Great day for Mason’s Run

Photo by Eleanor Guerrero

Kids ruled the 2 mile walk from the start.

On Saturday morning, June 7, despite threatening skies, the fog lifted and runners had clear sailing with a slight chill in the air but no rain for Mason’s Mountain Run.

“We prefer the cool weather and the day is just gorgeous,” said one runner before the race. A 10K Trail run & 2 Mile trail run/walk were held at the Lions Camp in Custer National Forest, south of Red Lodge.

Mason’s mother, Gretchen Shuck, said, “There were about sixty 10K runners and 280 people ate the BBQ with us. I think we raised around $13,000, similar to last year. It sure turned out to be a beautiful day!"

Ten K runner Asano Otsu, Red Lodge, said, “It’s a great family event! I’m so glad this goes on every year for Mason.” Jordan and Terrie Hoyt, also ready for the run added, “Besides being participants, we are also sponsors in this event.”

This fifth annual Mason’s Mountain Run celebrated the short life of Mason Shuck, an 11 year old boy who suffered from mitochondrial disease, a degenerative illnes s that pr imar i l y affects children. Mason passed in 2009.

The Shuck family relocated to Red Lodge from Billings so that Mason could enjoy the Beartooths. He was a frequent participant in sports in the mountains with his family despite his disabilities. It is here they continue to honor him with the run and to welcome families with children with disabilities to participate.

The proceeds from the event went to support Lookdevelopment.org. Look Development is a nonprofit ministry located in Ethiopia that states on its website that it, “seeks to be a model of a holistic approach to a self-sustaining community that provides hope through love, nutrition, education, shelter, clothing, and healthcare to needy and orphaned children through child sponsorship. A vital component is a self generating income and training that is offered to sponsor children's parents and guardians.”

Hope Ranch, outside Red Lodge, a 501c3 nonprofit, is the US side of Look Development coordinating all sponsorship, sponsor travel, and development of projects.

The Shuck family encouraged all participants to celebrate Mason’s life by having fun. There were many events for kids whether they hiked or not, such as a bouncy tent, face painting and a treasure hunt. For everybody, there was a BBQ lunch, cake and live music.

Supporter Becky Hardy said, “It’s glorious up here!” Her husband, Don said, “It was a clear demonstration of the community spirit I’ve seen in Red Lodge.”

Even the dogs got along, playing among the children digging excitedly for treasures in the sand under the volleyball net. Hundreds of purpleblue lupines were in bloom in the meadows around the camp and a high Rock Creek roared by in the background.

Many runners came from out of town. Three young athletes from Rocky Mountain College Cross Country and Track showed up, Jonathan Barnes, Villa, Wash., and Leroy Peden and Fred Petsch, both of Billilngs.

“I did it last year,” said Peden, who encouraged his friends to come. “He won it!” said Petsch proudly, “39:43!”

“Last year,” said Peden, “They told me to bring some of my friends (next time), so I did some recruiting. It’s a really pretty run, and a very good course.”

It was also a very pretty performance. First over the 10K finish line was Leroy Peten, for the second year in a row.

For more photos please click here