Saturday, July 15, 2023 • Stanford, MT • Course Map
For a run that will take you through unforgettable scenery and some of the country’s most dramatic natural landscapes, there are probably few races that can surpass Montana’s JB Fit Club Bull Run Half Marathon, which unfolds along maintained gravel mountain roads through the region known as Judith Basin and the Little Belt Mountains here in the middle of the state.
The race starts along Highway 119, where Running Wolf Road and and Woodhurst Road meet, and continues on along the same route all the way to the finish line at the Judith Basin County Fairgrounds in the tiny town of Stanford, which is home to a few hundred residents and will no doubt remind visitors of what the West is supposed to look like.
From the starting line for the individual half marathon — which shares the same starting line and time as the relay race — runners then head northeast toward Stamford, along a route that really unfolds mostly downhill for the half’s 13.1 miles all the way to the finish line.
That will no doubt give plenty of runners time to take in the gorgeous views of the mountains, valleys and majestic buttes they’ll run past on the way down from the mountains into town.
The race also takes runners through what locals and tourism officials here call “Russell Country,” named for the famed painter Charles Russell who lived in Stanford in the late 1800s.
The town and the surrounding countryside served as inspiration for many of his paintings and drawings, including his legendary painting “In Without Knocking,” which depicts a band of cowboys riding their horses in the front door of Hoffman’s Saloon and was based on scenes Russell saw every day in Stanford then.
Today, the race also is timed to coincide with a weekend full of events that commemorate Russell’s life and work, including a rodeo, barbecue, music festival, kids’ calf scramble, and what organizers call the Quick Draw & Art Auction, in which artists compete to finish their painting, sculpture or other artwork and then enter it in a live auction.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in what is nearly the geographic center of the state, just over 60 miles southeast of Great Falls, Stanford typically sees some of its warmest weather of the year in July, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 29 degrees (in 1999) and as high as 101 degrees (in 2007).
On race day (July 15), the average low is 52ºF and the average high is 80ºF.
- 2014 Bull Run Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Bull Run Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Bull Run Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Bull Run Half Marathon Results
see event website
To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Stanford’s JB Fit Club Bull Run Half Marathon, visit the event website here.
Official Race Website
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