Veterans Day Race is on

Veterans Day Race is on
Runners take off for the start of the 82nd Veterans Day Race Nov. 11, 2019 in Butte. (Butte Sports file photo)

The 83rd running of the Veterans Dace will take place as schedule, though it will be a little different than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The race will begin at 11:11 a.m. on Wednesday Nov. 11. It will start and finish at the American Legion Hall on the corner of Wynne and McKinley avenues, just west of the Longfellow Fields.

The race is approved by the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department and will be limited to the first 50 runners. All racers must sign up ahead of time. There will be no race-day registration. (Registration form)

Mail registrations to Eddi Walker, 3402 Wharton Street, Butte, MT, 59701. Runners can also call Walker at 490-1233 to register.

Masks will be required at the starting line, though runners can take them off once the starting cannon goes off.

Also, there will be no post-race lunch this year, and awards will be mailed or delivered to winners. There will be no awards ceremony.

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 started at Stodden Park and ended at the American Legion Hall near the Copper King Inn from 1985 through 2017. This year will be the third on the current course. Nicole Murray and Don Foley are the defending champions.

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