Best Jogging Strollers, High Impact Sports Bras Best Wireless Earbuds (RUFA). Runners chose from a three-hour, six-hour, or 12-hour challenge. Mt. Sentinel (5,158 ft. elevation) sits right at the edge of Missoula and is an iconic place for locals to run and hike. The event was part of the Training Pace Calculator, a collection of endurance events aimed at empowering organizations working on air quality solutions.

Because of summer wildfires and winter inversions, the American Lung Amity recently found that the Missoula area is now the fifth most polluted in the country for short-term particle pollution, and tied for the 11th most-polluted area for annual particle pollution. Up for Air events raise money for non-profit groups who demonstrate high value influence strategies. They also raise awareness among participants and the public around the importance of clean air. All events are conducted with a minimal footprint philosophy

About 100 runners showed up for their laps in Missoula, with snow on the ground and air temperatures that lingered around 22-degrees all day. They sipped broth and snacked on trail mix and Oreos between summits. Despite the cold and the brutal task at hand, everyone had a great time and rooted each other on. Each lap was about four miles total, with 1,800 feet of climbing. Josh Pierce of Missoula completed Best Running Shoes on the day, with 11 ascents and descents. Three men and three women completed 10 laps. All in, participants and volunteers climbed more than 836,000 feet.

While having a big day on the hill was a significant feat for those who participated in the event, even more impressive was the money raised. Race director Jeff Mogavero said, “All of the money we raise goes to Climate Smart Missoula, which helps all of the work they do to address climate resiliency and air quality issues in Missoula.” They’ve currently raised $15,000, and donation pages are open until the end of the month. “Once we pay for a few remaining race expenses, our total donation will likely be well over $20,000,” Mogavero said. Which is encouraging for a small community so dedicated to outdoor recreation.

Runner's worldRunner's world Lettermark logo
Micah Ling
Freelance Writer

Micah Ling is a freelance writer based out of Salida, Colorado. She splits her time in the mountains biking and trail running. Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.