Registration for the annual Highland Yard charity run is now open.

While participants won’t be gathering in person, they’ll still be able to complete a race and raise money for affordable housing in Haliburton County.

Participants have the option of a 2k, 5k and 10k run or walk. A “freestyle” option is open to anyone who wants to participate however they like: whether it’s laps around a living-room or backyard sprints.

There’s also a chance to dive into local history with the original Heineken Yard race distance run from 1971. It’s 7.3 km from Camp Onondaga to the Rockcliffe in Minden.

Last year, the virtual event raised $25,000 which was donated to Places for People, a not-for-profit focused on Haliburton County’s affordable housing shortage. That’s the highest amount raised to date.

“I think people may have felt more willing to donate, maybe they had more money to donate since they weren’t travelling,” said Jack Russel, the race director and past board member of Places for People.

“It’s also more convenient,” said Russel. “People could define their own activity – I think people enjoyed that.”

No matter what kind of race you run, each registrant gets a pair of Highland Yard socks, and a chance to win a locally-made mug for every $50 raised.

Since 2012, Highland Yard participants have raised more than $140,000 for Places for People. Those funds help the organization to buy, renovate and secure housing for people who need it.

“It’s also given Places for People a chance to move in a different direction now, where we’re looking for multi-unit builds – not just homes,” said Russel. “Now we’re just going to go big; put in more units, provide more housing.”

Registration for the Highland Yard opened June 1 and participants must complete their chosen distance or race style by Aug. 1.

In a year where Canadians have been told to stay home, Russel said the Highland Yard’s mission is even more urgent.

“Some people don’t have a home to stay in,” he said.

You can register for the run at highlandyard.ca

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