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Running with Ed races past fundraising goal to benefit Park City classrooms

Running with Ed participants celebrate at the awards ceremony.
Sarah Ervin / KPCW
Running with Ed participants celebrate at the awards ceremony.

The Park City Education Foundation exceeded its fundraising goal at its annual Running with Ed relay race Saturday, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local public schools.

Runners in a colorful mix of costumes took to Park City’s trails and sidewalks Saturday, May 18, for the 15th year of the festive tradition.

Almost 200 teams signed up for this year’s event, which raises money for the Park City Education Foundation’s classroom grants.

Members of each relay team passed the baton at six Park City public schools, plus Utah Olympic Park and the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse.

Teachers and parents alike shared what PCEF’s work means for them and why they chose to take part in Running with Ed.

Leah Morisi is an interventionist at Parley’s Park Elementary School, giving kindergarten through fifth grade students tools to become stronger readers. Thanks to a grant from the education foundation, she attended training to learn a new approach to teaching vocabulary.

“It helps them gain skills to try and break out words into their individual word meaning parts so that they are able to understand more words than just the individual vocabulary words,” she said. “It’s been really great.”

Brittany Schuhmacher and her friends have assembled a relay team for the past seven years. They have children in elementary school around the district.

“Based on how hard the teachers work throughout the year, how hard everyone works to put this event on, the least we could do is show up in fun outfits and have a great day,” Schuhmacher said. “It’s a great event – I hope they continue to do it.”

Her daughter, who’s in second grade, also joined the race this year.

Park City Education Foundation vice president for advancement Jen Billow said the day was a big success. The foundation surpassed its $325,000 fundraising goal.

“As of right now, we're at $338,000,” she said. “So we are thrilled. The community always blows us away with that support.”

She said the race organizers work to make it an inclusive event for athletes of all levels.

“Whether you're a super hardcore runner, and you're going to run all 717 steps at the UOP, or you're just going to walk from McPolin to Treasure through Dozier Field, there really is something for everyone to do,” she said.

Over 1,000 runners participated in this year’s Running with Ed event. As of Sunday morning, the fundraising total was over $339,000.

More information about the Park City Education Foundation can be found on the nonprofit’s website.