Back of the Pack

Are you a slower runner or walker? Do you sometimes feel intimidated by group events because you fear being alone or getting lost on the route? The passion for our sport is not confined to competitive runners who can aspire to win their events. Many of us carry the passion, even at a slower pace.  We enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, health benefits, emotional and mental well-being, and the opportunity to share the experience with like-minded buddies.

Run Wild Missoula welcomes runners and walkers at any pace. We make that welcome even more inviting with a program of activities aimed at the Back of the Pack (BOP). 

The program is always evolving, reflecting the interests of members and their willingness to try new things.  The following are currently underway in 2014-15:

  • The BOP Email List is used to circulate the monthly BOP Bulletin. The Bulletin highlights coming events and ongoing opportunities for the BOP to get involved with the running/walking community. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please send a request to
  • Our Facebook Group,Run Walk Run Wild Missoulais a forum for slower runners and walkers to line up buddies for events, encourage one another, recruit volunteers for BOP roles, ask for advice, and get to know one another. 
  • BOP Run-Walk Socials are held monthly at locations around Missoula and in surrounding communities from Frenchtown to Bonner to Stevensville.  Socials are based at parks, restaurants/breweries, or members’ homes. Most are potlucks.  Easy run/walk routes of 2-4 miles are identified for each event. 
  • We have a regular column, “View from the Back,” in the monthly Run Wild Missoula newsletter.  We invite anyone to write an article about their experience and insights from the back of the pack.    
  • BOP bandannas and t-shirts!  Bright-green bandannas with the BOP turtle and Run Wild Missoula logo are available free of charge from the RWM office (Runners Edge downstairs) during office hours, or at any BOP social run/walk event.  Green t-shirts with the BOP turtle logo are for sale at the Runners Edge.
  • BOP Buddies work with RWM Race Directors to make each event as welcoming to slower runners and walkers as possible.  Buddies recruit volunteer sweepers and cheerleaders, and address the challenge of making snacks last until the last person crosses the line.  We are always looking for more BOP volunteers. Please raise your hand. 
  • Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method works especially well for those of us who are slower and/or injury-prone.  Run Wild Missoula sponsors Galloway marathon and half marathon training classes that prepare participants for the Missoula Marathon or Half in July.  Follow the links for more details.

For more information, e-mail Leader of the Back, Pam Gardiner.

This program sponsored in part by:

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