Did you know it never gets dark in Montana? Because it pretty much doesn’t. We left the brewery at 10:30 on Friday night and it still wasn’t dark. When I woke up at 4:30 am on Saturday (my body hates me) it was already getting light. This is very confusing to people’s bodies, just so we’re clear.
My mom, Fawn, and I were set to run the first ever Missoula Marathon 5k. My mom has been running for a little while now and this was going to be her very first race. She and I ran almost 6 miles together back in April, so I knew she could do it, but there is something very exciting about your first race. This one was especially cool because it featured a sweet technical t-shirt and a medal. That’s right, a medal for a 5k. Awesome right? After T-Rex Mom finally determined the official starting location, we were ready to go. We saw plenty of Maniacs who had come out to do the race, including Dave and Michelle. I had awkwardly been telling my mom how obsessed I am with both of them just a few minutes before, so this worked out well.
While we were standing around, I saw a girl look at me and it sounded like she said, “Yeah, that’s her. T-Rex Runner.” My mom heard it too and she goes “That girl just recognized you!” The girl wasn’t coming over to say anything so I didn’t want to be the creep who went up to her and was all, “Um, excuse me, but I’m pretty sure you just acknowledged my fame? Is that correct?” So I didn’t say anything, but it just so happened that Dave knew her because she (Amanda) is a Half Fanatic, so he introduced us and yes, she did in fact recognize me from the blog. She didn’t ask for my autograph or anything, but I’ll take it. Baby steps, right? Anyway, Amanda was finishing up her half marathon tour of the 50 states and D.C. the next day!
I had told Fawn that I really wanted my mom to be able to run the whole 5k, so if Fawn decided to walk, my mom and I would go ahead and I would come back after we finished and get her and run her the rest of the way in. She was cool with that, so the race started and my mom and I took off pretty much right away. I’m not going to lie, it was kind of surreal to be running a race with my own mother since I have only ever actually run with her twice before in the first place, and now here we are in a whole herd of people. I conducted a riveting interview with her during the race that you can watch below. It’s only 18 seconds long because my memory card filled up, but that’s probably for the best.
We had a great time though and of course held hands crossing the finish line. Her gun time was a little over 32 minutes, but factoring in the minute or so it took us to reach the starting line, T-Rex Mom ran her first 5k with 10 minute miles! She was so excited and proud when we crossed the finish line, but not as proud as I was. We were literally crossing the finish line and she’s going ” When is our next 5k?! I want to do another one!” Adorbs.
We took a quick picture and then I headed back down the course to grab Fawn. She was probably about half a mile out from the finish line still, so we walked the rest of the way in. I forced her to run the last tenth of a mile in and literally grabbed her elbow and pulled her across the finish line. She was not nearly as excited as my mom was. In fact, her reaction was basically the exact opposite. As we crossed the finish line, she said “Ugh, I’m so angry dude! WTF!” Basically, she had a hard time with the number of people in the race and got nervous being surrounded by them. She also hadn’t trained very well and wasn’t prepared for the distance, but hey, at least two-thirds of Team T-Rex had fun.
The Expo was outside at the park where the 5k ended, so we immediately headed over to check it out. This expo would have been a nightmare for my bank account if my parents weren’t there (ha!) because the Missoula Marathon honestly has some of the best gear I’ve ever seen. I have pretty much stopped buying race merchandise because I have such an obnoxious amount of running stuff now, but I ended up with a Maniacs headband, a Run Missoula singlet, a Missoula Marathon sweatshirt, and a shirt, not including my race shirt. T-Rex Mom also got the singlet, so now we will be wearing matching gear at our next 5k. No Mom, I still don’t know when it is. I’ll find one, I promise.
There was also a farmer’s market taking place at the same park, so we got breakfast. And by breakfast, I mean cupcakes. But hey, I got one with bacon in it and on top of it, so that counts, right? Not as gross as you might think, in case you were wondering.
Fawn had been so excited about coming to Montana that we all wanted to make sure she got to do whatever she wanted to do while she was in Missoula. She told my mom that she wanted to go on a hike. Now, I know Fawn, and I know that Fawn’s definition of a hike and my mother’s definition of a hike are two totally different things. When my mom hears “hike,” she’s thinking 10 miles up a mountain. When Fawn says hike, she means 100 yards, preferably on a paved path to a scenic location where she can take a picture. So you can see how a problem could have arisen. We ended up driving out to a pretty river with a very short, albeit unpaved, path where Fawn could try and spot a moose. Turns out moose are elusive creatures (duh) so that didn’t turn out so well.
We then headed out to Paradise, MT, where my parents had gone and eaten cheeseburgers the day before. Cheeseburgers in Paradise, ha! I think I was envisioning more of a town, but Paradise, MT is basically a tiny restaurant and a bar. Thats pretty much it. I did indeed eat a cheeseburger, just so I could say I did. Afterwards, we headed to the National Bison Range in hopes of spotting more wildlife for Fawn. Ironically, the only bison we saw were in some dude’s yard and not on the range at all.
Fawn was pretty tired after a long day of mostly doing nothing sightseeing, so she wanted to take a nap. I was tired too, but I’m not the type of person who goes somewhere and then doesn’t spend as much time as possible experiencing that place. So naturally, I decided to go to some of the local breweries. Hey, tradition is tradition. I went to two, one of which was on the advice of a local bartender, who sent me to the brewery where the “locals” go. Trust me, it was obvious to everyone that I was not a local. They all stared at me when I walked in. But T-Rex don’t care. T-Rex don’t give a shit. So I ordered a beer and sat on the couch by myself and silently judged people thought about all the wonderful pint glasses I would be buying.
After I got back from the breweries, it was time for the Maniacs dinner. This was set to be a pretty big one, with about 60 people attending, so I was excited to drag Fawn and my parents into the fray. The best part of all? The president of the Marathon Maniacs showed up.
That’s right. MM#1. The Prez. Aka basically my hero. And you know what? When Dave introduced us, the Prez said “Danielle? You’re T-Rex Runner!”
Game over. Mission accomplished. I no longer need to write this blog. I’m pretty sure I blushed and audibly internally squealed. We talked for quite a long time and he’s a really cool guy. We even took a picture together. I can’t promise that this isn’t already framed and hanging up in my house.
So, after my mom heard the Prez (who does have an actual name, which is Steven, btw) recognize me as T-Rex Runner, her obvious question to him was “And who am I?” as she waited for him to recognize that she is obviously T-Rex Mom. She is turning into such a diva, I swear. I’m pretty sure I am a part of her entourage now. Also, she wants to start another branch of the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics called “5K Freaks.” When she told the Prez this, he told her she could run it if she wants, so look out world.
And I leave you now with a group shot from the Maniacs dinner, where I was blinded by the sun for what seemed like hours while taking this picture.