Makena Morley, a former Bigfork High School standout and current University of Colorado runner, broke her own all-time record in the Missoula Half Marathon on June 30.
Morley posted a 1:14:29, breaking her record of 1:15:52 set last year. Her blistering pace of 5:41 per mile over 13.1 miles was more than 20 seconds faster than the runner-up, Keli Dennehy of Portland, Oregon, whose final time was 1:19:35, meaning Morley waited at the finish line for 5 minutes before another runner crossed. More than 1,800 women participated in the half.
Morley has now won the Missoula Half Marathon four straight years.
Earlier in June, Morley finished sixth in the nation in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. It was the seventh All-American finish of her career for the Buffaloes. She has exhausted her eligibility in cross country but has one more year of eligibility in both indoor and outdoor track.
Her collegiate teammate Zach Perrin, a Flathead High School graduate who wrapped up a career at Colorado in 2018, placed fourth in the men’s Missoula Half Marathon, running a 5:08 pace to finish in 1:07:11. It was the eight-fastest time recorded in the race’s history, with three of the top five coming this year, including the fastest ever by winner Kenneth Kosgei of Salem, Oregon, who finished in 1:05:30.
Troy Fraley, a Glacier High School graduate who went on to run at Gonzaga University, finished ninth in the men’s half marathon with a time of 1:09:19, a pace of 5:17 per mile.
Kayla Brown of Edwardsville, Illinois won the women’s full marathon at 2:50:47, while two Polson runners finished in the top 10: Cynthia Arnold in eighth at 3:11:54 and Jenni Brown in ninth at 3:12:48.
Mark Messmer of Missoula won the men’s full marathon with a time of 2:24:00, the second fastest time in the event’s history behind Matthew Adams’ 2:20:27 in 2014.