MISSOULA – People from all over will come out to run in the Missoula Marathon on Sunday.
But often overlooked are the hundreds of volunteers and weeks of preparation it takes to ensure that the annual event runs smoothly.
Some 800 volunteers are needed to put on the Missoula Marathon and on Sunday, 24 people picked up trash along the course.
“Well, I’ve volunteered for about eight years. I’ve done the half marathon for eight years, and this year, in March, I got diagnosed with lymphoma cancer,” volunteer Jay Gore said.
He told MTN News that he has good and bad days. Gore is not running this year, but he felt good enough to help out on cleanup day.
Race Director Tony Banovich says it was nice to see him.
“I was really surprised to see him show up, I knew he was going to maybe try to do some volunteering but wasn’t sure how he was going to be feeling,” Banovich said.
Forty-four volunteers also do all the set up for water and medical stations and will help out until the day after the race.
This is Carolyn Abbott’s eleventh year walking the half marathon and tenth year cleaning up. “Well, I like to volunteer for something to help keep this program going.”
Abbott and Gore are part of a 45 person walking group that meets every Saturday.
“For some of them it’s a huge physical challenge, for some of them, they’re running in memory of somebody, for some of them it’s a spiritual journey, you never know. And the emotion and the excitement that you see at the finish line is just unmatched.”
Sunday will mark the thirteenth year of the Missoula Marathon.
Story by Katie Miller, MTN News