With more races than a Brad Pitt – Angelina Jolie family picnic, southwest Montana’s got your competitive back covered this season—the only trouble is choosing which ones to enter. Here are three we like.
There’s no shortage of good causes around Bozeman, but how often can you pound the pavement for the horn of Africa? The Scramble for Ethiopia, on August 18, aims to raise enough money to build a well in the village of Korah, bringing clean drinking water to a place that desperately needs it. The race consists of a team or solo 15k, a solo 4-mile, and a kids’ run. Baxter and Love is where it all happens, with music, awards, refreshments, and education on clean drinking water. The cost is $55 for relay teams and $20 for individuals; top finishers win cash prizes. If you’re feeling groovy, get festive and sport a rainbow beret and dreds—Ethiopia was the home of Haile Selassie, patron saint of Rastafarians. More info at scrambleforethiopia.com.
Godzilla meets gazelle in the second annual Bozemonster Challenge on August 25, when southwest Montana’s newest, muddiest, and most off-the-wall footrace hits the Gallatin County Regional Park. With a party-friendly 5pm start, hundreds of sludge-hungry hooligans will swarm the gargantuan park grounds, dashing across fields, clambering over hay bales, and wallowing through mudpits. Nineteen different obstacles spread over five kilometers make this course a challenge for sprinter, gymnast, and muscleman alike. With such a varied course, the only certainties are festive costumes and filthy bodies—and, of course, post-race beers held high. If that’s not enough to inspire a mad dash to the starting line, consider this: all proceeds benefit the Friends of Regional Park, a nonprofit dedicated to ongoing improvements at Bozeman’s largest park. To register, volunteer, or get more info, visit bozemonster.com.
Tour de Cure, a series of cycling events for the American Diabetes Association held in 44 states, will host an event in Three Forks on September 15. Participants meet at the Missouri Headwaters State Park and choose between a 5k walk/run that follows the park’s trail system, or a family-oriented ride on the park’s bike path for 12 miles. Determined riders can spin 23 miles to Manhattan in an out-and-back circuit, and if willing, continue through to Churchill for a 50-mile loop. If you’re really looking to go the distance, take the 100-mile loop through Lewis & Clark Caverns with vistas of four mountain ranges and three rivers. Enjoy rest stops and food to fuel the journey. In 2011, more than 55,000 cyclists in 80 events raised more than $18 million for the American Diabetes Association to fund educational outreach, advocacy, and research. The Three Forks event seeks to raise $150,000 for the cause. To register, or for more information, visit tour.diabetes.org.