Choose Your Own Adventure

Races are coming back and it’s time to run, bike and paddle your way through a spring and summer of competitions in the Flathead

By Micah Drew
Runners begin the ascent into the trails on Lion Mountain in Whitefish. Beacon file photo

April 24

Eureka Rendezvous Days Fun Run

In conjunction with the local Shape Up Montana groups and Rendezvous Days, this fourth annual 5K fun run or walk starts at 9 a.m. at Indian Springs Ranch Golf Course in Eureka. The event is a way for families and friends to participate in a fun, healthy community activity. All proceeds support the Eureka Running Club, which funds the school’s cross country and track programs. 


The Spartan Race in Bigfork. Beacon file photo

May 1

Montana Spartan Race

The biggest obstacle race in the state is descending on Bigfork once again. The race weekend consists of the Spartan Ultra (50K), the Spartan Beast (half marathon), the Spartan Super (10K) and the Spartan Sprint (5K). Each race features 20-30 bootcamp-style obstacles to push competitors out of their comfort zone and to their limits. There will also be a non-obstacle nighttime trail 10K. 


May 22

Whitefish Marathon

Get your Boston Qualifier at one of the most scenic marathons in the country. The marathon course starts and finishes in Depot Park and travels lakeside for half of the course. The half marathon and 5K stay closer to town but still offer great views of Big Mountain and the nearby peaks. All participants who deferred from the 2020 event are automatically entered in this year’s race. 


May 29

FLBC Transformation Fun Run

Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp is hosting a 5K fun run that takes participants through the camp’s trail system on the western shore of Flathead lake. Proceeds go to camper scholarships. 


June 13

Herron Half, 10K, 5K

This trio of races is the largest annual fundraiser for the Foys to Blacktail trail network. Proceeds go directly to building and maintaining trails along the 34-mile system. The half marathon course takes runners up to the Chase Overlook and along the Foys to Blacktail trail, climbing more than 2,000 feet of vertical gain, before looping back to Herron Park. The 10K race takes participants up to Foy’s Overlook, while the 5K stays on the lower trails. Entry fees will increase after May 30. 


The Glacier Challenge in Whitefish. Beacon file photo

July 11

The Glacier Challenge

It’s time to get in gear and head out for Montana’s premier multi-sport relay race. The Glacier Challenge can be attempted individually, with a partner or as a team (up to seven members). The challenge features six legs of running, biking, canoeing and kayaking, covering almost 50 miles of terrain around Whitefish. There will not be a standalone 5K this year. 


July 17

Flathead Valley Kids Triathlon

This event is for children 4-13 years old who want to TRI a new event at Woodland Park. The race consists of a swim, bike and run and is broken down into age groups. The 4-5-year-old group will swim 25 yards, bike a half mile and run 500 yards. Kids ages 6-8 will swim 50 yards, bike one mile and run 500 yards. The oldest group will swim 150 yards, bike three miles and run one mile. 


July 24

Boogie to the Bank

Get your boogie on during Heritage Days with this popular 5K and 10K event. As part of Columbia Falls’ annual community festival, these races annually draw fast, colorful competition. The races start on the North Fork Road and ends in the heart of Columbia Falls.


July 31

Flathead Lake 5K & 10K

Enjoy magnificent Flathead Lake views while you run/walk your way toward helping preserve and protect Flathead Lake. All proceeds benefit the Flathead Lakers, a nonprofit organization working to keep the lake clean through safeguarding, legislation and education. Flathead Lake is the largest and cleanest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi; let’s do our part in keeping it beautiful for future generations to enjoy. Music, festivities and beer (Tamarack Brewery) to be enjoyed after the race in Volunteer Park.


Mark Christensen, an organizer of 12 and 24 Hours of Flathead, rides his bike through Herron Park. Beacon file photo

August 14-15

24 Hours of Flathead

The only 12- and 24-hour mountain bike race in Montana. This isn’t your ordinary mountain bike race. It has a mission, two courses — an adaptive hand cycle course and bicycle course — live music, a hot lap option, free camping, and is fun for all ages. 


September 19

Foys to Blacktail Marathon

Foys to Blacktail will bring back its eponymous trail marathon this fall. The race starts along Blacktail Road in Lakeside, takes runners to the top of Blacktail Mountain, reaching an elevation of 6,716 feet before descending for 20 miles to Herron Park. The race will be capped at 50 entrants. Registration opens on April 30. 


October 2-3

Whitefish Legacy Run

Whitefish Legacy Partners is excited to host a weekend of running events on the Whitefish Trail. Saturday’s 50K Mountain ultra starts in Depot Park at the Great Northwest Oktoberfest, climbs to the top of Big Mountain via the Whitefish Trail in Haskill and finishes back at the Beirgarten. Sunday’s half marathon, 10K, 5K and family fun run will explore the Whitefish Trail in Beaver Lakes, starting and ending at the Whitefish Bike Retreat. Race registration will be capped, with more entries released as conditions improve.  


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