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071513 mm13 Higgins

Runners compete in the Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, July 14, 2013.

An advanced training program will get underway in Missoula this month to help experienced runners prepare for spring marathons.

Organized by Run Wild Missoula, the 16-week program offers coaching from Tim Mosbacher, four group runs a week, a racing singlet, running companions and more starting Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. with an informational meeting in the Runner’s Edge basement classroom, 304 N. Higgins Ave.

Eva Dunn-Froebig, executive director of Run Wild Missoula, said runners don’t necessarily have to be training for a marathon to join, but most people are.

“There is a training plan specifically for the Boston Marathon, but (Mosbacher) can adjust (an individual’s) plan for any marathon or goal,” Dunn-Froebig said. “There will be quite a few more people training this year compared to last for the Boston Marathon because of what happened last year. Five or six (Missoulians) ran in it last year, and we have around 20 signed up this year.”

Sara Stahl has participated in this program the past few years and will be running the Boston Marathon for her sixth time this year.

“There are some long, cold runs that need to get done between January and April,” Stahl said. “Also, it’s supported (has aid stations), so you don’t have to carry water or food.”

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Stahl also said that soon after last year’s bombings she decided to return to Boston and race again.

“An act of terrorism can’t break the spirit of that wonderful event,” she said. “I have to admit, after watching the Red Sox win the World Series, I was excited to go back. I think there is a lot of enthusiasm in the community to see (the marathon) come back, but I am not naive to the fact that there will be some anxiety associated with it.”

Prices for the training class are $50 for Run Wild Missoula members and $75 for nonmembers, which includes a one-year membership in the group. Register at runwildmissoula.org.

Kendra Cousineau is a journalism major at the University of Montana and an intern in the Missoulian newsroom.

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