula blocks from finish and where shuttles depart from. Couldn\'t be easier. Missoula is a fun, vibrant college town.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Missoula Marathon in 4:52:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.