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Forrest Gump look-alike takes first place in Polson race

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By Rob Zolman / Valley Journal

POLSON – Upon crossing the finish line of the 2020 Sorry ‘Bout That half marathon, overall race-winner Jason Delaney exclaimed: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

He was quoting Forrest Gump from the famous movie while dressed as Gump who ran across the country wearing a red hat, running shorts and calf-length socks. Delaney also sported a long-haired wig and a beard in his homage to Gump. While wearing the costume, Delaney managed to run at a six-minute-mile pace for 13 miles.

Delaney, a Polson runner, was last year’s overall winner in the half marathon. He added a fifth title to his lengthening list of Sorry ‘Bout That triumphs by jumping across the finish line with a time of 1:19:06.98. Michael LaForest, of Missoula, finished second with a time of 1:23:00.97, and Austin Allen, of Moiese, finished third with a time of 1:24:38.92.

Jenni Brown, of Polson, crossed the finish line first in the women’s category with a time of 1:41:02.65, winning the category for a second year. Jill Pennington, of Moiese, took second place with a time of 1:47:11.08, and Julie Ackerlund of Helena had a third-place finish with 1:51:27.02. 

For full race results or more information on future events, check out the group’s website at

About 100 people participated in the Saturday event, organized annually by the Polson Running Club.

Much like the quote Delaney used, runners never really know what race-day will be like. The race can be bone-chilling with arctic temperatures or much like this year with warmer than usual temperatures in the mid-30s. The race also featured a fake finish this year to keep runners on their toes.

The reasons people choose to run the 13-mile loop, going counter-clockwise from the Mission Valley Aquatic Center and ending at the same place, are varied. During the seventh annual event, one man ran the race because he enjoyed it last year.

“Last year, I had a goal to do a half marathon a month,” said Joe Knowles, of East Helena. “I actually completed 14 half marathons last year. It was difficult, but I got it done. This is my first half marathon for this year.”  

Joining Knowles was his cousin Denise Gjerde who said she loved the club’s motto: “I run to feel healthy.” For runner Shanna Osborn, of Bigfork, the race was a chance to do something with her 12-year-old running mate an Australian Kelpie mix named Wacky.

“(Wacky) and I run all over the place. She has been running with me since she was a little pup,” said Osborn. “She is getting kind of old. She turns 13 next month, so we decided to do one last big race before she retires from running the longer distances. I thought it would be fun to do something like the Sorry ‘Bout That as her official last big race.”  

Individual race photos and a video of Delaney in his costume can be seen on the club’s Facebook page, called Polson Running. 



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