Weekend Rundown

It’s the end of the week, that means it is time for the Weekend Rundown. Events are happening all around from car shows to live entertainment and we have all the info in one spot.



Friday, 07/09


10th Annual Madison Duathlon Olympic Distance Duathlon

Run: 3 kilometers Bike: 40 kilometers Run: 10 kilometers

Second Leg of the Madison Trifecta (a.k.a. The Road to the TBA)


The original Madison Duathlon (bike/run) started out as a natural expansion of a good idea (i.e. the Madison Marathon), but it quickly became a good idea on its own. It was an A to B that started in Ennis right near the banks of the Madison River and then went up and over the mountains to Virginia City. It was a great route and many duathletes who have competed in the Madison Marathon say they had more fun on the duathlon.


For 2021, we have an expanded route. It will be an official Olympic distance Duathlon. This means a run-bike-run race at distances of 3K-40K-10K.


The staging area will be at Lion's Club Park in Ennis. The first run will essentially be a sprint of sorts. We shuttle everyone 3 KM away to the little community of Jeffers and the athletes run back to Lion’s Club Park where their bikes are ready to go. The cycling leg starts from the park and heads out Montana Highway 287 to Varney Bridge Road. The paved route goes along Varney Road for about seven miles to the turnoff (to the right) onto Shining Mountains Loop Road. The route turns to gravel and cyclists head towards Axolotl Lakes. Follow the cones which take cyclists pass Axolotl Lakes and then out to Highway 287 and then they return to the lakes for the final transition. This is a 40 KM ride. Next, put on your running shoes for the final 10 KM run to Virginia City. This is down Axolotl Road or the Old Dump Road. It’s a rough road suitable for ATVs and jeeps, but easily passable for runners. The best news is that it’s mostly downhill. The final stretch is right up Wallace Street in Virginia City (the main drag) with a finish line in front of the Madison County Court House.


The duathlon is the second leg of the Madison Trifecta. The first leg is Thursday evening (Madison Triathlon), the second leg is this duathlon, and the third and final leg is the very next morning with the Madison Marathon.



You get all three races in, and you're a TBA- Total Bad Ass!

If you get just this duathlon in, you're a bit of a bad ass as well. At the very least, you get to participate in Montana's only Olympic duathlon. That alone is pretty bad ass!


Dan Henry at Ruby Valley Brew The Ruby Valley will be alive with the sound of music as Dan "The Harp Man" Henry rolls into Sheridan, Montana with his trusty guitar in hand and waling harmonicas at the ready. So head on over to Ruby Valley Brew July 9th and get yourself a table and a beer and then settle in for some live music Montana Style.


Live Music at Willie's Distillery We will be back playing at Willies on Friday July 9th from 5:30 to 7:30. Hope to see you there. Come on out, order up some Honey Moonshine, grab hold of the saddle horn and hang on for some great fun.. Of course we don't want you to miss our show but if you get a chance, drop by Willie's anytime. Willie's has great décor and of course it's always fun to sample their moonshine and other spirits!


Open Mic Night Rocky's Roadhouse Montana 6 to 9 pm Come out and share your talent with us!


Willy James @ The Den 7 to 10 pm Come join the fun and joy of live music! Come support Local Live Music!



Beary Aware! This comprehensive program for adults and older children will explain where bears can be found in Montana, how to avoid encountering bears, how to avoid attracting bears to campsites, and how to deal with bear encounters. Meanwhile, Marti will present a special storytime for young children, focusing on what bears eat and the simple basics of bear safety. Porch programs will take place in the morning and early afternoon at the cave visitor center.

This is the seventh presentation in Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park’s annual Friday Summer Speakers Series, which introduces a new speaker each Friday at 8 p.m. throughout the summer.

About the speakers: Bill and Marti Cook are bear awareness instructors for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Graduates of the University of Montana and longtime hikers, backpackers and campers, they live in Helena and have presented bear trainings across Montana to a wide range of audiences: from Forest Service firefighters to cub scouts. In their programs, the Cooks draw on decades of experience in the Montana backcountry


Playing July 9th - 13th Silver Bow Drive In Playing July 9th - 13th Side one: Black Widow Rated PG-13 Runtime 2 hr 13 min

Side Two: The Boss Baby: The Family Business Rated PG Runtime 1 hr 37 min Gates open at 8:30 pm. Shows start at dusk (about 9:30 pm)

Tickets are $6 ages four and up. Ages three and under are free. Cash only.


Live Music at the Long Branch Saloon 8 to 10 pm Join us at the Long Branch Saloon for beers, spirits, food and live music. Left For Dead is a fiddle and banjo duo that plays an exciting array of Old Time, Folk, and Country Genres. Together they take you on an exciting journey of familiar and some not so familiar tunes with roots reaching back as far as the 1700’s and up to the present. Come out and sing along with some old favorites while you enjoy a an ale, a spirit of your choice, and/or a delicious steak.



