Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,
Another marathon has unfolded, this time in Missoula, MT. Wow, what a place! With space still around it, and the Clark Fork River running through it, this college town had a funky spirit mixed with a live-and-let-live attitude. It's a place that passionately embraces both the outdoors -- white water rafting, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and biking in the summer and skiing and snowmobiling in the winter -- and the arts -- with theatres, galleries, book stores and good eating. Before I go head-on into the recap, I want to jog -- ha, ha, pun intended -- your memory as to whom we are helping.
$10,000 to Community Lodgings:
We're lifting families from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
$2,500 to The Reading Connection:
We're giving books to kids who otherwise wouldn't have any.
$27,000 to Child and Family Network Centers:
We're sending kids to pre-school who otherwise wouldn't have the chance.
$5,000 to Girls on the Run:
We're teaching self-esteem lessons, and training for a a 5K race.
$5,000 to ACTion Alexandria:
We're answering on-line calls to action for specific local needs
***** Good News. You can help out by seeing a show. Act fast, tickets are selling out for this runningbrooke exclusive!
an award-winning musical comedy
(Tuesday, August 2 at The Little Theatre of Alexandria -- our local, an award-winning theatre, right in Old Town) **Click HERE to learn more and order your tickets! **All proceeds supporting the above charities. ***** And so, without further ado: The Missoula, MT Marathon (July 10th -- 26th state, 37th marathon) Nestled in the heart of the northern Rockies, and in the far western stretches of Montana -- just 8 miles from Idaho -- Missoula is known as the "Garden City" for its dense green landscape. Missoula lies 140 miles form Glacier National Park and 270 miles from Yellowstone National Park. When we were there, many of the surrounding peaks were still snow-capped. As recently as 15,000 years ago, the area around Missoula, and much of the areas reaching west into Idaho, were part of Glacial Lake Missoula, formed by the ice-dammed Clark Fork River -- same river as in photo below. Then, a series of dramatic geologic events occurred as the melting glacier dam failed, hurtling 200 to 500 cubic miles of escaping water. This water created a river that contained 10 times the water of all the current rivers in the world and drained the lake in just 28 hours. The torrent rocketed downstream with the force that tore through 1,600 square miles, carving magnificent geologic formations in its wake. During the last ice age, this happened at least 100 times! ** Factoid #1: Missoula began as a settlement called Hell Gate but was renamed Missoula, Salish Indian for "near the cold, chilling waters." ** Factoid #2: Events in the famous book and the 1992 film A River Runs Thourgh It -- the real McCoy story about two boys growing up fly fishing in rural Montana -- took place just miles from downtown Missoula. Parts of the movie where filmed there, too. **Factoid #3: Record snow falls and late melt left the rivers high and treacherously fast late into the season. **Factoid #4: Lewis & Clark made their expedition journey though the Missoula Valley in 1805 and 1806.
The Good 1. The Marathon. A point to point, starting in Frenchtown and ending in downtown Missoula, this race was voted the best overall marathon by Runner's World in 2010. With a cool 50 degree start, we ran along country roads, back lanes, through valleys and across rivers, giving us pristine mountains views the whole way. The air was clean with a freshness that's hard to describe, untainted, with punctuations of pine and flower. I ran alone most of the way, connecting with my surroundings and breath, surprised when 26.2 miles were done, and sprinting to the finish. Plus, it was nice knowing that Favorite Daughter #3 waiting for me at the finish line! 2. The Horseback Riding. Just minutes from Missoula in Lolo, MT, Favorite Daughter #3 and I saddled up and went to the trails. We wound up and along mountainsides, with better-than-before vistas at every turn. At one point, we cantered through a vast daisy-dotted field. I couldn't decide if I was exhilarated or scared out of my mind. Probably a little bit of both. 3. The White Water Rafting. Nearby again, we braved the cold water for a day-long adventure on the Blackfoot River. Thrilling! We took the section from Russell Gates to River Bend and got super-wet along the way. Lesson learned, wetsuits don't keep you dry with this sort of intense rafting: 3+ class rapids with a CFS (cubic feet per second) of 6,600. During the smooth stretches we searched the skies for bald eagles and ospreys and listened to songbirds. ** Factoid: "Eventually, all things into one, and a river runs through it." Norman Maclean A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
The Bad 1. No race-day inhaler. You all know I have asthma and exercise-induced asthma. I take this very seriously as when I don't follow the protocol, I am unable to run well. Without going into too much detail, I have two types of inhalers: one that I use every day and one that I use before, and sometimes during, my hard efforts. The latter is what I didn't have. Well I had it, but the type I use currently, doesn't have a counter on the top. And it was empty. I was still able to run (obviously), but I felt that my body was ready to push for more, but my lungs couldn't deliver. Lesson learned and I'll be ready for the next time it's a good running day. 2. Miami Herald not Miami Herold. Whoops. Sorry for the typo on last months' post. The Ugly (sorry, no ugly) The Upcoming 1. NBC4 Noontime Show on July 28th (Thursday), with Barbara Harrison. Very happy to be on the show and share my combined passions of running and philanthropy. Tune in! 2. Hairspray on August 2 (Tuesday), a runningbrooke exclusive showing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria. Have I mentioned that yet?! 3. Eagle Creek Trail Marathon on August 6th in Indianapolis, Indiana. This will be State #27 and Marathon #38. Yes! That's it friends. Hope everyone is doing well and surviving this heat! There are lots of pictures below, make sure you take a look. Cheers! Brooke "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, for they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt