Monday, June 23, 2014

Deadlines approaching for Great Race 'Disco Edition'

Because this year's theme for the Great Race for Education is Disco Fever, and because I know you are looking for any excuse you can find to waste time on a Monday, here is a clip of Van McCoy's classic "The Hustle," a production I was too green appreciate in 1975. Gas lines ... stagflation ... the fall of Saigon ... WIN buttons ... who cares? It was just great to be young!
"Disco Fever" is the theme this year for the Great Race for Education, but that doesn't mean people will be running around downtown Idaho Falls July 18 in platform shoes and Afro wigs.

OK, maybe a few, but this event, a fund-raiser that netted nearly $40,000 for the Eastern Idaho Technical Foundation last year, has come to be taken very seriously by some of the people who have been involved since it started in 2009.

For the uninitiated, the Great Race is an event in which teams are given clues that lead them to different locations around downtown Idaho Falls, where they perform challenges. Once they've performed five challenges they head back to Snake River Landing. The first ten teams to return advance to the second round of challenges. How quickly teams get back to the finish line has a lot to do with how quickly they can decipher clues, which they receive over the phone from their team owners at base camp. Teams can also buy additional clues, with the proceeds going to the EITC Foundation's scholarship program.

The race's support in the community has grown dramatically. In 2010, once the expenses had been calculated, EITC Foundation reported proceeds from the race around $13,000. In 2013, the foundation came away with nearly $40,000.

Although race day is in mid-July, the buildup starts in April with the Trashion Fashion Show at the city of Idaho Falls' Earth Day event. There is active promotion on social media, all with the goal of raising money and recruiting new teams.

Once the race is done, everyone enjoys food, music and a special rapport that comes from having done something really significant for the community.

EITC Foundation executive director Natalie Hebard said there is still time for anyone who wants to become a team owner to register. In addition to participating in the event, the $50 registration fee gets a team owner a t-shirt, swag bag, drink tickets and a catered meal.

Between now and race day, here are some deadlines and reminders:
  • Team registration forms and a signed waiver for each runner are due by June 27 (to guarantee shirt order).
  • Team Owner Entry Forms are due by June 27 (registration is allowed up to the day of the event, but to receive a team t-shirt, registration form and payment must be received by June 27).
  • Team Owner BBQ – Saturday, July 12 at 5 p.m. hosted at the home of Daren Long (event is posted on Great Race Facebook page with details, please RSVP.
  • Pre-race clues – Each day Monday, July 14 through Thursday, July 17 clues will be released at 7:30 a.m. each morning and again in the evening at 5:30 p.m. (clues released on Facebook and via text if you sign up for text alerts)
  • Pre-race Facebook Auction – Thursday, July 17 from 5:30 until 9 p.m. you can bid on items that will help you during the race.
If any teams are raising funds for clue money, Hebard would like to publicize them on the Great Race Facebook page. If you do not pre-purchase a clue package, please be aware you will be given only one clue after the completion of each challenge. Additional clues may be purchased for $50 per clue on race day.  Team owners can help you solve clues and can purchase the additional clues at base camp.

For more information call the EITC Foundation office at 524-0464.