Q: What is the Montana Cup? A: The Montana Cup is a team-oriented cross country meet that pits teams from each of Montana’s seven largest towns against each other for the right to claim the Montana Cup “traveling” trophy for one year. There are separate races for male and female teams.
Q: Are there age groups for teams? A: Yes. Both genders have open (all ages) team categories which compete for the Montana Cup trophies, and there is also a competition for masters (40+ years) teams. The first masters’ teams take the Masters’ Cups.
Q: When is the Montana Cup? A: The meet is always held on the Saturday or Sunday following the Montana High School cross country championships.
Q: Where is the Montana Cup? A: The exact location and directions for finding this year’s Montana Cup are, or will be, listed here.
Q: How long are the Montana Cup races? A: The distance is always between 5K and 8K, on a course selected by the hosting team.
Q: Which are the towns that have Montana Cup teams? A: Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula are the only towns that have regional teams.
Q: Can I run if I don’t live in one of the seven towns? A: Yes, but you must represent one of the seven towns. You will join the town that is nearest (as the crow flies) to your home.
Q: Who can run in the Montana Cup? A: Anyone can run, but there are a couple restrictions on who can be counted in team scoring and on who can win awards. Specifically, those restrictions apply to non-Montana residents and to runners who are currently part of a college or university cross country team. These runners may compete but must register “unaffiliated” and they must race in an official, purple jersey.
Q: Who is a “Montana resident”? A: For purposes of Montana Cup eligibility, Montana residents are defined as anyone living, working, or schooling within the state. This includes military personnel stationed in state. Non-resident/collegiate runners may enter to run unaffiliated, but they will not be eligible for scoring or prizes and they must race in an official, purple jersey.
Q: What team will I be on if I’m from one Montana town, but I’m going to college in another town? A: You may choose to run for either of the two towns, but note that collegiate cross country team members are not eligible for scoring or awards.
Q: Who else is on my team and do we travel to the race together? A: Each team has an organizer who you may contact for this type of information. There are separate organizers for female and male teams.
Q: How are team organizers chosen? A: Team organizers are chosen on a volunteer basis, and the previous year’s organizers retain the right of first refusal of the same position for the following year. The Montana Cup host does reimburse entry fees to all team organizers who’s teams finish at least five scoring runners.
Q: Do males and females run in the same race? A: No, but females do run the same course as do the males. There is only one race for each gender.
Q: How many people make up a team? A: To enter into the scoring, each team must have at least five runners, but there is no maximum limit to the number of runners who can represent a team.
Q: How does team scoring work? A: The individual places of each team’s top five runners are summed for a team score. The lowest team score wins. Team ties are decided by the finishing place of the each team’s sixth runner. See Montana Cup rules for more details about scoring.
Q: Do I have to wear a team uniform? A: Yes, all runners must wear the official Montana Cup jersey that comes as part of the first-timer’s entry fee. You may not be counted in team scoring if you fail to wear your jersey in the race. You may choose a reduced entry fee in subsequent years by racing in the same jersey again. You must supply your own shoes, shorts, etc.
Q: What is the entry deadline, or is there race-day registration? A: There is no race-day registration. Early registration is highly recommended especially if you do not currently possess an official Montana Cup race jersey, and the deadline for that is typically 15 working days prior to the race … days needed to order and silk-screen team jerseys. Late registration costs more and it ends at midnight two days (36 hours) prior to the meet.
Q: When and where do I get my race packet with my race number and jersey? A: Race packets will be distributed on race-day in the packet pickup area.
Q: Should I race the Montana Cup in spiked racing shoes? A: Some years it is a bad idea to race the Montana Cup with spikes. Flat-bottomed shoes may be safer, but each Montana Cup course presents unique challenges. It may be a good idea to bring a variety of shoes to pick from once you see the course.
Q: Are there individual or age-group awards? A: Usually there are individual awards given to the top 7 finishers in each of the three age divisions (19 and under, overall, and 40+).
Q: What have been the oldest and youngest aged runners in past Montana Cups? A: Montana Cup participant ages have ranged from 10 to 73 years.
Q: Are there prize drawings? A: Each Montana Cup is different, but some years there are prizes that are given out by random draw to participants who attend the awards ceremony.
Q: Are there refreshments? A: Each Montana Cup is different, but usually there are complimentary snacks and beverages available after the race and at the awards ceremony.
Q: When and where is the awards ceremony? A: The awards ceremony is normally held at a site near the race as soon as the intricate task of team scoring is completed and verified. If directions are needed to locate the awards ceremony, they will be listed on this site.
Q: Other than what is announced at the awards ceremony, where and when can I get official results? A: The meet summary and comprehensive results are normally posted at this site within 24-hours after the meet. Race photos will also be posted here.
Q: How is the meet host chosen for each Montana Cup? A: The meet host is chosen from a rotating schedule that includes each town that has a Montana Cup team. The rotation order is: Butte-Missoula-Helena-Bozeman-Billings-Great Falls-Kalispell. The event can be held anywhere in the host city’s region. The Montana Cup host has rights to the profits from the meet, but often the host will forward some seed money to the next host. For more specific information see Meet Host Info.