Choose Your Own Adventure: Summer 2022

Bike, walk, run or swim your way through these events this summer

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

July 16

Buffalo Run

This series of fun runs is part of the St. Ignatius Good Old Days event, hosted by St. Luke Community Healthcare. There are one-, four-, and seven-mile runs, as well as the marquee half-marathon distance. All races begin on Main Street in St. Ignatius.


Logan Health 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. The 6-8-year-olds will swim 50 yards, bike one mile and run 500 yards. The 9-10-year-olds will swim 100 yards, bike two miles and run a mile and the oldest group will swim 150 yards, bike three miles and run one mile.


July 23

The Big Mountain Run — Danny On Hill Climb

Take your pick between a lung-busting fitness challenge, a casual family friendly hike or any variation in between for the 40th annual version of this popular hill climb. Beginning near the Hellroaring Saloon at Whitefish Mountain Resort, participants will trek 3.8 miles up the Danny On Trail, climbing 2,200 feet to reach the Summit House. Special prizes are awarded for the fastest finishers, the oldest and youngest finishers and the anyone who finishes in less time than their age. Proceeds benefit the Glacier Nordic Ski Team. 


July 24

Flathead Lake Run

Enjoy magnificent Flathead Lake views while you run/walk your way towards helping preserve and protect Flathead Lake with a 10k, 5k or one-mile kids run. All proceeds benefit the Flathead Lakers — a non-profit organization working to keep the lake clean through safeguarding efforts, 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 our future generations to enjoy! Music, festivities and beer (Tamarack Brewery) to be enjoyed after the race in Volunteer Park.


July 30

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. 


Flathead Beacon file photo

August 13

Swim the Fish

Dive into the beautiful water of Whitefish Lake and take on the challenge of swimming a half mile, full mile, or 5k through alpine waters. All distances will begin and end at City Beach in Whitefish, where participants will be treated to a huckleberry pancake feed following the swim. 


August 13-14

24 Hours of Flathead

The only 12-hour, 24-hour and adaptive Mountain Bike Race in Montana. This isn’t your ordinary mountain bike race, this race has a mission, live music, a hot lap option, free camping, and is fun for all ages! The event’s two courses — an two-mile adaptive hand cycle course and nine-mile bicycle course — loop around the Herron Park trails, including 275 and 1,290 feet of gain respectively.


August 21

Last Best Ride

Last year saw more than 550 cyclists descend on the Flathead Valley to take part in either the 48-mile or 90-mile gravel bike that loop around Whitefish Mountain Resort, Haskill Basin and the Flathead National Forest. Currently all distances are sold out but have waiting lists, and aggressive spectating and cheering is highly encouraged on race day!


A cyclist peddles through the mountains outside Whitefish. The Last Best Ride is a gravel bike race with 48-mile and 78-mile-long courses held in Whitefish. Photo by Dillon Caldwell

September 10

Great Fish Fun Run

An excellent way to continue showing support for the Great Fish Community Challenge is to run or walk for your favorite charity. There are competitive and non-competitive 5k options with costumes and creativity highly encouraged!


September 18

Foys to Blacktail Marathon

Foys to Blacktail is hosting the fourth edition of 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.  Special this year is a showcase of the newest trails on the FTB system on Emmons Ridge south to Blacktail Mountain.


September 24

Cedar Creek Marathon and Half Marathon

Logan Health is bringing a new event to the Flathead Valley this fall with a point-to-point half and full marathon course along the edge of Glacier National Park. The marathon will begin at Big Creek Campground and end in Columbia Falls, offering a mix of gravel and pavement along this Boston Qualifying course. 


October 1-2

Whitefish Trail 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, climbs to the top of Big Mountain via the Whitefish Trail in Haskill and finishes at the Great Northwest Oktoberfest 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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