16th annual marathon in Whitefish, Montana to feature new course, national designation, post-event celebrations

WHITEFISH, Mont. (May 16, 2023) – Participants from nearly 40 states will be vying for personal bests and course records at the 16th annual Whitefish Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K Powered by Hammer Nutrition this Saturday, May 20, 2023 in Whitefish, Montana. Held in the shadows of Glacier National Park, this year’s event will feature an updated full marathon course, state championship race, and post-race celebrations held in conjunction with the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce’s FishFest.

The full marathon, historically known as a hilly course with more than 1,100 feet of elevation change, includes a four-mile course change between miles 13 and 26 for 2023. The new course, certified by USATF, will reduce the overall elevation change while providing scenic views of Whitefish Lake. There are no course changes planned for the half marathon and 5K races.

All events begin at 8 a.m. at Depot Park in Whitefish. The finish area at Depot Park will include a podium trophy ceremony, local food vendors and a beer garden. In addition, the new community event FishFest will continue through 8 p.m., with special deals from local businesses, a charity dice run and live music. Race participants are also invited to attend the official after party with Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company at Blackstar at 6 p.m. Finishers who show their race medal will receive one free pint of beer.

Well-known ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes plans to run the Whitefish Marathon as a guest of partner Hammer Nutrition. Karnazes, often called the Ultramarathon Man, was named by TIME magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” In addition to winning the Badwater Ultramarathon and 4 Deserts Challenge, he has run 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days. As NY Times bestselling author, Dean is a frequent speaker and panelist at many running and sporting events worldwide.

Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), the largest running association in the U.S., chose the Whitefish Marathon Powered by Hammer Nutrition for the RRCA Marathon State Championship race, providing extra incentives and opportunities for community runners. RRCA will provide awards for the top Whitefish Marathon finishers. Award categories include open male and female, 40-plus male and female, 50-plus male and female, and 60-plus male and female. The RRCA Championship Event Series is the largest grassroots-organized running series in the U.S. with over 200 races participating that attract nearly 300,000 participants. RRCA Championship Events are designated annually at the State, Regional, and National level through a competitive bidding process. The Whitefish Marathon previously earned the Marathon State Championship distinction in 2019, 2020 (event cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and 2021.

Owned by the nonprofit The Wave Aquatic and Fitness Center and currently managed by CRRG Events, the Whitefish Marathon began in 2008 as a trail marathon known as the Two Bear Marathon. Since 2017, the event has undergone significant updates including a rebrand and date shift from September to May, as well as the additions of the half marathon and 5K distances. Proceeds from the race benefit The Wave’s Membership Assistance Fund, for those in financial need, and the School to Pool Swim Program.

“The Whitefish Marathon Powered by Hammer Nutrition continues to expand and thrive,” said Art Krueger, general manager of The Wave. “Our primary objective is to enhance the overall race experience for our participants regardless of their experience level, starting from the moment they register until the post-race celebration. This year we’re thrilled to introduce an upgraded course, host special guests, and feature the RRCA Championship race, all of which contribute to the heightened enthusiasm. We’re confident this year’s event will be unforgettable and will inspire participants to return to Whitefish year after year.”




All roads along the race course will remain open to traffic, with volunteers on course to help guide participants. Event organizers appreciate community members exercising extra caution due to the increased foot traffic on the roads.

Registration is available online through Friday, May 19, as well as on site at Depot Park from 6:30 – 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 20. For event information and registration, please visit WhitefishMarathon.com.

About CRRG Events:

CRRG Events is an event management and production company with more than 20 years of producing successful running events. Based in Carmel, Indiana, CRRG Events has staged and managed events across 11 states ranging from a 1-mile football halftime race to ultramarathons. For more information, please visit CarmelRoadRacingGroup.com.