The morning of race day was different than in years past. Rather than rushing around making sure everyone and everything was where it needed to be, things felt a little calmer knowing there wasn’t a crowd gathering early in the morning. There was an underlying feeling of loneliness, knowing many of us were unable to gather together. No running through Camp Wakonda smelling different breakfasts, hearing cheers from young and old, seeing early-risers and sleepy-heads. The Hallelujah Hustle this year was much different, yes, but in some ways remained the same!
We were blessed that Elder Mike Edge had opening prayer for those of us walking with a group starting at the Conference office in Fall River. No one reported injuries or bad weather, sunshine was seen gleaming in many of the self-portraits sent in. We had young and old participate, new racers and experienced ones, some “first time Hustlers” and some keeping their tradition alive in a new location. Participants joined from all over – Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, just to name a few!
Many shared their sadness that the Hustle had to be virtual this year – this was felt by those of us planning it as well. However, going virtual seemed a better option than completely cancelling! For a number, it was a way to keep their tradition alive. For some, a good reason to train and prepare. We had racers complete the 5K first thing in the morning, some who waited a day or two; participants went fast and slow, some outside and some on their treadmill at home. Registration totaled around 56 – much smaller than our usual event, but we’re still very proud and honored that so many participated despite it being a new experience.
We were able to raise $875 for Primates, Incorporated in Westfield, Wisconsin, as well as $150 to Wisconsin Academy and $150 to Koinz 4 Kids for student financial assistance, and 1 week scholarship for Camp Wakonda. Going into this event virtually, we merely hoped to be able to break even. However, we are blessed and thankful that the Lord provided in such a way where we were able to share our blessings! Going into next year, we have new found excitement, ideas, and energy. We’re planning on participating at Wakonda, if that is the Lord’s will.
A huge thank you to those who helped plan, shared the information about the race, supported, participated, and prayed for us. Check us out at hallelujahhustle.com for some of the “selfies” participants sent in as well as our plans for next race day, June 20, 2021!
Johanna Serna, Hallelujah Hustle Coordinator