188: Missoula Marathon
I was also reminded again how well Missoula does community. There were hundreds of official volunteers helping the race run smoothly, but there was also more than 26 miles of nearly continuous support from all sorts of individual people, families, and different organizations. There were tons of homemade signs and posters with encouragement and inspirational quotes along fences and stapled to posts along the entire route. Tons of people had their sprinklers out on the road to help keep runners cool; many also had music playing and some even had drinks. One family was giving out little packages of gummy bears. Another had a record player hooked up to speakers. Many people along the way had their cars parked with their stereos going. They had a few dozen football players from one of the local high schools manning one of the water stations and a dance team doing another. I don't think I ran more than about 20 yards the entire morning without having someone else in the race or alongside the road offer some encouragement. It was kind of fun to be a part of something where everyone involved seemed so excited to see other people accomplish something tough.