Who’s feeling Rooty?
The popular River City Roots Run, which begins at 10 am on Aug. 24 on the far northern end of Downtown Missoula, will once again finish near the Main Stage on Main Street. For the past three years the 4-mile race finished on the trail system adjacent to the Clark Fork River, but runners asked festival organizers to move the finish line back to its original spot near the stage, so they could be closer to the music – and beer – once they finished.
Organizers were more than happy to accommodate the request. Playing at the finish line on Sunday will be local performers, Soul City Brass Band, whose New Orleans-style horn rhythms will fill the air for participants of all ages and abilities. This marks the ninth year of the River City Roots Run, including the last eight under the direction of Run Wild Missoula.
“The downtown finish is something that sets the Roots Run apart,” said Jimmy Grant, last year’s overall winner and now co-director of the Roots Run. “Turning down the homestretch, runners can hear the music and feel the energy of the festival around them. There is no other road race in Montana quite like it.”
The Roots Run, which kicks off the second half of the two-day music and art festival, had more than 400 registrants last summer. Run Wild members are encouraged to sign up at a discounted rate at our Registration Party on Aug. 1 at the Runner’s Edge. Cost for the race jumps to $30 on Aug. 2. Every individual receives a T-shirt, a commemorative festival cup and a coupon for a free beer, if the runner is age 21 or older. There are additional prizes as well.
Participants can register for the run online at either rivercityrootsfestival.com or runwildmissoula.org until Friday, August 22. Runners can also sign-up in person on Saturday during packet pickup, which is from 10 am to 5 pm at the Runner’s Edge (304 North Higgins), or on Sunday before the race from 8-9:30 am. The run begins at Circle Square near the red XXXXs, where the traditional Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturdays.
For the second straight year, the Roots Run will use chip timing from our friends at Competitive Timing. RWM purchased its own chips to use this summer, so we really want to educate runners on the importance of clipping their own chips from their shoe laces once they are done with the race. There will be a chip-return station near the finish line; please be on the lookout for this.
The race is expected to draw some elite runners to the men’s and women’s field thanks to a handful of prize money opportunities. The top male and female finishers earn $300, followed by $175 for second, $150 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 forth fifth place. There will also be Master’s division prize money and a special $100 course-record pot up for grabs.
Fellow race director Nick Lockridge is also looking for more volunteers for this race. Please email him at email@example.com if you are interested.
by Nick Lockridge, River City Roots Race Director