Saints Mary and Mathias to hold super Hustle 5K run walk
by Margaret Hurlbert
March 24, 2023

MUSCATINE, Iowa–More than 22 years ago, Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School held its first race fundraiser. First called the Nun Run and later the Hayes Hustle, the Hustle run walk has endured as one of the school’s most popular fundraisers. After making a gradual return following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hussle will return to full form this year April 28 and 29, with a super hero theme sure to energize racers of all experience levels and summon them out to help provide special experiences for the school’s students.

After holding their 20th anniversary Hustle Color Run in 2019, the race took a two year hiatus due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the school brought back the Kids’ Hustle last year, organizers look forward to hosting a full scale event this year. “We are all excited to bring it back and work together to create a fun event for families and friends to become ‘superheroes’ as they participate in the race,” said Rachel Braun, a four-year-old preschool teacher at Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School.

The Kids’ Hustle will start the racing the evening of April 28 at Muscatine High School (2705 Cedar Street in Muscatine). Children in three-year-old preschool through fifth grade may participate, which children running longer distances the older they get. A friendly competition, each age group will have prizes for the top three boy and girl winners. The following morning, runners and walkers of all ages can take part in the five kilometer race starting at Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School (2407 Cedar Street in Muscatine). In keeping with the super hero theme, organizers encourage participants to suit up in their best super hero attire while they compete. The top three winners will receive prizes provided by local donors, including new Nike sunglasses from Vision Center, P.C. Everyone may stay to enjoy a breakfast of fruit, cinnamon rolls, donut holes, and various beverages, along with fun photo opportunities with props.

Children participating in a previous Kids’ Hustle. Photo courtesy Rachel Braun.

Registration has opened for the Hustle, with Children’s Hussle registrations costing $15 before April 12 and five kilometer race registrations costing $25. Current Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School students will receive a discount for entering either race. People may get a registration form from the SMMCS Home and School Association Facebook page, the Muscatine Running Club, or the Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School office. They may also return the completed forms and payment to the school office. All of the money raised from the race will go towards fieldtrips for Saints Mary and Mathias students and providing Chromebooks and iPads for them to use.

An event with a little something for everyone that supports students attending Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School, Braun encourages runners of all ages, especially families, to participate in this year’s Hussle. “This is a great opportunity to get together with your family and/or friends for fresh air and exercise whether you run the race or walk it,” she emphasized: “We have a fun superhero theme that runners can dress up for and take pictures together. We will have a delicious breakfast and great prizes.”