The organizers of the “Got Grit?” obstacle course 5k race typically held in Choteau on July 3 regret to inform the public that this summer’s run is canceled due to COVID-19 public health concerns.
The race is set up by the Choteau High School volleyball team to raise money for their summer volleyball camp. (The volleyball camp this summer is also canceled.) This year would have been the 10th annual milestone for the race, but assistant volleyball coach Carla May said there were too many uncertainties to plan an event this summer.
“We’re disappointed. It’s something that brings a lot of people together, and it’s a lot of fun. It was a very tough decision,” she said.
The race typically draws about more than 150 participants. May estimated they had about 160 people register for the race last year. It also requires about 50 volunteers, including the volleyball athletes, to work the event and keep everything running smoothly. If the state was still under Phase 2 of the governor’s “Reopening the Big Sky” plan on July 3, crowds would be limited to only 50 people. Having a race that small would cost more money than it could bring in, once the costs of t-shirts, insurance and labor are factored in.
The volleyball team is still planning to carry out their traditional lasagna sale fundraiser this summer. The sale usually is held in the first week of June, but this year, they’re waiting until the end of July.
The funds raised from the lasagna sale can’t go toward camp fees, but they help individual students purchase extra team things, like a camp t-shirt or a new pair of sweatpants.
Although the team is disappointed to have to cancel the race this year, they are planning to make a number of changes for next year’s race. May said the they have a lot of good ideas, including updating the obstacles and inviting previous winners and teams to compete.
“Our thoughts are why not keep the name of Got Grit as strong as it is and next year, for the 10th annual, kick butt with it,” May said. “We want this to continue being the best it can be.”