A guide to races in southwest Montana

Fall is a great time to get some exercise and explore southwest Montana at the same time.

Train for the upcoming ski season by participating in these regional runs, which help boost local economies and support good causes. Some registrations close soon, so act quickly and visit the websites listed below for race details.

Bozeman Marathon & Half Marathon

Sept. 7 – Downtown Bozeman

One of the area’s most scenic races, the Bozeman Marathon and Half Marathon courses run through beautiful Gallatin Gateway Valley crossing over rivers, and running by farms, with the Bridger Mountain range in the background. The Bozeman Marathon is also a Boston Marathon qualifier. bozemanmarathon.com

1st Annual Rooney Run – 5K & 10K

Sept. 13 – Bozeman

Beginning and ending at the East Gallatin Recreation Center, this race was created to honor Annie Roonie, a former Bozeman resident who was killed by a drunk driver in her Ohio hometown after borrowing a bicycle she planned to use in an upcoming race. During her time in Bozeman, Annie was a prosecuting attorney and worked to keep drunk drivers off the roads. All race proceeds go to the Montana Common Sense Coalition. racemontana.com

Big Bear Stampede – 5K & 8K

Sept. 20 – Gardiner

With an average course elevation of 6,200 feet and views into Yellowstone National Park, this race raises money and awareness for the fight against suicide and depression in Park County. bigbearstampede.org

John Colter Run – 7.5 miles

Sept. 20 – Headwaters State Park, Three Forks

As the story goes, Blackfoot Indians captured John Colter – a former member of the Lewis & Clark expedition – in 1809 near what is now the town of Three Forks. This race takes runners through terrain where he made his escape, and ran for his life, naked, away from his pursuers. winddrinkers.org/john-colter-run

The Nitty Gritty – Marathon

Sept. 21 – Red Lodge

This marathon lives up to its name with more than 3,000 feet of elevation gain around Red Lodge Mountain Resort. Tackle it solo or form a relay team. headwatersstudio.com/headwatersevents

Intermountain Opera Bozeman Run “It Ain’t Over ‘Til The FIT Lady Sings” – 10-mile, 5K and kids run

Sept. 27 – Bozeman

Each race option is serenaded by professional Opera singers at 10 different water stations. Wear your favorite Viking hat or win the famed bejeweled Viking Crown (with braids) for the winners and a few lucky finishers. See if your running prowess can beat their singing prowess. intermountainopera.org

Yellowstone Rendezvous Trail Runs – 5K, 10K, half marathon, half marathon relay, and 2K Kid’s Run

Sept. 27 – West Yellowstone

Offering something for everyone, this race – formerly known as the Pine Needle Stampede – is a good opportunity to explore the crosscountry ski trails of West Yellowstone. Little ones race the 2K for free. rendezvousskitrails.com/rendrun

The Stillwater Fun Run – 5K & 10K

Oct. 4 – Absarokee

This course follows the Stillwater River basin and raises money for local community projects.

Raw Deal Run – 3 miles, 6 miles and 1-mile Kid’s course

Oct. 11 – McLeod

The race features a Halloween costume contest and the course runs through two private ranches south of Big Timber, which grant exclusive land access just for this event.

Livingston Education Foundation 5K Zombie Run

Nov. 2 – Livingston

The 5K Zombie Run will route runners, joggers and walkers through a path of zombies attempting to capture their flags. The top three male and top three female finishers that escape with at least one of their flags will qualify for an award medal. The race takes place as part of a Haunted Weekend of events organized by the Livingston Education Foundation and all proceeds from the weekend festivities directly benefit Livingston Public Schools. livingstoneducationfoundation.org.

Visit 406running.com for a comprehensive list of races throughout the entire state of Montana.