There are less than a 100-days now until the start of the 2023 Missoula Marathon, and that means it's time to get your registration filed and step up your training.

Registration for the full and half marathons, as well as the 5k, has been brisk in recent weeks, as race organizers say we're already closing in on the caps for the different races. That's set at 1,500 runners for the 26.2-mile marathon.

Race Director Trisha Drobeck says that, while some race registration is still recovering from the interruptions of the pandemic, the Missoula event is coming back strong.

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"So kind of across the board nationwide registration for races is still down about 10% compared to 2019," Drobeck told me. "Last year it was more like 21 to 23% down, so we're climbing back up and hoping to get people excited. I think people just have to remember how great it is, right? They have to come out, participate in, they're like, oh, yeah, I totally love this and like this. So I'm coming back."

While registration has closed for the official Marathon training courses through Run Wild Missoula this spring, Drobeck says there's still plenty of time for people to seek advice and train on their own, especially using the run-walk method.

"Yeah, you can. You can really just start with one mile. You can run-walk. You can walk. Our course is open for 7 1/2 hours. So that's kind of a very brisk walk to the finish line for 26 miles, but there is definitely time to get out there, get moving, and get in shape. You've got a few months to get after it."

Now is also a good time to get involved in trail running sessions

In fact, that run-walk approach has become the main tool for Marathon participation. 

"It it's definitely a more mild approach," Drobeck agrees. "Less wear and tear on the body than just straight-up running and also kind of keeps things interesting. You know, if you set a timer that goes off every minute or every 30 seconds and you're alternating, it just kind of you're like, 'oh, okay, I'm going to move again'. And then, 'oh, I get to slow down'. And so it just kind of keeps your mind busy. So you're not focused on, 'oh, man, I'm out here for so long.' " 

Marathon registration fees are now inching upward, costing $115 between now and April 30th. In May, the price increases to $125 and then $140 on race week.

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