EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Hundreds laced up their running shoes today to celebrate the buckshot run's 31st birthday.
Individuals, families and even groups of co-workers got together to raise money for the Indianhead Special Olympics.
Today was the perfect day for Nicole Budik to take out her running shoes.
“I was very active before I had him (her infant son), I did a triathlon then. After I had him and working full time, it kind of took a while to get back into the swing of things,” said Budik.
Budik ran in the fundraiser with her 16 months old son for the first time. She conquered two miles along with nearly 500 other Mayo Clinic Health System employees, who trained for nine weeks to do the buckshot.
“We really have become a family event and a labor day tradition,” said Karen Kraus, with the Indianhead Special Olympics.
But as some ran for the first time, Don Betthauser hit his 30th year-mark of participating in the event.
“As long as they keep having it I'm going to keep trying to do it,” said Betthauser.
Now Betthauser says it’s a family tradition. All his friends and family alone generated more than 1000-dollars participating last year.
“Participation now is very much higher than it used to be in the past. It’s a good things, it just generates extra dollars for Special Olympics.
“The money that we get locally stays here and it helps our athletes compete it sports all year long,” said Kraus.
“We always raise money for everything, if we go to a game,” said Charley Gainey athlete with the Special Olympics.
Gainey is a tri-athlete and captain of his high school team. He says sports is his passion.
Special Olympics athletes say because of the fundraiser like this one their dream of competing is sports can come true.
“It's not about winning or losing, just have fun and have a great time like we're doing right now,” added Gainey.
Event organizers say around 17-hundred people took part in the race.
And they surpassed last year's fundraising of 56-thousand dollars, reaching just over 60-grand.