By Joel Barrett, Business Development Manager, Unosquare – August 31, 2016

I first learned about the 4K 4Charity Fun Run last year while searching for different runs around the Portland area. I had run the Doggie Dash that spring and was signed up for the Portland Half Marathon in early October, and I thought that a run with fellow members of the tech community in Portland would be a fun way to blow off some steam and enjoy a nice calm run along the water front. Easy.

To be honest, when I arrived I wasn’t even aware it was a fundraiser, I just thought it was a “Tech Run.” I was immediately embraced by the energy of the rest of the participants when I arrived at the staging area. Between taking a picture with Timber Joey (of course), and dodging a mass of runners in green capes, I was completely unprepared for what I saw next: a walking, talking Unicorn. Wow. This event was more than I bargained for, clearly, and that feeling was only exacerbated by the massive influx of students proudly rocking their RAHS tee shirts. These young men and women were coming out of the woodwork! Playing, hanging out, interacting with the different members of the tech community; they were all in, and their mindset was infectious.

My opinion of the students grew even higher as they lined up to race with us – runners, some of them VERY fast, and walkers, all of whom were equally as excited. Between the new and familiar faces, the company-themed costumes and the multitude of runners, I would have had plenty of fun just taking in the atmosphere, but there was more.

It wasn’t until the after-party that I started paying enough attention to realize that this event was benefitting a cause greater than the standard school fundraiser. The look in the eyes of the teachers and faculty that were there showed that. It was the look of hopeful apprehension, refined into the realization that their expectations were being exceeded. That the essentials for another school year were being funded before my eyes. I decided then and there that if possible, I was going to run in the event next year, and I am so thankful that Unosquare is being afforded the opportunity to partner with other thought-leaders in our community to put on the 4K 4Charity Fun Run PDX 2016. I hope to see you out there!