Montana running titan Tony Banovich dies

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Tony Banovich carries a shotgun to signal the start of the Snow Joke Half Marathon in Seeley Lake last February. Banovich, a fixture in the running community in Montana for decades and the executive director of Run Wild Missoula, died this week.

Tony Banovich stands outside the office of Run Wild Missoula in 2015, a year after taking over as executive director.

Laura Scheer

MISSOULA — Treasure State running titan and race organizer Tony Banovich passed away this week, sending shock waves and ripples of pain across the Montana running community he had been a fixture of for more than three decades.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we announce Tony Banovich passed away in his sleep last night,” a message from Run Wild Missoula to its more than 1,600 members read Wednesday.

Banovich became the

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