There are a lot of reasons that a person might decide to take up running. Maybe for fitness, maybe for competition or maybe for charity.
Some people do it just for fun.
The Flathead Valley offers all runners, regardless of their personal reasons and goals, the chance to experience the thrill of the run over the next two weekends.
Editorís note: All of these events are still scheduled to be held as of press time, but runners are encouraged to check the event websites for updates as the air quality in the region continues to decline due to nearby wildfires.
Great Fish 5K Color Run
Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m.
Depot Park, Whitefish
The Whitefish Community Foundation invites the community to celebrate the Great Fish Community Challenge by running or walking for charity in the family-friendly Great Fish 5K Color Run on Saturday, Sept. 9. The competitive race starts at 10 a.m., followed by the recreational group. Registration opens at 9 a.m.
Advance registration is $10 for adults, with children 12 and younger free in the recreational division of the 5K Color Run/Walk. After 6 p.m. on Sept. 8 and day-of-run registration for the 5K Color Fun Run/Walk is $15 for all ages and $20 for the competitive division. Race packets for advance registrations are available from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, at The Wave in Whitefish.
This event is family and pet friendly. Free breakfast and lunch are available for participants.
Creativity and costumes are encouraged. The 5K is a color run and participants will be covered with a non-toxic colored powder, so prepare to get a little messy and have a great time. For those who want to remain clean during the race, the color stations can be bypassed. A commemorative race T-shirt is included with registration while supplies last.
Age division winners will receive a commemorative plate. Overall 5K competitive division winners will win $200 grant to their participating charities. All participating runners and walkers will be entered into raffles. The raffles will be placed on the raffle line to be claimed after the run.
Before and after the run, runners and spectators can visit the nonprofit booths at the Community Fair in Depot Park. Participating nonprofits will have entertaining and interactive tents where the public can learn more about their mission and how they benefit the community.
There will also be live entertainment from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more information, visit http://www.greatfishchallenge.org/5k-color-run-and-fair.
Two Bear Marathon
Sunday, Sept. 10, 7:30 a.m.
Depot Park, Whitefish
The Two Bear Marathon and Half Marathon, set for Sunday, Sept. 10, is hosted by The Wave. All race proceeds go toward The Waveís scholarship fund.
The Two Bear Marathon will have a new, all-road course this year, with the event beginning and ending at Depot Park in Whitefish. Start time is 7:30 a.m. for the full marathon and 8:30 a.m. for the half marathon.
This is a full 26.2-mile marathon and 13.1-mile half marathon. Runners must finish in 7 hours or less to be considered an official finisher. All runners must be off the course by 2:30 p.m.
Registration ranges from $65 to $110 and includes water and Coffee Traders Coffee, Two Bear Marathon finishers shirt, medallion for all official finishers, fluids, foods and sanitary facilities on the course, food and drink for all runners at the finish line and a day pass for The Wave.
The awards ceremony will begin at approximately noon at Depot Park, recognizing the top female and male finishers overall as well as other age-division awards.
The post-race celebration at Depot Park is hosted by Piggyback BBQ, and is free for runners and $5 for friends, family and spectators.
For more information, visit http://twobearmarathon.org.
Glacier Glow 5K
Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.
The Coop, Columbia Falls
The Glacier Glow Run on Friday, Sept. 15, is a nighttime 5K run suitable for all ages and abilities. The run begins at 7 p.m. at The Coop in Columbia Falls.
Friends and family can run as a team or individually through the streets of Columbia Falls, looping through Riverís Edge Park and back to the Coop for a sparkling party. Glow Zones will energize runners along the course. A light show and DJ will keep the fun going at the end of the race. Beer, wine, and soft drinks will be available and Columbia Fallsí food trucks will be on hand to serve the crowd.
Regular registration, open through Sept. 14, is $35. Race-day registration is $50. Registered teams of four or more save 25 percent. Registration covers glow glasses, glow bracelet and a glow necklace, a race bib and admission to the light and sound show.
A portion of the proceeds from the Glacier Glow 5k will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia Falls.
Friends and family are welcome to enjoy in the eveningís fun. Spectators are welcome to walk out on the course free of charge. Spectators are also invited to the party. Those 21 and older may show ID and purchase a wristband to celebrate the occasion with an adult beverage or two.
For more information, visit http://glacierglow.com.