Moscow Mountain Madness Half Marathon & 5-Mile

Sunday, October 8, 2023 • Moscow, ID • Course Map

A few hundred runners cross the finish line each year at Idaho’s Moscow Mountain Madness races, which feature a 5-mile and half marathon race that take runners on a point-to-point course that ascends the hilly, challenging trail of the mountain for which it is named here in the Palouse region of northern Idaho.

The race begins in the hills above Moscow, Idaho, a town of just over 23,000 in the western Idaho panhandle that’s also home to the University of Idaho.

At just over 2,500 feet above sea level, this town along the Columbia River Plateau is known for its clear blue wide-open skies and the hills and prairies of the Palouse region, which spills over the state border into nearby Washington.

For runners, this race dates all the way back to 1978, when a few dozen runners braved the hills, trails and logging roads of Moscow Mountain.

The race continued throughout most of the 1980s but was abandoned for about 4 years, until it was re-established in the early 1990s. The race included a biking portion for a few years, but the biking event was phased out in 2010.

The starting line lies at the edge of where the forest begins, near the intersection of Foothill Road and Tolo Trail.

From there, the course winds eastward along a combination of single-track trails and logging roads, which the organizers say make for a “wickedly rugged” race course. Runners need to be ready for some seriously challenging elevation climbs, though the course itself is largely smooth, they add.

Organizers plan to limit the number of entries, and no registrations will be taken on the day of the race. They add that runners should “plan to burn,” as this is a seriously challenging race thanks to both the elevation climbs and the terrain.

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled among the hills and mountains of the Palouse region of northern Idaho, about 80 miles south of Coeur d’Alene and roughly 300 miles north of Boise, Moscow typically sees mild to moderately warm weather in September, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 20°F (in 1934) and as high as 100°F (in 1973).

On race day (Oct. 8), the average low is 44ºF and the average high is 77ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Moscow Mountain Madness Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 8:30 AM – 5-mile
  • 9:00 AM – half marathon


  • $35 and up for the half marathon
  • $25 and up for the 5-mile


To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of the Moscow Mountain Madness Half Marathon or 5-mile race, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Moscow Mountain Madness Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races — Idaho, Trail Races

1 comment… add one
  • Linda Spady October 27, 2015, 4:42 pm

    How do we get reimbursed for the cancelled marathon 2015? Or is the money applied for next year?
    Looking forward to next year’s race.
    Thank you,


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