Portland Trail Blazers: Participate in Rip City Race for the Roses

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Summer is almost here. It officially begins on June 20. Do you like to walk? Do you like to run? If so, this could be for you. And in doing so, you can help a great cause.

If you have been watching Portland Trail Blazers games this season, perhaps you have seen and heard the promotions for “Rip City Race for the Roses,” a benefit for Albertina Kerr.

The Race for the Roses began in 1998. In 2018, Albertina Kerr started a partnership with the Portland Trail Blazers, renaming the event Rip City Race for the Roses, according to Albertina Kerr’s Jeanette Weston.

"“Since 1907, Albertina Kerr has been caring for Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens, said Weston. “Over the decades, our services have evolved to meet the community’s needs. Today, Kerr offers short-term crisis psychiatric care and community-based outpatient mental health services for children and teens facing a mental health challenge. For individuals experiencing an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD), Kerr provides safe and supportive 24-hour residential group homes, as well as employment training with follow-along coaching. Last year, Kerr provided more than 1,000 children, teens, and adults with essential, life-saving care.”"

So far from the 2021 Rip City Race for the Roses, Albertina Kerr anticipates roughly $85,000 will be raised with it being a virtual event this year, compared with nearly double that amount in a typical “live year.” The figures, according to Weston, do not include the tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind support from the Trail Blazers and their generous supporters. So far, 1,100 are participating in the race this year.

The race proceeds will be going towards Albertina Kerr’s children’s mental health services and programs for individuals experiencing intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD).

After learning about this wonderful event for such a great cause, my wife and I, who both love to hike and support organizations like this, decided to sign up and participate.

On May 29, after camping in Castle Rock, we got up early that morning and hiked the 11 and a half miles of Cold Water Lake, which is on the border of Cowlitz and Skamania County, Washington. During the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Cold Water Lake was created by a huge landslide of debris that rushed down the Toutle River. While hiking Cold Water Lake, you will run into old logging equipment left behind from the 1980 eruption.

As the trail goes on, there are waterfalls and a bridge that goes over a creek that eventually empties into the lake. And quite possibly, as you reach the top of the trail, maybe, just maybe, you will run into some snow. Yes, even in the 60 plus degree weather in May. Cold Water Lake is about 5.5 miles from the Johnston Ridge Observatory, the center of the blast zone.

There is still time to participate in this year’s virtual Rip City Race for the Roses, which goes through June 30. All participants receive a race t-shirt, finisher medal, and more. You can register at, https://give.albertinakerr.org/event/race-for-the-roses-2021/e276946

If you don’t want to hike or run Cold Water Lake, there are plenty of other areas to run a half marathon, 10k, 5k, or Nike Made to Play Kids’ 1k.

The Rip City Race for the Roses in 2022, according to Weston,

"“will take place Sunday, April 24, 2022. This chip-timed, family-friendly race includes a half marathon, 10k, 5k, and Nike Made to Play kids’ 1k. We are currently planning next year’s course for runners, walkers, and wheelchair participants – details will be shared soon! All finishers receive a long-stemmed rose (presented by the Royal Rosarians), a finisher medal, and other goodies, including a celebratory after-party with mimosas, music, and more. Awards and prizes are presented to the overall top three winners of each distance, as well as the best time by a male and female in 14 age group categories.”"

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