Huffing For Stuffing will celebrate its 12th running this Thanksgiving (’18). Our inaugural running in 2007 brought forth 931 participants and we donated proceeds of $8,000 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. In eleven years since inception, we feel incredibly proud to report that Huffing For Stuffing’s cumulative total donation is over $437,000 the Gallatin Valley Food Bank! Thank you for your tremendous support!
What are the roots of Huffing For Stuffing, you may ask? How and why did it start? Great question! Here goes…
On Thanksgiving morning 2004, Race Founders John and Tim went for a run along the Linear and Sourdough trails. The weather was overcast and brisk and there were ominous clouds on the western horizon. Although they only met as friends in Bozeman a short time earlier, their run was to commemorate the long-standing holiday tradition of enjoying a Thanksgiving Day road race – quite common among their east-coast roots and most metropolitan areas of the country. John and Tim both felt overjoyed to live in beautiful Gallatin Valley but they reminisced about the good times of running on Thanksgiving Day with family, friends and neighbors.
As a heavy snow squall moved into the area they took note of how many dozens of people were out-and-about that morning – runners, dog-walkers, neighbors out to recreate and socialize during one of the few times of the year that most businesses and retail shops are closed; one of the few times of the year that many people have complete discretionary time! And what do Montanans do when they have free time? We play outside!
On Thanksgiving Days 2005 and 2006, John and Tim met again to enjoy their new annual tradition. The weather conditions varied each year but the popularity of Gallatin Valley comrades being outside to enjoy the morning was always the same. One of us pondered aloud “How cool would it be to have a Thanksgiving Day run in Bozeman? I bet the community would support it. Look at how many people are outside, anyway!”
It was that moment that John committed to starting an event for the following Thanksgiving. Soon after, John garnered support from the Big Sky Wind Drinkers running club. Friends, Melissa and JC, joined as partners to help establish the event. John and JC recall a momentous meeting among friends at The Robin (now Ted’s) one evening in January 2007. While savoring several finely brewed ales, they contemplated names for the new event. Unexciting suggestions like the “Bozeman Turkey Trot” and “Bozeman Thanksgiving Day Run” were floated and quickly nixed! Pete suggested the name “Turkey Timer” and he remains astonished to this day why it received no serious consideration! Jarl belted out “The Bozey Mozey” and our conversation and chuckling quickly came to a halt. Hmm, perhaps Jarl was on to something. We ran the name by Kelly (the waitress) and her howling reinforced what we thought we knew. Yes indeed, “The Bozey Mozey” would be the name of our new holiday tradition!
At the next planning meeting at Montana Aleworks, John and JC crowed about the selected event name to Melissa. She immediately doubled over in laughter at such an atrocity. “But Melissa, Kelly the Waitress loved it!” John insisted. “She was working you over for tips!” Melissa retorted. After confirming the unpopularity of “Bozey Mozey” among other disinterested patrons, we scrapped the plan and were back to square one.
So, how did we come up with “Huffing For Stuffing”? The name is entirely unique and was born of a message board survey on Coolrunning.com asking for suggestions of the most fun, exciting, bring-a-smile-to-your-face name one could think of. Bill from Georgia offered “Huffing and Puffing for Stuffing” which was by far the best of the 100+ suggestions offered. Heather and Tim of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank were pleased to partner with us as the beneficiary of our event. And thus, Huffing For Stuffing was born. We were off and running…
We look forward to seeing you Thanksgiving morning!