9 questions to discover a Marathon : Grizzly Marathon

01 Feb 2009 22:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

In August, Syd Rogers will be directing the Grizzly marathon for the second year and this will be a year of great changes : new route, additionnal races and even an expo. To honour those changes, runners will get SWAG bags this year instead of just a cotton t-shirt.

Syd is a passionate runner. She has already completed 3 marathons and 15 half-marathons in multiple states. She also is the director of additionnal races : a half marathon in Great Falls, a Thanksgiving Day 5k/10k in Great Falls, an event on New Years Day and the Old Route Relay in May in Choteau. This is what I call a busy woman !

Hello, on August 1st 2009, you’ll be organizing the Grizzly Marathon . Can you tell us where it is located?

Choteau, Montana, which is about 60 miles south of Glacier National Park.

lone ranch
Creative Commons License photo credit: billmcdavid

How old is the race? Why was it created in the first place?

The race is approximately 7 years old. The original director was new to the area and wanted to create a ‘challenging race’.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

This year’s route is a new route. It now starts and ends in Choteau (opposed to years past where there was a 20+ mile commute to the start). The first few miles are on pavement but by sunrise the runners should be on the gravel portion running towards the mountains towards a gorgeous view when the sun comes up.

We are fortunate to be able to include some private property, which will be the loop for runners to turn around and return to Choteau. There are at least three respectible hills on the course in keeping with the ‘challenge’ philosophy of the original marathon. The gravel is well maintained.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We average about 125+ per event with runners that are attempting to qualify for Boston as well as walkers. This year, however, we have added a 10k and a 5k so our crowd should be much bigger.
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

The races will include a marathon, half-marathon, and two new races this year : a 10k and a 5k. All races are held on Saturday. Kids under 12 can register for free for the 5k.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Traditionally at the start it is about 40 degrees but by early afternoon our temperature could be as high as 90+. We are in a dry region so there is very low humidity.
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We have added an ‘Expo’ to the race this year as well, which will include vendors ranging from regional foods, crafts, art to a climbing wall brought by the National Guard.
The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Choteau before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Elk Country Grill restaurant and the Log Cabin are must try restaurants. Participants should also plan to take a day or two and go see Glacier National Park 60 miles to the north. That is a breathtaking experience.

trail view
Creative Commons License photo credit: SurprisePally

60 miles south in Great Falls, the State Fair will be occurring at the same time and they will offer a carnival as well as concerts and rodeo – which is a great experience for people who have never seen a rodeo.

Ty wrestles a steer to the ground
Creative Commons License photo credit: phatman

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of 42k195 to make them register for the Grizzly Marathon?

The Grizzly Marathon is the single most cumulative race representing Montana – mountains, rugged beauty, friendly small-town host all with the runner in mind. Registration is available at active.com.
Thank you Syd

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