This year, the Moose Run organizers wanted to help some local businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the pandemic is on-going, they decided to hold a virtual Moose Run. The registration fee is $20, and each participant will receive a $20 gift card from their choice of a participating business. Pay $20; get $20. It’s virtually free! Gift cards will be mailed out during the week of May 10th and can be used until the end of 2021! People can now have fun, be active, and support a business of their choice.
Participating businesses include Gampers; RedNeck Meats BBQ; Rustic Diner (Barnum); Poor Gary’s Pizza; Chickadee Coffee House (Barnum); Dairy Queen (Moose Lake); Moose Lake Brewing Company; Lake Area Therapy Services: Massage ($20 off); Moose Lake Florists; Hoffmann Ace Hardware (Moose Lake); Lake Theater; Meg’s Cuts; Raven and Ruby Salon and Spa; and Beautique Spa and Salon.
Because the Moose Run is virtual, participants can run or walk any 5k or 10k route on any day from May 1-9th. They are encouraged to post a photo of themselves on their walk/run to the Moose Run’s Facebook page and, of course, give the page a “like”. (https://www.facebook.com/MercyFoundationMooseRun)
There are two ways to register for the 2021 virtual Moose Run: online and by mail. Each process is easy. To register online, go to: https://www.raceplanner.com/register/index/moose-run-5k-10k-virtual-event-2021 You can also find it on the Moose Lake Chamber of Commerce’s calendar, located on their website under the “Events” tab. To register by mail, send in a completed paper registration form which is available at the Moose Lake Library, the Moose Lake Visitor Center / Chamber of Commerce, or at Lake Area Therapy Services located inside the Gateway Family Health Clinic.
The first Moose Run was held in the year 2000, and it consisted of a 5km and 10km event which started and finished in the Moose Lake City Park. The response was enthusiastic, and the Moose Run immediately became an annual event which drew 200-300 participants from near and far. Eventually, a Kid’s Run was added. Because the Moose Run was held on the first Saturday in May, it became the unofficial kick-off event for the busy summer season in Moose Lake.
Last year, 2020, the Moose Run was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, the Moose Run raised funds to purchase “Heroes Work Here” banners and window cling. A total of eleven large banners and six large window clings were hung in Willow River, Moose Lake, and Barnum to acknowledge and thank the front line workers who were helping so many during the ongoing pandemic. The Moose Run donated an additional $1,120 to the Moose Lake Area Food Shelf and the United Way of Carlton County. The Moose Run always donates its annual profits to local charities and non-profits.
The Moose Run organizers hope to get back to normal next summer. In the meantime, they are hoping for an enthusiastic response from people near and far who want to be active, have fun, and support some local businesses at virtually no cost. Spend $20; get $20! In this year’s Moose Run, everyone is a winner!