Glacier Half Marathon Details
The Glacier Half Marathon takes place just east of Glacier National Park. This is a challenging, but highly rewarding half race with some seriously stunning views!
The race starts at 6:00 AM sharp with cutoff at 10:00 AM. That provides runners (and even walkers) 4 full hours to take in the scenery and make your way to the finish line.
To be clear, this race doesn't take place inside the National Park. (It's difficult to get permission to conduct private business activities on national land, and rightly so.) Having said that, this is about as close to the park as it gets.
Pricing & Registration Periods
$109 Sep. 14 – Nov. 11
Regular: $129 Nov. 12 – Apr. 7
Late: $149 Apr. 8 – Race Expo
The race will start about 1.25 miles east of Kiowa, MT on highway 89 at a beginning elevation of about 5000 ft. The entire race will be on pavement except for a couple short sections that run on grass. As runners run towards Kiowa, there will be a gradual gain of about 100 vertical ft.
*Please note that due to road construction on highway 89, the first mile of the course may not be on pavement, but will still be runnable.
At Kiowa, runners will turn left onto highway 49 at Kiowa. From there the road climbs almost 900 ft for the next 3.5 miles topping out at 5977ft just before mile 5. It’s a big climb, but runners will be rewarded with gorgeous views of Glacier National Park, and the prairies at it’s base as you climb Looking Glass Hill.
From Mile 5-8 runners will lose 900 ft and will enjoy stunning views of Lower Two Medicine Lake and the surrounding mountains.
Just after Mile 8.5, runners will pass 2 Medicine Rd. (NOTE: While we will have local law enforcement on site to help vehicle traffic navigate around runners, there is a chance some runners might face a brief pause to allow for vehicle traffic to enter/exit the Two Medicine area.)
Runners will continue to drop until mile 10.25 where there is another 200 ft climb over the next mile followed by another 150 ft drop to mile 12.
Just before runners get to the business district of East Glacier, runners will run onto the golf course past hole 10 and will exit onto 1st street and run down Clarke and Hotel streets where they will finish the race on the front lawn of the Glacier Park Lodge.
The elevation change on this course is definitely something to take note of. The first half of the race starts at about 5000 ft and goes from a gradual climb to a steeper elevation gain topping out at 5980 ft. After mile 5 the course descends more than 900 ft. The total race gain is 1230 ft. This is a challenging, but overwhelmingly beautiful course!
All runners will have 4 hours to finish the race. That is an 18 minute mile - plenty of time for walkers! If at anytime we deem it unsafe and need to pull a runner off the course we would hope for understanding and immediate cooperation. Failure to comply will result in being banned from future events.
Our course record holders receive a FREE RACE ENTRY every year that their time remains the course record! The current course record holders are:
Male Overall: Sam Read 1:13:30 (2018)
Female Overall: Samantha Witt 1:30:56 (2018)
Male Masters: Brian Suttle 1:26:10 (2018)
Female Masters: Kris Rostas 1:40:23 (2018)
We are pleased to share a FREE half marathon training program customized for this course to help you prepare. We've teamed up with Active at Altitude as the Official Training Partner to offer 2 levels of training:
These programs are free and are sent via e-newsletter every 4 weeks.
Packet Pickup Options
PACKET PICKUP » You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packet including at the Race Expo, the Start Line, or we can mail it to you. When you register, we ask you to indicate when you plan to pick up your bib. If your plans change, don’t worry about it. We only ask to help us plan in terms of numbers. Don't forget to bring your I.D. Your choices to pick up your packet are:
Option #1: Race Expo
We recommend picking your bib up and attending the expo on Friday before the race. It will be an outdoor expo, held at Red Eagle Campground on the Blackfeet reservation at the south end of Lower Two Medicine Lake (off of Highway 49). We’ll open up the expo at 12 pm. Our vendors will close at 6 pm, but you can pick up your bib until 7 pm.
You’re welcome to pick up a packet for a friend as long as you have a picture of their photo ID. Even a picture on a phone will do.
Option #2: Race Morning
You can pick up your bib on the morning of the race, but you’ll need to be there early, at least an hour before the race starts. The race starts at 6:00 am sharp! Please use start line bib pickup as a last resort. Bib pickup on race morning will be right next to the starting line.
Option #3: Shipped Before the Race
There is a cost of $20 if you want to have your bib and shirt mailed to you. We do this as a convenience for runners not wanting to drive out to Glacier early.
Refunds: Once your package is shipped, you are officially checked in to the race and no longer qualify for our refund, deferment, or transfer options.
