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The Missoula Marathon: a success story

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Jul 14 2013 04:48:21 PM MDT
Updated On: Jul 15 2013 12:51:59 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

It's accomplished a lot in that time, growing to an over 6,000 participant event, bringing in millions of dollars to the local economy, and being named the number one overall best marathon in America.

But the Missoula Marathon had humble beginnings.

Run Wild Missoula board member Torrey Holmquist was there from the start.

"It started right around the summer of 2006,” says Holmquist. “There was a couple who had wanted to plan a marathon for a number of years, and I happened to be buying a pair of shoes down here at (Runners Edge). They said we need a treasurer, and I hadn't volunteered, so they wrapped me in, and I got on the planning committee right from the get go."

Holmquist says, besides the course and location, the first Missoula Marathon looked a lot different than today’s.

"The first year, compared to what it is now, was kind of sketchy. We had no real budget in play. It was just trying to take care of the basics. Now, compared to what we've got, it's kind of embarrassing, but on the other hand, people kept coming back. Now it's turned into the real deal.

In 7 years, the marathon's become one of the city's biggest events. Holmquist says it feels good to be a part of it.

"We can say that we brought something that brought quality to a city. The town's embraced it. The people have embraced it. “Knowing that we're growing every, setting new records - It's a real sense of achievement."