Moscow Mountain Madness

13 May 2013 16:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

Hello, on September 8th 2013, you’ll be organizing the Moscow Mountain Madness. Can you tell us where it is located?

Moscow, ID is located in Northern Idaho. Moscow Mountain is a peak northeast of the city. It offers 60 or 70 miles of trails, many of which offer incredible vistas of the rolling Palouse hills.

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

The race started in 1978 with sixty runners. It started as gathering of steep mountain running freaks. For awhile we included a mountain bike race. We’re back to runners only.

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

We wanted to give runners a taste of the entire trail system. Most of the race is on single track. Our trails are pretty smooth, so even with the technical twists and turns, the running is pretty quick. Most of the race is wooded with big Northern Idaho pines. When the trails break out into the open runners are treated to long-distance views.

Credit : Moscow Mountain Madness

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

I expect 30 ultra-runners and about 85 half-marathoners. Runners at the longer distances are pretty serious. We draw in a fast trail crowd from the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area. But everyone who’s run in the Madness know that we run a mellow, friendly race.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

We want to provide runners a chance to step up in trail distances. For that reason, we offer a 5-mile and a half-marathon, as well as the 50k. It makes me quite happy to hear a 5-mile racer say that she will run the half-marathon the next year.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Our September weather is usually warm and dry, temps in the 70s. But we’ve had races with temps in the mid-80s and in the 40s. A hat is recommended, since the weather could be full-sun or drizzle.

Credit : Moscow Mountain Madness

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We’re trying to put together a trail running clinic/festival a couple of weeks before the Madness, but it’s not confirmed at this time.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Moscow before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

We have a new Neapolitan pizza place in town that is really incredible. Excellent pizza and awesome beers. Also: we offer race-day savings to several outdoor equipment stores and cafes. If it were me, I’d combine this race with a mini-Northern Idaho tour – we have incredible rivers, canyons and mountains all around us.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Moscow Mountain Madness?

We offer a well-organized, challenging single-track race with a mellow vibe in a beautiful mountain setting.

Interview with Doug Heckman, race director of the Moscow Mountain Madness. Doug teaches at the University of Idaho. He’s a former cross-country ski racer from Colorado who has been running on trails for thirty years.