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Race FAQ

Full Marathon Half Marathon


Full Marathon FAQ

  • What is it?


  • When is it?

    Sunday, September 18, 2016

  • What time does it start?

    7:30 a.m.

  • How far is it?

    GO BIG OR GO HOME! This is a full marathon — 26 miles, 385 yards. Because of the nature of the course, plan to run the whole thing because THERE IS NO EASY WAY OUT!

  • Where is the start?

    Lion Mtn. Trailhead of the Whitefish Trail System.

  • How do I get to the start?

    Everyone will be taking the bus. The first bus leaves at 6:30 a.m. The last bus leaves at 7:00 a.m. and a spectator bus will leave at 7:10 a.m.

  • Is there parking at the start?

    No. Please use the shuttle from The Wave. Your cheering section is welcome to park at The Wave and ride the shuttle to watch the start. The shuttle will return them to The Wave after the runners have cleared the starting line. The first part of the course is on a private road and no vehicles are allowed. Your cheering fans will not be able to drive the course!

  • Where is the Finish?

    At the The Wave Aquatic & Fitness Center (“The Wave”), 1250 Baker Avenue in Whitefish.

  • Is there parking at the Finish?

    Yes. You can park on Baker Avenue in the parking lot across the street from The Wave.

  • Can I start early?

    No, you can’t. You’ll mess up our timing!

  • Can I walk the course?

    You must finish the race in 5.5 hours or less to be considered an official finisher and receive a medallion. You must be off the course by 1 p.m. PLEASE, NO WALKERS!

  • How do I register?

    Applications are available on-line (click here).

  • Can I register day of?


  • What’s the entry fee?

    $75.00 to $110 depending on when you register (non refundable and nontransferable). The Wave is a 501(c)(3) corporation, and because we are donating one hundred percent of your entry fee to The Wave Scholarship Fund, your entry fee is tax deductible. We recognize that eighty bucks is a lot of money, and we thank you for your support of The Wave!

  • What do I get for my Registration?

    You get to share the day with a bunch of crazy marathoners on a beautiful course. You also get a free shuttle to the Start; a Two Bear Marathon shirt and other cool stuff in your goody bag; a medallion if you finish in less than 5.5 hours; a party at the Finish; and a day pass to The Wave.

  • What happens if I change my mind?

    Sorry, no refunds, no exceptions.

  • Do you shoot bandits?

    Yes!… Er… No, but bandits are strongly discouraged. It’s just not fair to the runners, to the volunteers, or to the recipients of scholarships to The Wave.

  • Okay. Just how tough is this course?

    It’s tough. This is Montana. The first half is on dirt roads and trails. The second half is paved, which will feel great for the first few miles, and then you’ll wish you were back on dirt. The second half is also hilly, flattening out as you get closer to town.

  • What’s the Elevation Gain?

    The good news is that there is a NET elevation loss of 229 feet! The bad news is the TOTAL elevation gain is over 4,600 feet! We start at an elevation of 3,273 feet. Only about one-fourth of the course could be considered flat. If you’re looking for a flat marathon, you’ve come to the wrong place!

  • Is the course certified?

    Sorry. Because of the rugged trail portion, we have been unable to have the course certified. However, we’ve measured the course with bicycle odometers and on foot with a GPS more times than we care to count. It’s 26.2 miles. Trust us!

  • When and where do I get my bib number and race packet?

    At The Wave, 1250 Baker Avenue in Whitefish. Packet pickup will be on Saturday, September 17, 2015, from noon to 4:00 pm. Your packet contains important information regarding race day and MUST be picked up before race day. Participants that do not check in at Packet Pick Up on Saturday will not be guaranteed race swag or official race shirts. We try to accommodate check-ins at the start, however, we do not recommend it.

  • How many aid stations are there on the course?

    In addition to aid at the Start and the Finish, there will be an aid station at the 3-mile mark and approximately every 2 – 3 miles along the course.

  • What will be offered at the aid stations?

    We’ll have water and Coffee Traders coffee at the start. Every aid station offers water and Hammer Nutrition Heed sports drink, and some offer Vaseline, HammerGel, and orange and banana slices. Porta Potties will also be available at some aid stations. Refer to our Last Minute Instructions in your race packet for specific aid station locations.

  • How do my sweats get to the Finish Line?

    Bring warm clothes to the Start. It can be very chilly in Whitefish early in the morning. Make sure your sweats bag is clearly marked. These bags will be collected at the Start and you’ll PROBABLY find them at the Finish. Any clothing left on the course will be donated to charity.

  • Will there be someone taking pictures of me on the course?

    Yes. A professional will be on the course taking pictures. Mountain life photography

  • Where can spectators view the race?

    Because the first half of the course is in the State Forest, on dirt roads, the potential for dust is extremely high. We encourage spectators to view the second half of the race, instead, when the Runners have reached the pavement. The second half of the course can be accessed by driving out Wisconsin Avenue, continuing on East Lakeshore Drive past the Big Mountain turnoff. PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY. There are many blind corners on this road and we do not want to put our runners in jeopardy. There will also be opportunities to view Runners in downtown Whitefish and at the Finish Line at The Wave.

  • When is the Awards Ceremony?

    The Awards Ceremony will be at The Wave at approximately 12:00 p.m.

  • What awards will be given?

    Every official finisher (5.5 hours or under) receives a medallion. In addition to the medallion, a first place trophy will be awarded to the first female and first male overall, and to the first masters female and masters male (over 40). Additionally, we will give awards 3 deep in each age group, in both women’s and men’s divisions. Individuals who win overall or the masters category will be taken out of the running for special age group awards.

  • What do I do with my dog

    Leave him at home with the baby jogger and stroller!

  • Will you allow bikes on the course?

    Not unless you’re part of our search, rescue and recovery effort!

  • Will there be a party at the Finish?

    Yes! It’s free for runners and five bucks for family and friends. And yes, there will be beer for those 21 and over!

  • Where in the world is Whitefish, Montana?

    We’re in the northwest corner of the state, near Glacier National Park.

  • How do I get there?

    By Train: Amtrak eastbound from Seattle; westbound from Chicago.
    By Air: Delta, Northwest, Alaska/Horizon, Big Sky and America West all serve Glacier Park International Airport just 15 minutes from Whitefish.

  • What kind of weather can I expect in September?

    We’ve ordered perfect weather: average highs in September are 71 degrees; average lows at night are in the low forties. The aspen will be golden. That said, check the weather before leaving home and come prepared for snow.

  • Is there anything else to do there?

    Glacier National Park is just 25 miles away! Take a stroll through downtown Whitefish and enjoy galleries, jewelry, clothing and casual to fine dining!!