Governor’s Cup (Helena, MT)

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Governor’s Cup race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

As the snow melts away, the birds start to sing, and children count down the final days of school, the running community in Montana is all preparing for the race to kick off summer: the Governor’s Cup. This race takes place the second weekend of June in Helena, the capital of Montana.

Fun Fact: Every capital city throughout the United States has a major river that runs by/through it except one: Helena, MT.

Since we have lived in Montana, we have run the Governor’s Cup as a way to kick off the summer season. Helena is only an hour drive from Butte, so we take the early drive through the mountains and into the capital. In our first year, we both ran the 10K, and in 2018, Paul ran the half-marathon alone (Kelsey was recovering from a knee injury). This year, we will be running the half-marathon again. However, we will be doing so in all orange, because we will be OFFICIAL BIBRAVE PRO AMBASSADORS.

As grisled veterans of the Governor’s Cup, we feel compelled to provide some background on this run. As we prepared for the 10K in our first year, we heard rumblings about some big hill that we would have to run. What could we do? We were brand new runners, had no idea what we were doing, or where to go for information about the race we were about to take on (hint: we should have just gone to BibRave.com), and we just hoped it wasn’t too bad.

Ok, it was pretty tough. As residents of “The Richest Hill on Earth,” we have seen our fair share of hills (and mountains). The run up “Cardiac Hill” as it is so affectionately named by the natives of Helena put our hill training to the test. We made it…but wow, what a test to our running abilities! And our relationship!

Another fun aspect of this race is the fact that Governor Steve Bullock, the current governor of Montana, actually runs it with you! He is quite the runner, you will need to train if you hope to keep up with him.

The concept of running a race at the very beginning of summer sounds great, because the weather is generally fantastic, with cool mornings and a mild sunshine. However, the training can prove to be challenging, since we are forced to run through winter in order to be fully prepared for the race. Several of our followers have expressed similar challenges, and look for advice regarding winter running. Over the next few months, we will share our tips and progress, as well as any other lessons we learn (usually the hard way) about running in Montana winters.

Let’s get running!