Monday, July 17, 2017

Plain May Not be The Right Word

After I wrote my race recap I realized all these things I never mentioned...
Today I wanted to show you the expo for Glacier Half Marathon

I still have a few more tidbits to share from my week in Montana visiting my Mom, and then I guess I'll get some current content lol
Really though, I run a few days a week before work and then I sit for ten hours at my isn't very exciting! One happy little mileage note...I finally crossed 600 miles for the year last week! My mission is to stay healthy and keep running :)

The plains of Montana took my breath away.
I've been going to see my Mom for 10 years out in Whitefish, so I am use to the lake and mountains in her area now, but I don't drive the two hours to the plains often. I have only been a few times.

The wide open spaces are stunning and my camera doesn't really do this justice....well maybe if I had a better camera, but I had an iPhone, that has been soaked once LOL...

The land is rolling hills, interesting ridges, and grass that shifts with the wind. The sky and land seem to meet in way that you don't see in other places.

 The Bison moving across the plains

The sky seems bigger and the clouds make intriguing shadows across the mountains and the plains. It makes each day a little unique treat :)  Things looked really different when it was just blue skies.

The expo was held on the plains in Browning, Montana. Blackfeet reservation land. The campground was behind the casino. It was a breezy cool day.

The field is so big it seems endless...

This is also where we parked race morning to meet the race shuttles. There was a ton of space to park, so no issues there, as long as you remembered what row you left your car in. 

The expo was laid out nice. Bib pick up and registration were in a separate area from the few t-shirt vendors, jewelry vendors, and hydration bottle tents since this was a cup-less race. There was also a s'more station and I did enjoy one.

While I was walking around I couldn't help but think what a mess this could have been if it rained for the expo or race days, thankfully the weather was superb!
People popped their tents in the giant field not far from the expo and I also saw a lot of folks preparing to sleep in their cars. Porta potties were lined up in one area, but that was the only comfort. I am not sure I could have run a race without access to running water...but I am a wimp.

I felt like my drive to Cut Bank to stay in the hotel was well worth it.  It was further away from my Mom's, but it gave me a new experience and a chance to see more of the land.

Cut Bank was a nice small town I mentioned in my last few posts, with hilly little streets about 30 miles from Browning, MT.

Options for hotels in and around Browning are very limited, so why not embrace the chance to see more. The plains are many things, but plain. 😉

Hungry Horse would be another option that would put you about 80 minutes away from the shuttles. The hotel and lodges in East Glacier book up fast this time of year because of Glacier National Park.
There were a few hostels available, but you had to share a bathroom with a lot of people. Getting up and leaving at 3:30 a.m. would feel uncomfortable to me.
The point being, if you decided to run this race- book very early!

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia and the guest host is the lovely and talented Janelle @ Run With No Regrets 

Would you pop a tent? 
Sleep in your car? 
Drive to hot shower like I did?! 
Have you ever been to an outdoor expo? 
Stay in a hostel? 

Thanks for stopping by! 


  1. Wait, people were camping outside for the race?

    You are right that what would have happened to the expo if it has rained. When I ran the Omaha Half Marathon, the expo was also outside. That was the first one I've been to that has taken place outside.

    1. Yes runners were primitive camping! There are very limited lodging options so a lot of people chose the camping route. I could not do it, the drive was worth it!
      Outside is great if the weather cooperates:)

  2. I can now see why one of Montana's nicknames in "big Sky country"! Are you originally from Montana or did your mom move there later in life?

    I've never heard of anyone camping out before a race. I can't imagine that would make for a good night's sleep!

    1. My Mom moved there later in life. Her sister was in nursing home there but has since passed away.
      I was amazed at how many runners did camp, but lodging options were very limited. A bunch of runners stayed at the same hotel I did 30 miles away. I can't imagine running after sleeping in a tent lol

  3. Can I come and live with your mom? ;-) Love the first photos of the plains. Hungry Horse sounds familiar--I think we may have stayed near there.

    1. I know! I want to go back and stay!
      Hungry Horse is where the dam is, maybe you went by there - it isn't far from Whitefish and Columbia Falls. It is really pretty there!!

  4. How beautiful!

    I signed up for Grand Teton half last year and we were scrambling for a place to stay. Finally I decided to get a refund because we couldn't find any affordable lodging. I'm going to try again in a few years because those views are just stunning!

    1. A lot of vacation races have the challenge of lodging! Gotta book really early, I hope you get to run it, I am sure it'll be amazing!

  5. I love all of your photos! Looks like a beautiful place to spend time

    1. Thank you, it is fabulous area. I really didn't want to come home.

  6. omg those hills! my legs hurt just looking at them, haha! so beautiful though!

    1. LOL, those are the kind of hills I love, the rolling ones!
      The big climb for 5 miles in the race still makes me tired thinking about it LOL

  7. I've never stayed in a hostel, but I have been to a *small* outdoor expo -- on a farm! A s'mores station. Swoon. This race has definitely been on my radar, so all the info is great. Although it kind of scares me that you think it was the hardest half you've ever done -- cause you've done some hard ones!

    It's really too bad it didn't work out for me to do it this year. :(

    They call it Big Sky Country for a reason!

    1. I wish you could have run this one with me! Maybe when are ready to run it I will be able to work out a visit to my Mom :)
      It is definitely a long climb uphill, but it is very enjoyable...well it was enjoyable because I was very willing to walk lol I think trying to run this or stay to a strict interval pace would be hard but if you just want to enjoy it, the downhill is great!! However my legs were so tired it was hard to run on level ground LOL and I think maybe the elevation messed with me a bit, but it is hard to tell!! I couldn't produce any speed at the end at all. At home I usually can. Still loved it though :)

  8. If I had an SUV or something where the seats laid down I think I would bring tons of pillows and sleep in the back of my car, otherwise you would probably find me pitching a tent, with an air mattress. No shower needed if I start the day clean, all I'll do at the HM is end up dirty anyways. Haha.

    1. YA! I wouldn't mind if I had a big truck I guess :) I am not much of camper though, one night out there and I would be done lol
      You are right about the race! You just get sweaty anyways :)

  9. Beautiful pictures!
    I drove there a few years back for a different race in Missoula but hit up Glacier first and just loved it! I enjoyed following all your IG posts while you were on the trip too! I think it would be an amazing place for a race!!

    1. Thanks!
      I love Missoula, I really like the whole state lol It is hard to not appreciate all the beauty.
      I do hope one of these years I get to run the race again :) It was like nothing else I ever experienced.

  10. So so so beautiful. It reminds me of all those Clint Eastwood westerns. I need to visit out there.

  11. I would probably sleep in the car. LOL!

    Such beautiful pictures. :) I love all the clouds!!

  12. What an interesting experience! I have never been to an outdoor expo...yes, that would be a bummer if rain happened to make an appearance. I love all your pics...the mountains look so beautiful!


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