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The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana Governor’s Cup is now the main fundraiser for the Caring Foundation of MontanaSM.

For nearly 50 years, Governor's Cup runners have laced up their sneakers and hit the pavement to have fun and improve their health and fitness.

Now they’re running for more than themselves.

In 2018, the Governor’s Cup became the fundraising engine of The Caring Foundation of Montana. The new foundation's fundraising efforts will help expand the Care Van® program, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana’s mobile immunization unit that partners with county health departments. The Care Van teams give vaccinations and provide health screenings and other preventive health care services in rural and underserved areas of Montana.

Race registration fees and corporate sponsorships will provide support for the foundation and its mission to improve the health and wellness of all Montanans. To put it another way, runners cover miles on race day so that the Care Van can cover more miles the rest of the year.

Last year, more than $60,000 was raised by more than 2,400 registered runners. Those funds went directly to the foundation.

“The Governor’s Cup has always been about improving health and wellness,” Governor’s Cup Race Director Bryan Haines said. “This partnership will allow more people to benefit from the Care Van and the services it provides, while also giving Governor's Cup runners something extra to run for on top of their personal goals.”

Skill level doesn't matter. There’s a Governor's Cup race for everyone. The 5K and 10K courses are a virtual sight-seeing tour of Helena, with runners passing by the Cathedral of Saint Helena, the Capitol, Governor's Mansion and historic Last Chance Gulch.

The marathon and half marathon courses that debuted last year will be back in 2019. Runners will start south of Helena in Jefferson County in a picturesque rural setting. Once they return to Helena, runners will merge with the 10K course. Eventually, all four courses join and finish downtown at Anchor Park on Helena's historic Walking Mall.

Race weekend for the 2019 Governor's Cup is June 7-8.

Visit the Governor's Cup website for more information on race registration, lodging, travel and things to do in Helena.