Bring Your Own Bag
In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste during our races, our expos are bagless events. We encourage you to BYOB (bring your own bag) to hold your bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up from the race expo!
If you are unhappy with the fit of your race shirt, or were unable to order the size you wanted, we will have a shirt exchange available at the finish line on race day. Please note that sizes and quantity will be limited.
Expect about 6 aid stations on the course beginning around mile 3. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly electrolyte drink, Honey Stinger gels, basic first aid supplies, and sometimes more.
All stations are cup-free so plan to bring your own hydration solution or request a free HydraPouch when you register.
Race Day Schedule
4:00 am – Parking lot opens/shuttles to start line begin
5:00 am – Last shuttle leaves to the start line
5:30 am – Last call for bib pickup
5:45 am – Runners line up/last call for gear check
5:55 am – National Anthem
6:00 am – Race Starts! All divisions
7:00 am – Shuttles begin running between the finish line and the parking lot in Browning
8:45 am – Awards ceremony
10:00 am – Race finish cutoff
Parking, Shuttles, & Runner Drop-off
We will have event parking, drop-off, and shuttles at the fields outside NW Boundary St in Browning, MT. Shuttles will take runners from Browning to the start line before the race starting at 4am. The last shuttle will leave for the start line at 5am. Do not be late!
There is absolutely no parking or drop off at the start line or finish line.
Spectators and runners are welcome around the finish line to cheer on runners. They can park nearby and walk to the finish area. The following areas are for spectators to use:
• The BNSF Parking Lot across from the Glacier Park Lodge
• The corner lot located north of the Glacier Park Lodge
• Along the streets of the business areas of East Glacier Park Village
• The same parking lot where runners park in Browning
DO NOT park at the East Glacier Lodge, and please avoid parking on residential streets in town. For spectators staying in Browning, they can take the shuttles to the finish line starting at 7:00 am.
Spectators can park near the finish line at the lots highlighted in orange on the map on the left, or on side roads along businesses nearby. After parking, spectators should walk to the finish. Do not park at East Glacier Lodge and please avoid
Note: The runner area is for runners only! Please do not enter the runner area or partake of runners’ food.
We want to help you make the most out of your vacation. Here are some helpful links to some of our sponsors as well as general information. We’ll be updating the links below as we get closer to race day.
The expo and race take place in East Glacier Montana with the start of the race closer to Browning, MT. Kalispell is a major hub for Glacier National Park. Most runners will likely fly or drive through Kalispell, Montana on their way to the race. That being said, it’s about an hour and a half away from where the race will take place. If lodging is completely full east of the park, Kalispell has options of places to stay. Find options on the Discover Kalispell website.
Where to Stay
VACATION RACES CAMPGROUND
The most convenient (and most fun) place to stay during race weekend is our Vacation Races Campground! The Vacation Races campground & race expo will be located at Red Eagle Campground on the Blackfeet reservation at the south end of Lower Two Medicine Lake (off of Highway 49).
There is plenty of space for campers, and is conveniently located at the same location as the race expo. Keep in mind that this is primitive camping.
We will provide toilets, water, and campfires. You can sleep in your car, tent, hammock, an RV (no hookups), or rent a tent from us for an additional charge. Whichever you choose, you still have to reserve a spot. Campsites do not include cots, sleeping bags, pillows, headlamps, cooking stoves and supplies, or firewood. Runners who are camping will need to drive to the parking area in Browning to catch the shuttle to the start line race morning.
- Campsite Reservation (bring your own tent) $75
- Campsite Reservation with 4 person tent rental $100
- Campsite Reservation with 6 person tent rental $130
- Thursday, June 20th 3:00pm – Sunday, June 23rd 9:00am
Campsite check-in will be on Thursday, June 20th from 3pm-7pm and Friday, June 21st from 11am - 7pm. Upon arrival you will be able to pick the location you want, they are first come first serve. Price is for all days and times listed, even if you don't stay for the duration.
Campsite checkout will be by Sunday, June 23rd, by 9:00am. If you reserved a tent you will need to turn it into the camp hosts before you leave.
You can make a reservation as part of your race registration when you sign up! If you've already registered, you can log back in and edit your registration to add on a camping option.
MORE LODGING OPTIONS
If camping isn’t your style, here’s a quick guide of places to look for lodging near the race!
EAST GLACIER VILLAGE - East Glacier Village has the most lodging options in the area. It will be the easiest to place to find lodging for race weekend, but will also likely be the first place to fill up. This will be the best place to stay if you’re hoping to stay near the finish line.
