COVID-19 restrictions have shut down many events along the Wasatch Back. The Park City Education Foundation’s popular – and most significant fundraiser – Running with Ed - was also cancelled this year.
However, as KPCW reports -- two Park City School District teachers aren’t letting that get in the way of logging their own miles for education.
Amy Newman and Brad Gannon have participated in Running with Ed for years. Both have run the entire course solo multiple times. Most who run in the fundraising event, gather a relay team and take 3 to 6-mile legs totaling 39 miles. Newman and Gannon, though, will be running all 39 miles, stopping at each of Park City’s seven schools. They hope to raise money for the Park City Education Foundation since the event cancellation will have a financial impact on many programs funded by the Ed Foundation.
Brad Gannon teaches CTE at Treasure Mountain Junior High. He says the Ed Foundation has enabled him to bring multiple programs to his students, such as building a maker space and funding hydroponic gardens. They’ve helped finance getting his students supplies needed to continue learning from home. Gannon isn’t too worried about finishing the 39-mile course.
“Our goal is to follow the exact route. We’re not sure we will be allowed up the Olympic stairs but we’re going to try. I'm an active runner. I run year-round. I also do a lot of Back County skiing during the winter that keeps me plenty fit.”
Amy Newman teaches PE, Health and Leadership to 8th graders at Treasure Mountain Junior High. Like Gannon, she’s run the entire course multiple times.
“You know the fact not having Running with Ed is a huge loss for them. And I thought, you know, why not do something to help out in any way that we can? So Brad and I were talking-- it's like hey let's go do running with Ed and raise money for the Ed Foundation.”
Newman says teaching PE remotely has been challenging but her students have engaged in ways she didn’t expect. They’re selecting their own workouts and writing about them. She says their reflections are heartfelt and she’s inspired by their resilience.
“I check in with them through our reflections and how are you doing with your physical health, your mental health, your social health and how have things changed during this time? And, surprisingly a lot of my students are saying they’ve been working out more because they have more time and getting out and doing things with their families. A lot of students are hiking and biking with their families and they're finding other ways to socialize with their friends through technology and whatnot. And we've been doing a lot of mental health stuff as well, where students can do meditation, deal with everything going on mentally. They've been talking about journaling and doing meditations and reflections and it's just—oh my gosh-- I've been really proud of my students.”
Teachers Brad Gannon and Amy Newman start their 39-mile run around 6 A.M. Saturday morning. They’ll follow the Running with Ed course beginning and ending at the Basin Rec Field House. They hope to raise $10,000, all of which would go to the Park City Education Foundation’s Teacher Grant’s Program. They encourage spectators to follow their progress on social media and if possible, cheer them on, as they make their way to each of the district’s schools. A link to donate and follow their progress can be found here.
Gap year Running With Ed T-shirts are also available on the Park City Education Foundation web site.