Nearly 1,200 runners crossed the finish line in downtown Helena as part of a welcome return to in-person running at the 47th annual Governor’s Cup, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana. Following last year’s cancellation due to the pandemic, race staff worked with local health officials to bring back one of the most iconic running events in Montana.
Cool, overcast skies perfect for the start of the marathon and half marathon gave way to sun by the time the first wave of the 5K hit the streets of Helena. Two waves of the 5K along with virtual race options were two of several changes to this year’s event. What remained the same was the buzz of excitement from runners throughout the morning.
“It was a pretty special day,” said Bryan Haines, Governor’s Cup race director. “It took a lot of hard work and collaboration to be able to safely hold this year’s Governor’s Cup in person, but it certainly was worth it. It was amazing to see people crossing the finish line once again in downtown Helena.”
Local professional runner Heather Lieberg took home top honors in the women’s marathon with a time of 2:47:14, giving her a total of 11 Governor’s Cup titles in four different events. Keith Miller of Missoula won the men’s marathon with a time of 2:37:03, and the men’s and women’s 5K and half marathon champions were also from the Big Sky state. See the complete results here.
The Governor’s Cup serves as the primary fundraiser for the Caring Foundation of Montana, and this year the race raised nearly $60,000 for the foundation. The funds allow the foundation to help ensure Montanans have access to preventive health care services, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay. The foundation’s Care Van® program has been instrumental in coordinating COVID-19 clinics in Lewis and Clark County and the surrounding area.
Nearly 300 volunteers donated their time to help make the race a success and ensure runners safely made their way from the starting line to the finish. The volunteers included nearly 60 BCBSMT employees.
Next year’s Governor’s Cup weekend is slated for June 10-11, 2022 in Helena. Go to www.govcupmt.com for more information.