HELENA — The Prickly Pear Land Trust's "Don't Fence Me In" trail run was held on Saturday, May 7, beginning at Pioneer Park in Helena.
Runners ran in four races, the 30k, 12k, 5k, and 5k dog walk.
Jesse Carnes, a runner from Missoula, was eager to begin the nearly 19-mile run.
"Yeah, it's been great to be back at races in general, and yeah, it's awesome. I've wanted to do this race for a decade and never gotten around to it, so I am finally getting a chance," said Carnes, who finished seventh in the 30K.
The 22nd annual races help Prickly Pear Land Trust continue its conservation mission, and runner Biga Marshall was ecstatic to support the organization.
"It's so awesome key back at this event, really grateful for these trails and all the work that folks are doing to maintain them and make new trails," said Marshall, who finished 49th overall in the 30K.
For the last two years, PPLT could not hold the event due to COVID-19, but this year allowed Mary Hollow, executive director of PPLT, to host the event.
Hollow says the races would not be possible without the volunteers.
"It's wonderful, and I cannot thank the volunteers enough. We have probably 100 volunteers that help this race in some capacity, and it is one of just a few races that are purely volunteer-led in the state, and it is a family affair. It's just it's so awesome and wonderful to be back here,"
All the funds from the races will go toward the organization's projects like the Canyon Cattle conservation easement to protect five miles of the Missouri River, South Hills trail maintenance, and Tenmile Creek Park management.
Hollow says the races are possible through partnerships with the community.
"Thank you to those who helped make this possible, and without the sponsorships, we can't afford to put on the event, so that's a really key piece of how we how all of the pieces come together to make don't fence me in," said Hollow.
30K Top 3 Finalists:
1. Michelino Sunseri
2. Jeff Mogavero
3. John Fitzgerald
12K Top 3 Finalists:
1. Michael Kaiser
2. Brock Tessman
3. Brad Maddock
5K Top 3 Finalists:
1. Dylan Hill
2. A. Svingen
3. A. Kowalski
5K Dog walk Top 3 Finalists:
1. W. Erwin
2. Brian Schanbacher
3. Allison Kahn
You can find all the race finishers here.
To donate to Prickly Pear Land Trust you can visit their website.