Right Path’s Righditarod planned for March 2

Area residents will soon have the opportunity to race against hunger in the third annual Right Path for Washington County Righditarod race.

The event is inspired by the infamous Iditarod race, except instead of dogs and sleds participants will be racing shopping carts around town to support local food pantries.

“It’s a lot of fun for a serious cause,” said Cathy Harper, coordinator of The Right Path for Washington County.

Harper said she’s hopeful this will be the biggest event so far.

“The first year we had 12 teams and last year 13 participated,” she said. “Our goal this year is 20 teams, because the more people that participate, the more we can raise.”

Teams that want to register for the event are required to have five members, including a musher and two “dawgs” for each side.

Each team is encouraged to have a unique theme and is given the chance decorate their carts accordingly before the race.

“In the past we’ve had some very fun costume and cart themes,” Harper said. “One team from the first event was a group of toy soldiers that made their cart into a tank.”

Each team is given a shopping wish list from the pantries and a packet allowing them to receive monetary donations before the event begins.

Along the way, teams are required to complete some mystery obstacles that aren’t revealed until the race begins.

“Last year we had a spaghetti relay race type of an event at Spagna’s,” Harper said. “We try to keep it a fun atmosphere so those participating, especially the youth, will enjoy serving the community.”

All the proceeds from the event go directly to the area’s 11 community food pantries and the Washington County Harvest of Hope.

Dave Riggs, director of the Newport Community Food Pantry, said he is very grateful for the support the pantry receives from this event.

“There are a lot of organizations that work with the pantries and we appreciate all of their help,” he said. “We survive through our volunteers and all the support we receive from events like this.”

The Righditarod has helped the Newport Community Food Pantry replenish much needed supplies over the past few years.

“We used to be able to order 25 cases of food from the food bank in Logan, but they have since capped the amount of cases we can purchase at eight,” Riggs said. “This is a nice way to help us offset the loss in our food supplies.”

Harper said the race is beneficial to everyone involved.

“One of our main goals is to promote healthy youth development. We want to engage our kids to get involved and serve in the community,” she said. “This is an event that makes that possible and provides local pantries with much needed supplies. Everyone is a winner.”

The registration fee for those interested in creating a team is $25 if turned in before the day of the event and $35 if paid the day of the event.

The registration form can be accessed on The Right Path for Washington County Facebook page or downloaded from The Galley website at www.thegalleymarietta.com. For more information on the Righditarod, call Harper at 374-6990.