”Anacoda Copper Queens,” “Butte-ful Divas,” “Forest Gumpettes,” and “Live Long and Perspire” are some of the team names registered for the Missoula All Women’s 5K on Saturday, October 12 at 9:30 a.m. at Community Medical Center Campus rain or shine or snow. Over 1,300 participants are expected to participate in the All Women’s 5k, many wearing feather boas, tiaras, superhero costumes and wedding and prom dresses. Costumes are encouraged, but race directors ask participants to leave their heels (and dogs) at home.
The 5K race and celebration of women of all ages, generations and fitness levels has been proclaimed Diva Day by Mayor John Engen. “The grandmothers can inspire their granddaughters, the young ones can hop, skip and jump their way to a finish, mothers and daughters can cheer and run side by side for support,” Race Director Sue Falsey says. “Memories are made in company of friends, colleagues, family and our ‘competitors. This is the day for all of the women to be divas, for fitness, for health, for the pure enjoyment of being out and on the move.”
The race starts at 9:30 a.m. with packet pick-up and registration on Friday, October 11 from 1- 7 p.m. in the Gallagher Board Room at Community Medical Center and on Saturday, October 12 from 8 – 9 a.m. near the race start next to the big white tents on the Community Medical Center Campus. The race starts at 9:30 a.m. with awards at 10:45 a.m. followed by door prize drawings and a fashion show by Runners Edge. Race organizers ask participants to register early, as the race will be limited to 1,350 participants.
A free women’s expo will be held before and after the race with vendors ready to pamper women and provide information about services for women in our community.
Participants have formed “teams” with friends and family members. Many of team themes and their stories symbolize overcoming challenge and celebrating being a woman. Here are some of the team stories.
· Z Divas: “We are team Z Divas, because we are all members and friends of Chapter Z of the PEO Sisterhood. PEO is a philanthropic organization that supports women’s education through grants and scholarships. We also like to get together and have fun as sisters. This is a great opportunity to have lots of our members and friends dress up and support a good cause, and several of us have young daughters we get to bring along as well. This is our 4th year participating as a chapter, and we have a great time every year!”
· The Screaming Beavers: “The Screaming Beavers make up current and past forensic scientists in the DNA section at the state crime lab. For the past 11 years, our friendship has gotten us through stressful moments brought on by our jobs, four children have been born, countless ideas and helpful hints have been passed among us, numerous cocktails have been consumed, and we know we’ve got each other’s back. We’re a group of ladies who are loud and proud!”
· The Three Amigos: “For the past four years, my little gazelle and I had looked forward to this celebration of women with the same gusto that some anticipate the semi-annual shoe sale at Dillards. We have been running together since she was 9 (and I say “together” rather loosely, as she tends to be about half a mile in front of me). Three or four years ago, my mom joined our dynamic duo and we completed the course as a three generation family. Since that last family entry, I have participated in Diva Day as a solo act, usually because there was a conflicting cross country meet and my mom lived in Wyoming. The year we did it together has always been my favorite. The planets seem to have aligned themselves for another amazing three generation Diva Day, as there is no cross country meet and my mom has moved to Montana. This is truly a miraculous sequel, as mom was diagnosed, not once, but twice, with breast cancer. She was 46 at her original diagnosis and 61 when it recurred. Fortunately, her treatments have gone well and her prognosis is good. So good that we will tie on our running shoes on October 12 and The Three Amigos will join the powerful group of woman who consider themselves Divas.”
In its sixth year, the Missoula All Women’s 5K evolved from the long-standing Blue Mountain Women’s Run. When Blue Mountain Clinic decided not to continue with the event, Run Wild Missoula was asked to take the reigns. Since then the race has grown from 300 to an expected 1,350 participants on October 12.
Generous sponsors of the Missoula All Women’s 5K include: Community Medical Center, Alpine Physical Therapy, Skin Chic, Four Paws Veterinary Clinic, The Living Room, Lambert Family Chiropractic, the Women’s Club, Sauce Headwear, Runners Edge, Mountain FM 102.5 and Massage Envy.