Missoula Marathon canceled for first time in its history

Mark Messmer won the Missoula Marathon in 2019, his second win in as many years. (KPAX)

(KPAX) The Missoula Marathon has been canceled, the first time its history organizers have done so.

Race director Tony Banovich announced Thursday morning that the race would not be able to go on amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wish I could have good news, but after lots of discussion with our race committee and our Run Wild Missoula board of directors, we made the choice to cancel the marathon,” said Banovich.

The marathon was set for Sunday, June 28 and would have marked the 14th year of the race.

Run Wild Missoula told participants on March 28 that they would make a decision on May 7. By early April, the organization let runners know the options, if the race were to be canceled, but did not officially cancel the race.

“So, that gave us about six weeks to go through and complete our due diligence,” said Banovich. “To have the discussions to have the evaluations with our medical director, Rob Amrine, to talk to city-county health and get their input and feedback.”

“To see what the other races around the country and around Montana and the region were doing in June and July. Talk to our committee members, talk to our board of directors, visit with some of our volunteer groups and collect all of that data to make a good decision.”