80th Veterans Day Race will be run Saturday in Butte

80th Veterans Day Race will be run Saturday in Butte
Runners head down Dewey Bolevard during the 2015 running of the Veterans Day Race. (Butte Sports file photo)

The 80th running of the Veterans Day Race will take place Saturday in Butte. The race will begin at 11:11 a.m. at Stodden Park.

Two races will be held. A 2.5 mile event is planned for kids 14 and younger. The adult race will go 5.2 miles. The race will be held no matter the weather conditions.

Montana’s oldest road race was created in 1934 by two World War I veterans, C. Owen Smithers and Charlie McAuliffe. Since then, the race has been held every Veterans Day except during the World War II years between 1942-45. The event is one of the oldest races held annually in the west.

For many years the event was started and finished in the uptown business district.

The race was primarily between athletes from the three high schools in the area, the two Butte schools and Anaconda. The start/finish line venue was changed to Naranche Stadium in 1967. It remained at this location until 1975.

The next year, in 1976, the race was opened to all runners and moved to the Flats.

The race has been run on the current course, starting at Stodden Park and ending at the American Legion Hall near the Copper King Inn, since 1985.

Joby Rosenleaf of Butte won the women’s title last year, while Helena runner Jesse Zentz won the men’s crown.

An awards ceremony will be held at the American Legion Hall following the race, and runners will be treated to lunch.

Runners can sign up for the event on the day of the event from 10 a.m. until race time. Cost is $10.

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