Race for a Reason

June 2, 2022, updated 6/9/22, 6/15/22, 7/11/22, 10/5/22, 3/24/23, 6/12/23

by maria weidich

In this inclusive guide to racing local, we've got the details on runs, walks, and strolls of all kinds in and around Billings, MT. Races are organized by month, find your right racing fit! 


MAY 2023

Queen Bee Montana Marathon

  • Sunday, May 21 @ 7am | Billings, MT

Come fly with the hive!  406 Race Series is thrilled to host the 43rd running of the Montana Marathon.  The Queen Bee Montana Marathon offers something for everyone.  Choose from the full marathon (a Boston qualifier!), half marathon, 10K or 5K distances and buzz through Billings with runners from all over the country!

Marathoners will first catch the shuttle to Molt, Montana and will fly their way through open prairie, rolling hills, and a welcoming 1,000-foot decline in elevation making it one of the fastest courses in the country.  

The Half Marathon distance has been selected once again by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) as the State Championship Race. Additional age group awards will be given by RRCA for the top performing Half Marathon runners at the Montana Marathon.

Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K runners will be shuttled to their respective starts. Those running the 5K must provide their own transportation to the Rose Park starting line. Race organizers will provide buses for the 5K participants to get back to Rose Park after the race.

Enjoy refreshments, food trucks, music, a photobooth, door prizes and awards at the Pioneer Park finish area. 406 Race Series promises great swag, amazing finisher gifts, and wicked fun!

NEW THIS YEAR!  Beast Pacing will be on the Marathon and Half Marathon course! Beast Pacing provides pacers for events all over the United States and while they are professionals, they have FUN while helping runners reach their goals.  Whether it’s a Boston qualifying time you’re looking for, a new PR, or you just want someone to run with, they are there to help!

In addition to sponsoring the YMCA’s youth programs, the Queen Bee Montana Marathon also supports the Montana Amateur Sports Sanford-Gall Scholarship program.  


Saturday, May 20, 2023 @ 12-6pm

  • MSU-Billings Alterowitz Gymnasium | 1500 University Drive, Billings

Learn more at  montanamarathon.org



JUNE 2023


406 Adventure Race/Big Sky State Games Triathlon 

  • Sunday, June 25 @ 7am | Lake Elmo State Park | Billings, MT

The 406 Race Series is thrilled to partner with Big Sky State Games once again by offering a Triathlon event in conjunction with the 406 Adventure Race Duathlon. Pick your path! Beginners and adventure junkies alike will find the event just for them. Don’t want to do it alone? Grab your buddies and form a team!

The Details

NEW for 2023: Run, Paddle, Run event! Not a super swimmer or stoked about cycling? This event is for you! Both kayaks and standup paddle boards are welcome!

  • Triathlon Long Course: 800M Swim, 26.2K Bike, 10K Run
  • Triathlon Sprint Course: 400M Swim, 26.2K Bike, 5K Run
  • Triathlon Long Course Team
  • Duathlon Long Course: 1.2K Run, 26.2K Bike, 10K Run
  • Duathlon Spring Course: 1.2K Run, 26.2K Bike, 5K Run
  • Duathlon Long Course Team
  • Run/Paddle/Run Spring Course: 1.2K Run, 400M Paddle, 5K Run
  • Run/Paddle/Run Course Team
  • 406 Adventure Race 5K Run Only
Packet Pickup

Saturday, June 24 @ 10am–12:30pm

  • Scheels Training Room, 1121 Shiloh Crossing Blvd | Billings, MT 59102

The 406 Race Series is proud to support Eagle Mount Billings by accepting donations for the organization through the 406 Adventure Race registration page. Eagle Mount Billings’ mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities through recreation and create opportunities for our participants to “Embrace Life without Limits."

For course descriptions, maps, and race-day logistics, visit 406raceseries.com



JULY 2023




The Nitty Gritty Off Road Race

  • Saturday, August 19 @ 7:30am | Red Lodge Mountain | Red Lodge, MT
The Details

Off road - need we say more? The Nitty Gritty Off Road Race promises one nitty, gritty, uphill, dirt road and single track trail run starting at the base of Red Lodge Mountain Ski Resort.  Rally the troops run the marathon as a relay.  Or, if you’re gritty enough, tackle the Hot Lap, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon solo.  

Red Lodge Events is known for hosting Low Key, High Elevation pursuits.  The Nitty Gritty Off Road Race embodies this perfectly.  While the terrain is tough, everything else about it is lowkey.  Dogs are welcome and snacks and libations will be provided.  

BYOBS - Bring Your Own Bear Spray (required for every participant).

Packet Pickup

Please arrive 45 minutes before your start time for registration and a pre-race meeting.

  • Teams: 9:00am
  • Solo Full Marathon: 7:30am
  • Solo Half Marathon: 11:00am
  • Hot Lap: 3:00pm

The Nitty Gritty Off Road Race is so low key, it’s delighted to allow four-legged running companions to participate, on or off leash.  As such, Nitty Gritty has partnered with the Beartooth Humane Alliance, assisting the people and critters of Carbon and Stillwater counties.  Founded in 2006, the Beartooth Humane Alliance has helped hundreds of pets find forever homes, taught school children lessons on kindness and compassion, and assisted in spaying and neutering thousands of animals in our region.

Learn more at redlodgeevents.com





Quitcherbitchen Trail Run

  • Sunday, September 11 @ 8am | Phipps Park | Billings, MT
The Details 

Calling all trail runners - this one’s for you!  Come test your skills on the dirt trails of Billings’ Phipps Park.  Both novice and experienced runners will find the race for them.  Choose from a 2-mile, 4-mile, or 6-mile course – all of which will have your heart pumping!  

Don’t forget about the Oh Hell Bell Cash Giveaway!  The first (15) 6-mile racers and (15) 4-mile racers to reach the top of “The Beast” and ring the Oh Hell Bell will receive $25 CASH!  Not a gift card; real, cold hard cash! 

Hosted by The 406 Race Series, they promise great swag, amazing finisher gifts, and wicked fun.  

In an effort to keep this beautiful park clean, there will be no-paper cups at the water/aid stations on the race course.  Please bring your own hydration pack or water bottle.

Packet Pickup

Saturday, September 10 @ 9:30am-12:30pm

  • Black Dog Coffee House/Roots Garden Center
  • 2147 Poly Drive | Billings, MT 59101

Out of town racers may pick up their packets on Race Day between 8:30am-9:15am.

The Quitcherbitchen Trail Run was created in memory of Jeff Dykeman. Jeff was fatally injured in Billings on October 24, 2018 while working on a construction project for the Montana Department of Transportation. Jeff loved spending time outdoors with his family and especially liked to run with his wife, Missy and their dog Lillie. The QTR benefits the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation in honor of Jeff. This organization offers educational programs, youth camps, and secondary education scholarships to children and spouses of family members injured or fatally injured in a roadway construction zone.




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