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Road Running News

May 2021

Join Us This Month!

Rims to River 8K 

In-Person: Wed 6.2.21 at 6 pm
Virtual: Sat 5.29.21 to Sun 6.6.21

Metra Upper Parking Lot (map)

The Free 3 begins! Rims to River is the first race of the Free 3 series. This 8K (4.97 miles) race along the paved multi-use trail provides views of both the Rims and the Yellowstone River (course map). We have two options for you this year:
  1. In-Person, Self-Timed Race with the Club: In place of our usual Wednesday night group run on June 2 at 6:00 pm, we'll race together. This option provides a festive race atmosphere and some friendly competition! Please time yourself at this race and submit your time; there is no official timer and mat. 
  2. Virtual Race: Can't join us on Wednesday night? No problem, you have a whole week to complete the race, including two weekends: 5.29.21 to 6.6.21
Rims to River is FREE for members and $20 for non-members. Members, RunSignup will automatically change your cost to $0 when register; no code necessary. 
Register Now

Running Montana Women's Run? Join Us!

Sat 5.8.21 8 am
Rocky upper parking lot

Join us on Saturday, May 8th at 8:00 a.m. and run from the Rocky upper parking lot. Men and women welcome. When you register, be sure to join our team: select "Join a Team Up", search for Yellowstone Rimrunners, then add Team Code YRR 2021.

Club Runs: Typical Schedule

Every Wed 6 pm (Location rotation)
Every Sat 7 am, YMCA

No changes in location or route this month. We are on our summer rotation, which means the first Wednesday of the month is Swords Park instead of Time Out Sports. All speeds of runners and walkers welcome!

Club News

President's Letter

by Dave Coppock

Good, spring running weather is finally here! The Montana Women’s Run will lead off in May 8 as a virtual event with nearly 4,000 runners entered. There are several courses around town and the Rimrunners have a team entered (check our newsletter for details).

This year will mark the 40th annual running of the event. It was started back in 1982 by the Yellowstone Rimrunners at the suggestion of one of our first members, Pat Lachenmaier, who was one of the top female runners in the area at the time. Pat would place fairly high up, overall, in races where there were about ¾ men and ¼ women entered. She thought it would be fun to run an all-women’s event without all men the in the way! That first race had nearly 200 runners entered with a course running from Pioneer Park. 

The event steadily increased participation to the point we had over 5,000 women and had moved downtown. In the mid-1990’s the Women’s Run Board was formed as a non-profit and became its own, stand-alone event, independent of the Rimrunners. With their new board focusing on the event year-round, the race grew to over 9,000 at one point and became one, if not the biggest, all-women’s run in the country. During that time, the Montana Women’s Run has donated back over $1.5 million to the Billings community dedicated to funding women’s health and wellness. 

It’s been great to watch the progress of the Montana Women’s Run over the past 40 years and we’re looking forward to getting back to in-person races again!

Trail Cleanup

Every year, Bright n' Beautiful organizes trash cleanups around Billings to celebrate Earth Day. On April 24, Rim Runners volunteered to clean up trash along the section of trail we adopted: the running trail from 24th to 29th on our Canyon Creek route. We picked up a huge amount of trash, which makes this a more pleasant place to run now! As a bonus, several Rim Runners found cash. The big winners: Diana found $20, and Elena, John, and Vince each found $1. Look for another Rim Runner trail cleanup this summer.

Rim Runner Cleanup Crew (left to right): Elena, Diana, Vince, Christina, John, Shelley, Marlena, Sarah, and Brad. Not pictured: Jeremy and Jordan.
Thank you Rim Runners for making this a more pleasant place to run!
Before (left) the trail was covered in litter.  After (right) the huge stack of trash we collected next to our nice, clean trail. 

Flagger Training: Scholarships Available

In order to secure a permit from the City of Billings to host a road running race, at least one person on the race committee must have flagger training. The Rim Runners are offering a limited number of scholarships to cover the cost of training. The training is available online and takes 4 hours to complete. We ask that scholarship recipients volunteer on at least one Rim Runner sponsored road race, but this training would be valuable to any local race committee. If you have questions or are interested, please email us at

Safety on the Run

Out for a run on the paved path along Rimrock Road, runner John Hanson's safety moves saved him from being hit by a driver that blew through a stop sign. He saw the driver was not looking and wasn't slowing down, so he stopped immediately. John's message to fellow runners: assume drivers do not see you at intersections! "It is better to be SAFE and continue your run than to be hit by a driver in way too much of a hurry to stop at a posted stop sign."

