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Runners converge on Havre for 2nd Annual Bear Paw Marathon

On the Hi-Line, a sign that summer has finally arrived is the annual Bear Paw Marathon. This weekend, the Bear Paw Marathon will make its return to Havre with the usual festivities.

About 254 runners will compete in the Bear Paw Marathon, which will consist of three races: the marathon, the half-marathon and the 5K. The full marathon will start at 6 a.m. Saturday. The runners for the marathon will have to be at the Armory Gymnasium on the Montana State University-Northern campus Saturday at 4:45 a.m. to get on a bus that will get them to the starting line.

This year, 38 runners will run in the full marathon, which is 26.2 miles and will begin 3.2 miles up Sucker Creek Road. The marathon will go through Beaver Creek Park as the racers will mostly run along the highway. The runners will also go off the highway and race around Bear Paw Lake and the Beaver Creek Reservoir. They will run along the highway until they get off on Saddle Butte Road and then head into Havre toward the MSU-N campus where all the races will end.

The half-marathon is 13.1 miles and will start at 7 a.m. at Beaver Creek Reservoir. The 89 runners in the event must be at the Armory Gymnasium at 6 a.m. to get on the bus that will take them to the starting line. 120 runners will compete in the 5K which will be 3.1 miles and will begin at 9 a.m. at Saddle Butte Road. Both the half-marathon and 5K runners will converge and race along with the full-marathon runners to the MSU-N campus.

With the marathon going along the highway, the organizers made sure to put in safety precautions to protect their runners from traffic. The southbound lane of the highway was closed for the marathon and there will be road monitors at most intersections of the highway.

Runners in the race are also recommended to wear bright clothing to make them more visible to drivers driving northbound. They will be allowed to wear headphones but they must be able to still hear traffic and instructions as they are running. Throughout the course, medical professionals and volunteers will be positioned to assist runners in case they experience a medical condition or need to drop out of the race.

After starting the marathon, runners have an eight-hour time limit to complete the course. If they do not complete the course within that time, they will not get an official time. They will still be allowed to run, but they must move to the side of the road and obey the rules of traffic.

Before the runners can participate in the marathon, they must pick up their packet and bib today. They can pick it up at the Holiday Village Mall from noon to 9 p.m.

Other events for the Bear Paw Marathon include a pub crawl and an after party. The pub crawl will take place tonight. Participants will be given tokens that they can use to purchase drinks at participating bars, breweries and distilleries in Havre. Participating businesses in the pub crawl include 40 Below Public House, Crawford Distillery, Boxcars Restaurant and Bar, Duck Inn, Eagles Club, Elks Lodge, Gallery Lounge, Murphy’s Pub, Oxford Bar, Palace Bar, PJ’s Lounge, Tip-It Bar, Triple Dog Brewing Company, Uncle Joe’s, Vic’s Place and Vizsla Brewing. The pub crawl will take place from noon today until the businesses close.

The after party will take place after the marathon at the football field and next to it at the MSU-N campus. At the finish line, there will be activities from cornhole to a bounce house. Festivities will start at 8 a.m. and will take place until 2 p.m.

There will be other activities around the Havre area Saturday. The marathon has partnered with tours and re-enactments with Havre Beneath the Streets, Fort Assinniboine and the Everything Antique show at the fairgrounds throughout the late morning and afternoon. There will also be an Art Alley Spring Celebration from 2 to 7 p.m. The Bear Paw Pub Crawl will also continue from opening to closing of the participating businesses.

See today’s and Wednesday’s page 1 for more details.

2022 Bear Paw Marathon Course & Couse Safety PSA

The course is coned and marked well, but is open to traffic in the northbound lane and pilot cars will be present. Volunteers and police officers will be at most intersections. Please run in the southbound lane unless otherwise directed. As an added precaution, we recommend race participants wear bright clothing to improve visibility.

Music devices and headphones/ear buds are allowed. Please ensure you are still able to hear instructions, motorists and communication from other racers that may be overtaking you.

Medical professionals and volunteers will be positioned throughout the course. If you experience a medical condition or need to drop out of the race seek a volunteer or police officer so medical assistance and transportation will be arranged.

An 8-hour time limit is in place for completion of the course. There will be no official time for participants who do not meet the 8 hour time limit. Aid stations, traffic control, and volunteers will relinquish their posts based upon the 7.5 hour completion time. If you are still on the course, you will be asked to move to the side of the road for the remainder of the route, and to obey all stop signs and traffic signals.

Pre-race shuttles are only for participants wearing bibs. Please check your gear drop bags promptly upon arrival at the starting line. Bags left unattended are subject to search and removal.

Residents, cabin owners and campers along the route should plan extra time to travel during the hours of 6 a.m.-2 p.m. A pilot car will safely pilot vehicles at reduced speeds along the course route between Butte Road and Sucker Creek. Please drive with caution and watch for people on the road if you must travel along the route during this time.


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