|2021-05-01||Dave Coppock||May 2021 President's Letter|
|Good, spring running weather is finally here! The Montana Women’s Run will lead off in May 8 as a virtual event with nearly 4,000 runners entered. There are several courses around town and the Rimrunners have a team entered (check our newsletter for details).|
This year will mark the 40th annual running of the event. It was started back in 1982 by the Yellowstone Rimrunners at the suggestion of one of our first members, Pat Lachenmaier, who was one of the top female runners in the area at the time. Pat would place fairly high up, overall, in races where there were about ¾ men and ¼ women entered. She thought it would be fun to run an all-women’s event without all men the in the way! That first race had nearly 200 runners entered with a course running from Pioneer Park.
The event steadily increased participation to the point we had over 5,000 women and had moved downtown. In the mid-1990’s the Women’s Run Board was formed as a non-profit and became its own, stand-alone event, independent of the Rimrunners. With their new board focusing on the event year-round, the race grew to over 9,000 at one point and became one, if not the biggest, all-women’s run in the country. During that time, the Montana Women’s Run has donated back over $1.5 million to the Billings community dedicated to funding women’s health and wellness.
It’s been great to watch the progress of the Montana Women’s Run over the past 40 years and we’re looking forward to getting back to in-person races again!