BROWNING - If you can’t find lodging in East Glacier Village, Browning will be the next town to look in. It’s about 15 minutes away from the start and finish lines and has several lodging options.
ST. MARY - This is small town north of the race, but it has some good lodging options. You should plan on about a 45 minute drive to and from the race if you stay here.
ADDITIONAL HOTEL OPTIONS
We've partnered with booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area:
Things to See & Do
To help you make the most out of your visit to Glacier National Park, we've put together some recommended "Club Hikes". Do one of these Club Hikes within 72 hours of the end of the race will receive a club hike medallion. Completing the the Trifecta Challenge within 72 hours earns you an official Trifecta pin!
Following the Glacier Half Marathon, we will post a link to the website where runners can send us their photos and names. Good luck!
These club hikes are a salute to the hardcore among us. We have four club hike options for the Glacier Half Marathon: They are Grinnell Glacier, Scenic Point, Hidden Lake and Iceberg Lake.
The Grinnell Glacier hike is a strenuous, but very rewarding hike to Grinnell Glacier Overlook. It’s 7.6 miles roundtrip and scenic the whole way! We recommend taking the shuttle boats across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine (which do have fees), otherwise you’ll need to hike an extra 3.4 miles. We also recommend starting early and bringing bear spray and lots of water!
Where do I take my picture? Take your picture at Grinnell Glacier Overlook! You’ll be able to see incredible views of this colossal glacier!
Scenic Point is a strenuous, 8 mile hike (roundtrip) which partially follows the Continental Divide Trail. As you hike you’ll get amazing views of Lower and Upper Two Medicine Lake, which will only become more dramatic as you climb. At the top, you’ll have stunning views of both lakes and almost the entire valley. You’ll even be able to see all the way to our host town, East Glacier Park!
Where do I take my picture? Take your picture at Scenic Point- the top of the hike.
HIDDEN LAKE CLUB
The hike to Hidden Lake is a moderate, 5.4 mile hike (roundtrip). You’ll get gorgeous views of the lake, plus alpine meadows on the way! This is different than the Hidden Lake Overlook, which is part of the trifecta. To join this club you need to go all the way to the lake!
Where do I take my picture? Take your picture at Hidden Lake. Pictures from the overlook will not be accepted.
The hike to Iceberg Lake is a strenuous, 10 mile hike (roundtrip). Along the way you’ll have dramatic views of the mountains, several lakes, and even a waterfall. A lot of the hike will have views of alpine meadows and wildflowers. It really is gorgeous the whole way. Please make sure to make lots of noise and bring bear spray if you choose to do this hike! Although the hike is tough, it is very rewarding.
Where do I take my picture? Take your picture at Iceberg Lake!
PRIZE & REQUIREMENTS » Any runners that take the challenge and complete one of the designated hikes within 72 hours of running the race will officially join the club and receive a commemorative medallion! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself at the designated location which includes:
- A clear view of your face
- Your bib with bib numbers clearly visible
- Your finisher medal in plain view
- Clear background showing where you are
For those looking for something less strenuous, we have the Glacier Trifecta! The Trifecta is comprised of 3 different activities. You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. The Trifecta is meant to be challenging, but less strenuous. These are iconic activities inside the park that should be experienced, but are doable with children. The 3 activities that makeup the Trifecta are:
SAINT MARY LAKE
This iconic view of the mountains surrounding Saint Mary Lake is a must see while you’re visiting Glacier National Park. You’ll find the view point at a pullout about 6.5 miles past the Saint Mary Visitor Center.
TRAIL OF THE CEDARDS
The Trail of the Cedars is a short, 1 mile loop through the forest in Glacier National Park. Located 5.5 miles east of the Lake McDonald Lodge. This is an extremely popular trailhead, so parking can become sparse at times. The humidity in the area allows for tall cedars and even some ferns, which you’d normally only see on the Pacific Coast. You’ll get some really pretty views of the forest and the Lower Avalanche Gorge.
RUNNING EAGLE FALLS
The trailhead for Running Eagle Falls is located 1.1 miles west of the Two Medicine entrance station. Running Eagle Falls, also known as “Trick Falls”, flows off the outlet stream between Two Medicine Lake and Lower Two Medicine Lake.
PRIZE & REQUIREMENTS » You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. Same rules apply: take your picture at each of the 3 with your bib and finisher medal and send them to us* 72 hours after finishing the race. Those who complete the Trifecta will receive a commemorative pin!
*Note: We require that you combine all three trifecta photos into one image file before submitting your entry to the Trifecta. You can download this app to make a collage of your photos on your iPhone or Android.