Dear Huckleberry Half Runners and Walkers,
The third week of March seems forever ago, but it was an extremely busy time for me. I organize a variety of other events, many are key fundraising events for nonprofits. At the time, I was racing around trying to decide what to do with events that take place in June. Many nonprofits gain a significant amount of their funding from an annual event each year. Without those events, many would not (perhaps will not) meet their annual funding level they need to operate.
But, I remember one conversation that took place at the end of March in particular. A nonprofit director asked me, “but what about your Huckleberry Half run?” I did chuckle internally, thinking the question was half ridiculous, and said, “if we get to August and the Huckleberry Half can’t go on, our society is in deep trouble and a race like the Huckleberry Half won’t even matter.”
Before alarmist bells go off inside of you, I should clarify my thoughts behind those words. The Huckleberry Half is extremely fun to produce and our main mission is always to bring value to the community of Welches/Mt. Hood National Forest, contribute to nonprofits, and provide a safe, enjoyable AND BEAUTIFUL course to runners. While all of those things are important and I’m passionate about them, I personally place those aspects way down on the totem-pole-of-importance when comparing what our local nonprofits are doing in the Portland area and beyond.
Caring for our foster children, creating medical treatments to cure cancer, caring for our forests and animals, providing shelter for women and children who have experienced domestic violence and abuse, getting families in proper housing, the list goes on, but we have incredibly important nonprofits literally changing the world we live in. Running in Mt. Hood? Compared to those, it is at the bottom of the list in my book.
When I said that The Huckleberry Half wouldn’t even matter if it couldn’t go on, my thinking was a mix of fear and concern of how would those nonprofits gain funding to keep carrying on their life-changing efforts?
Today, on April 24th, I admit I don’t have an answer to that question, but I can play my part. The Huckleberry Half will not happen in person this year and will be a virtual run, with profits from registrations and sponsors going to Every Child, which does absolutely tremendous and important work uplifting children & families impacted by foster care all across Oregon. COVID-19 has had a huge impact in the world of foster care and the people with Every Child have stepped up in remarkable ways. I’m so excited to support them this way.
We will also continue our support of local nonprofits, including Ainsley’s Angels, Bend YoungLife, Project 48, Oregon Trail Academy, Welches PTCO, the Rhody CPO and of course the Mt. Hood National Forest through the National Forest Foundation.
Going virtual drastically reduces our event cost, meaning more money will go to nonprofits. Plus, my prediction is that we won’t see in person running events again in 2020.
But Why Continue with The Huckleberry Half At All?
Looking forward to something matters. There are many ‘silent threats’ that affect our well-being at the moment. The obvious one is lack of human contact but there are others. I’ve noticed one of them in myself, and others, is that I have nothing to look forward to. I have nothing to work for, train for, plan for, etc. My calendar is completely blank. A week or so ago I realized how important it is to have something to look forward to, similar to ‘hope’ in something.
That’s what we want The Virtual Huckleberry Half to provide you. Something you can put on your calendar, know it is coming, train for it, ask others how their training is going, give advice, ask for advice and so on. It’s a challenge for you to tackle. A connection piece for you to embrace with others. A thing to simply look forward to. We will do a big hoopla on social media, you’ll share photos and videos, others will share photos and videos, it will be a nice big online celebration of running.
So What Does That Mean Logistically?
For now, here are options for our registered runners:
Run on Your Own,. We will automatically put all participant registrations in this category and mail your race shirt and medal. If you’re in to support the efforts of Every Child and other nonprofits, no need to let us know. We will mail out your shirt, bib, and medal August.
Wait to Join Us in 2021. If the virtual run should not work for you, you’re welcome to let us know and we can defer your entry to our Huckleberry Half 2021 race. Please let us know via email of this decision by July 1st, 2020.
And if you haven’t registered yet, but would like to:
All ‘distances’ will be the same price and we will mail you a shirt, bib, and finisher’s medal. We are leaving distance options open because we want you to choose something to work towards. Take this time, if you are able, to push yourself to something you didn’t think you were capable of completing.
My Final Encouragement:
Community means helping each other when help is needed. I can assure you I feel the financial pain of this time. I’m a full time, self-employed event creator and organizer. My industry, where 100% of my yearly income comes from, will (and should be) the last thing to reopen and may not be until 2021. There may come a time when I need to ask for help, but at this time, I am able to provide help in my community. If you are also able, I ask you to provide help however you know how as well. While we are doing that, if you’d like something to look forward to, join into the fun of running with us in The Huckleberry Half.
- Brady Mordhorst, The Huckleberry Half Race Director
Join us in person 2021!
Locally owned and operated. The Huckleberry Half was designed and continues to strive to benefit the local community and nonprofits.
The Huckleberry Half features one of the most beautiful courses in all of the Pacific Northwest through the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Limited Runners on Course. The scenery is meant to be enjoyed, so we make sure not to over pack the course.
Take a break from the city runs.
Benefit the local community.
Buildings are fun, but trees are majestic.
(That's 13.1 Bigfoots)
(No price increase)
(That's 9.3 Bigfoots)
(No price increase)
(That's 6.2 Bigfoots)
(No price increase)
(That's 3.1 Bigfoots)
(No price increase)
Reach out to us by email! Or alternatively fill in the form below, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.