When gatherings over 10 people became impossible, we knew we couldn’t hold our annual 3-mile race – at least not in the way we have been for over 50 years now.

But the spirit of our agency – putting participants first - shone through as we came together to find a way to adapt the event to ensure our youth could still experience it.

Jewison House training

Started over 50 years ago, the 3 mile takes place every year and pits staff and youth against one another in a friendly race. At programs south, it takes place on the roads around the Pilot Butte campus, and all in-town and on-campus houses participate, along with a good number of staff and special guests. Youth are divided into age/gender categories, and there are medals and bragging rights up for grabs.

“It is so important, especially now, to carry on as best we can, and this race is a beloved, long-standing tradition,” said director of education Hayley Maurer.

Instead of the traditional race, houses this year were challenged to earn 300 points through completing a variety of exercises, each assigned a point value. Walking or running were worth 100 points per mile.

Each house had from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 6th to have every youth and staff member complete 300 calories worth of any combination of exercise.

Kruzeniski House making shirts for 3 mile

“This adaptation gave everyone at the agency the chance to get motivated and excited about exercising,” Hayley added.

Youth and staff had a few weeks before the big day to train – honing not just their running skills but also, if they chose, incorporating things like jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, jump rope and wall sits.

While things looked a little different for this year’s 3 mile, there were still prizes, teamwork, and most importantly – our youth were able to experience the pride that comes with working toward and accomplishing a goal.