Veterans Day Race a Butte tradition

Montana’s oldest road race, the 75th annual Veterans Day race will take place on Sunday, Nov.11 in Butte. The start will begin at 11 o’clock in the morning 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 Patrick Judge of Helena. The defending women’s champion is Michelle Bazzanela of Butte. She has won the race twice in her 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 pick up a race application at Southwest Sports on Amherst Street. Sign up for the event will take place the day of the event from 10 am until race time. For more information on the race contact race co-chairman Pat Kearney at 490-0688.

Veterans Day Race year-by-year

Veterans Day Winners