Saturday, 07/10


Vigilante Car Show Virginia City Montana from 10 am to 4 pm


Dillon Farmers Market Dillon Farmers' Market on Saturdays. Come see us on Washington Street between Sebree and Reeder Streets, by the Splash Pad, from 9 am to 1 pm.


Live w/ Chandler Huntley 5 to 8 pm at The Star Restaurant


Paul Lee Kupfer LIVE! 6 PM Live music on a Saturday afternoon! Paul Lee Kupfer will be returning to Dillon to play some summer jams.


The Knotty Pine Come on down and check out the newly owed Knotty Pine and listen to 100% Montana made music by Willy James


Sunday, 07/11



7th Annual Big Sky Marathon Full and Half Marathon race

The Big Sky Marathon is the result of our success with the Madison Marathon. We held our Inaugural race in 2015 to appease marathoners from around the world who were screaming for a double (both full and half) in Montana. To non-marathoners, this is completely counter-intuitive. After all, why would you host a second marathon immediately after one of the most difficult marathons in America? To the likes of Marathon Maniacs and other running groups, it makes perfect sense. Why run just one marathon over a weekend when you can run two? Why not earn Four Stars as a Marathon Maniac over the course of 48 hours vs. possibly earning just one star and only if all your other stars line up?


We couldn’t answer the why not questions other than to say, ‘Yeah, why the hell not?’ We started a new route in 2020. It's still one hell of a downhill. Give or take it has a net drop of 3,600 feet. Turns out, it’s the Second Longest Downhill Road Marathon on Planet Earth, or at least in the top five.

The new route will once again start up on the Gravelly Range Road. The full marathon will start at approximately Mile 17 of the Madison Marathon route. Then, runners head downhill to the Madison Valley floor. Once on the valley floor, runners will no longer run along Varney Road. Instead, they will turn right at the T-junction, cross Varney Bridge over the Madison River, and run out to US Highway 287. That will be the turn-around point. Runners return to the Madison River and finish at Varney Bridge.


So for full marathoners, it will be about 22 miles out and four miles back. For Big Sky Half Marathoners, the starting line will be still up on top but not quite as high as before. It will be around five miles further down the route from the Big Sky Marathon starting line. It will then be a straight 13.1 mile shot to Varney Bridge. None to little traffic. Only a mile or so of pavement instead of more than 10 miles of pavement. And, the race ends on the tranquil waters of the Madison River, not a town park.



A good means to describe the route in terms of its challenges and level of difficulty is to break it down into three sections.


Section One – This is from the starting line to the point on the route where the significant downhill begins. The starting line is at approximately 8,500 to 8,700 feet above sea level. The full marathon start is at about Mile 17 of the Madison Marathon. The half marathon start is about 1.5 miles from the intersection of Road 292 and 290. The runners will not drop in elevation too significantly over the first five to eight miles (depending on which race you’re running). There are few or no uphills on this section of the route. It is essentially flat and on top of the Gravelly Range though everything is trending downhill. This entire section is within the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. As runners get close to the border of the National Forest, there will be long, gradual downhills of two to three miles in length crossing enormous bowls and meadows, but they will not necessarily be quad burners.


Section Two – This is the quad burner section. It begins almost immediately after runners leave the National Forest. Runners will cross a cattle guard gate and then the next several miles will be a quite steep downhill. This is a series of switch backs that drop the runner from 8,500 feet to 6,000 feet in a relatively short distance. The “official end” of this section is when the road hits a T-junction after going through most of the Bar 7 ranch. The estimated distance is about seven miles.


We can also deliver within a mile of the Wagon (this covers all of downtown)

Section Three – This section is a flat area that gradually declines in elevation as it gets close to the Madison River. The lower part of the Bar 7 Ranch is approximately 6,000 feet and Ennis and the Madison River is at about 5,000 feet. The first few miles will be on gravel road, but eventually the runners hit pavement near the Ennis Fish Hatchery turn-off. Once pavement is hit, runners are quite close to Varney Bridge and the Madison River (the finish line). When runners reach a T-junction, they turn right to Varney Bridge. The half marathon runners cross the bridge and run into the Varney Bridge Fishing Access to the finish line. The full marathoners continue on this road out to Highway 287 which is about four miles away. This section is entirely on gravel road and crosses an enormous open space area with fantastic views of both the Madison and Gravelly Range. At the highway, runners turn around and run back to Varney Bridge and the finish line.


That is how you run one of the longest downhill road marathons on Planet Earth!


Fan Mountain Frog Dogs Music by Fan Mountain Frog Dogs starts at 3 pm.