To keep you safe on the run, here are safety tips from Road Runners Club of America: 
  • Don't wear headphones. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs.
  • Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.
  • Look both ways before crossing. Be sure the driver of a car acknowledges your right-of-way before crossing in front of a vehicle. Obey traffic signals.
Read More Safety Tips

Races & Other Running Events

Rim Runner's Billings Race Calendar

It's spring, so race season begins! Spring and summer races are opening up registration now with a good mix of in-person and virtual options. Check out Rim Runners' new local race calendar. It not only lists your favorite Billings races managed through RunSignup, but also races within 100 miles including Laurel, Hardin, Red Lodge and northern Wyoming. 

The Free 3: Save the Date

Mark your calendars! The Rim Runner's Free 3 is a race series including a road, track and trail race that is free to members (small fee for non-members). The series is kicking off with the Rims to River 8K and we we are planning the details for the track and trail race. Stay tuned for more details and a fun group training event we're planning!
  • Rims to River 8K Wednesday, June 2 (In-person and self-timed), May 29 to June 6 (virtual)
  • Track Mile: Sunday, August 8. New this year: We're hosting group track training sessions for several Sundays leading up to the race: July 11 and 25, and August 1. (no training on 7/18 because that's BSSG track meet) 
  • Trail Trek: Wednesday, September 29. 

Join Team Yellowstone Rim Runners

Rim Runners are forming a team for the following Bilings races. If you are planning to register, add yourself to the Rim Runner team! Unfamiliar with teams? They are just for fun and bragging rights; these aren't Rim Runner events and don't add to your registration cost. We compete with other teams in Billings on group size (not speed). Plus, you'll be guaranteed to see some Rim Runner friends cheering you on at these races. 

5.8.21 Montana Women's Run, 2 & 5 Mile, Virtual, when you register: select "Join a Team Up" search for Yellowstone Rimrunners, then add Team Code YRR 2021.

6.19.21 Heart & Sole Run, 2 Mile & 5K, in-person or virtual, Register here, select "Join a Team" and you'll see Yellowstone Rim Runners. Heart & Sole is the RRCA National Championship 5K race! 

8.14.21 Quality of Life Run, 1 Mile & 5K, select "Join a Team" and then Yellowstone RIm Runners when registering or select "Join Group/Team" from our team page

Tour de Fleur in May

Billings TrailNet's Tour de Fleur has a different format this year. It's usually a bike ride, but this year they have a whole week of events including one for runners: Tuesday, May 4 is Multi-Use Trails Day - Ride, Run or Walk. Tour de Fleur registration; proceeds support the Billings trail system.

Billings Commuter Challenge in June

For the month of June, the Billings Commuter Challenge encourages you to run, walk, bike, bus or roll to commute to work or do your errands. Registration will open mid-May. There are several incentives to participate, including $10 off your Heart & Sole Run registration! If you run to work, I'd like to interview you for tips to include in our next newsletter. Contact us at

Big Sky State Games in July

Big Sky State Games registration opens May 1 (register here). The State Games are a wonderful opportunity for road racing and many other running events:
  1. Road Races: 5K, 10K, Half-marathon all in person, July 17
  2. Track & Field: July 16-18
  3. Triathlon: July 18
  4. Soaked Run (non-timed 2 mile, fun for kids!): July 16
Want to try something other than running? With about 38 different sports, there are plenty of cross training opportunities too! Examples:
  1. Biathlons: July 11
  2. Cornhole! July 17-18
  3. Cycling: July 10, July 16-18
  4. Speed Climbing: July 17

RRCA Championship Races in Montana

Road Runners Club of America (YRR is a member organization) selects championship races in a variety of distances. We announced the winners a few months back, but wanted to remind folks of the dates since the first one starts this month! Here are the 2021 championship races, with two in Billings including our very own Run! Turkey Run! 

5.22.21 Whitefish Marathon, Whitefish, MT.

6.19.21 The Heart & Sole Run, Billings, MT. RRCA National Championship 5K. 

7.31.21 “Tap’er Light” Half Marathon, Butte, MT.

11.25.21 Run! Turkey Run!, Billings, MT. RRCA Montana Champtionsip 5K.
Interested in submitting an article for the newsletter? Email us at
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