Montana’s oldest road race, the 76th annual Veterans Day race will take place on Monday, Nov. 11 in Butte. The start will begin at 11 a.m. at Stodden Park.
There will be two races, a 2.5 mile event for kids fourteen and younger plus an adult race that will go 5.2 miles.
The annual event 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.
It 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.
The defending men’s champion at the five-mile run is Matt Choquette of Butte. The defending women’s champion is Nicole Hunt of Deer Lodge who has won this race eight times in her running career.
Trophies will be awarded to youngsters in the 2.5 mile race while the top three finishers in each age category will receive trophies in the longer event. All competitors will receive at least a ribbon for competing and will be treated to a lunch at the American Legion Hall following the race.
Runners can sign up for the event on the day of the event from 10 a.m. until race time. For more information on the race contact race co-chairman Pat Kearney at 490-0688.