Spring Forward

Must-do seasonal races.

“It’s not important how fast one runs, but that one runs.”—Ed Anacker, co-founder of the Big Sky Wind Drinkers

 Ah, spring… break out your running shoes and shake the winter’s rest from your legs—it’s time to race. Here’s a rundown (ha) of events around the region this season.

34th Annual Back from Bridger – Sat. April 16
A Bozeman tradition, the Back from Bridger run is an excellent après-ski season race, with a variety of distances to choose from to accommodate all fitness levels. The course meanders along the Bridger Range’s finest roadside terrain.
Fee: Free
Distance: 17.5, 12.5, 9.7, 7, & 3 miles
Course: Varies. Start in Bridger Bowl parking lot to Bridger Canyon Dr., Kelly Canyon Rd.
Perks: No cost, beautiful views

7th Annual Montana Warrior Run – Sat. April 16
Support our military at Montana Warrior Run, a festive gathering with a handful of fun runs and a hand-bike race. Military men and women will be honored with race discounts during online registration.
Fee: $20-$35
Distance: 10k, 5k, 1 mile
Course: Centennial Park, Helena
Perks: Trifecta option for the ambitious
Registration: 406running.com 

37th Annual Peaks to Prairie Adventure Race – Sat. April 24
Collaborate with a couple teammates or tackle this burly triad solo—either way, this race will test your outdoor enthusiasm with a run, bike, and boat through some of the most beautiful terrain in Montana.
Fee: $90-$110 (per entrant)
Distance: Run 9.3 miles, bike 49, paddle 10
Course: Beartooth Mountains, Yellowstone River
Perks: Teamwork and stunning scenery
Registration: peakstoprairie.org 

Baldy Blitz – Sat. May 21
One of the Wind Drinker’s gnarlier events, this up-and-back to Mt. Baldy is sure to bring race-day surprise—or despair. Whether it be spring snow or 40-mph winds—or both—the Blitz awaits those bold (read: crazy) enough to brave both a grueling course and some nasty mountain weather. Prepare your quads now, this one’s not for the faint of heart.
Fee: $5
Distance: 9 miles, 4,000-ft. change
Course: M trailhead to Mt. Baldy and back
Perks: Snacks and post-race beer, bragging rights, hypothermia training
Registration: winddrinkers.org

4th Annual K9 9K – Sat. May 21
Finally, a race where the pups don’t have to stay on the sidelines. Tucker your dogs out with a mellow, local run and celebrate after with a dog-friendly festival in the park that includes demonstrations from police dogs,
food, prizes, and pet playdates.
Fee: $35 for 9k; $30 for 1-mile run/walk (fees increase $10 after April 15)
Distance: 9k (5-mile loop), 1-mile run/walk
Course: Bogert Park
Perks: Proceeds help fight canine cancer and train therapy dogs
Registration: bozemancanineclassic.com 

Frank Newman Spring Marathon – Sat. May 28
A challenging path to Paradise Valley, this run from Bozeman to Livingston takes place along scenic Jackson Creek Rd. Expect the weather to be sunny, and the winds at full force.
Fee: $3
Distance: Marathon, half-marathon (solo or relay)
Course: Bridger Canyon Rd. to Livingston
Perks: Lunch included, the price is right
Registration: winddrinkers.org