Warmer Than Usual

    It looks like an unseasonably warm week of weather leading up to 37th running of the Snow Joke Half Marathon. After two straight years of overnight lows near zero the day of the race, the National Weather Service forecasts a balmy 27 for Friday night in Seeley Lake, with a high of 44 on Saturday and a 30 percent chance of rain or snow showers. Runners should expect some wet, melting conditions in places on the course.


    Huge field expected for 2016

    The 37th annual running of the Snow Joke Half Marathon is already shaping up to be the biggest Snow Joke ever. Last year’s turnout of 806 participants established an impressive new record for the size of the field, and our registrations are running well ahead of that so far this year. We’re stoked by the enthusiasm, and a big field means big fun for everybody involved. But it creates some challenges, too. To keep the parking under control, maintain a smooth check-in process, and ensure everybody's safety on the road, we need to limit the field to 1,000 runners.


    Big sun. Big run.

    With predominantly dry pavement, a huge turnout, and morning temps near zero rounding into a warm, sunny afternoon, the 36th annual Snow Joke Half Marathon will go in the books as an all-time great. Some 806 runners completed the course, by the far the biggest Snow Joke ever. And the times were very fast. Overall female winner Trisha Drobeck, of Missoula, broke the women’s course record by almost three minutes, finishing in 1:21:05. Men’s overall champ Jason Delany, from Polson, ran a blistering 5:27 pace to finish in 1:11:28.


    Race Day Forecast

    In keeping with the rugged ethos of the Snow Joke, the weather forecast for this Saturday's 36th annual running of the race looks impressively wintry.

    Weeks of unseasonably warm weather left the course bare and dry as of last week, but with the return of cold weather the last couple of days, snow and ice are back in picture. The National Weather Sevice forecasts snow showers later this week, and an arctic air mass is expected in Seeley Lake for the weekend. Look for overnight temperatures in the single digits Friday, making for a very cold start Saturday morning. The race day high is forecast at 32 right now, with mountain snow showers providing atmosphere suitable for the occasion.


    Ready. Set. Snow.

    With several weeks of freaky warm weather in January and early February, we’ve seen lots of runners out training this winter, which means we’ll have a fast Snow Joke this year. And did you see the great Snow Joke write ups in Runner’s World during the last month? First, they included it among seven great winter events in an online article you can read here. And then they highlighted the Snow Joke as one of the featured half marathons in their March issue, on newsstands right now! The great weather and great publicity has us anticipating the biggest, best Snow Joke ever, with more than 700 runners. As always, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for fair weather and good road conditions on race day.

    We’ve made a couple of upgrades since last year, re-designing all the course markers that the Cheetah Herders created in days of yore. The jokes remain the same, just more stylish. It’s like the difference between Roseanne Barr and Kathy Griffin, and we hope the laughs keep coming.


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