"With team fundraising alone, our goal was $75,000," Billow said. "Friday night before the race, during the last 15 minutes before the 9 p.m. deadline for team fundraising, we reached that goal and more. Altogether, our teams raised about $120,000."
The $240,000 net amount raised by the relay includes the team fundraising as well as entry fees. Billow said there were just under 1,000 participants this year.
The PCEF awarded $165,000 in school-site grants this year, so Billow said they may be able to award even more after the successful relay fundraiser. She attributes the record-setting amount of money raised to the increasing competition between teams over the last several years.
"These two teams, Six Skinny Cocktails and Five Fat Guys, are neck-and-neck every year and always trying to beat each other in raising the most money," she said. "This year, Six Skinny Cocktails beat Five Fat Guys, and so did the race's founder, Tim Chesley."
Chesley and his wife helped start the Running With Ed relay fundraiser five years ago, but this year was the first time Chesley decided to run the 38-mile race and fundraise alone. He finished in second place for fundraising $22,083. Six Skinny Cocktails came in first by raising $25,164 and Five Fat Guys placed third for raising $11,198.74.
Great Harvest Bread donated coupons to all teams that raised $100 or more, and 45 teams qualified for the treat. Skullcandy donated five sets of "Ink'd" earbud headphones to each team that raised over $500, and 27 teams hit that benchmark.
Teams that raised over $1,000 received five Canyons Resort summer chairlift tickets and five pairs of socks from Stance, and the teams that raised over $1,500 received five Liberty Bottleworks water bottles and free entry into the Running with Ed relay next year.
The Top 5 teams, including Six Skinny Cocktails, 38 Miles for 38K, Five Fat Guys, Summit Sotheby's and R3: Reading, received five pairs of Altra Running shoes. The Top 3 teams received Running with Ed T-shirts, and the first place recipients received "VIP status" at the Finish Line party.
"Granger School of Music provided the live music, which was so great," Billow said. "PC Meat and Provisions provided fantastic pulled pork, Papa John's donated pizza, Coors donated the beverages and everyone just had a great time. It was so nice to see everyone you know as well as some new faces."
The event's reputation has grown so much, Billow said, that 25 percent of the teams this year were from outside Summit and Wasatch Counties. She thanked Ragnar Relay Series for that, saying they help generously with publicizing the event as well as making sure it runs smoothly.
The money raised by all teams will go back into the Park City School District next year as school-site grants. Since even more money was raised this year than last year, the money not used for school-site grants will be used for either districtwide grants or teacher grants.
Billow said PCEF executive director Abby McNulty and the grant committee will review all requests, and according to the needs of the district either grant the same amount of money as last year or "raise the bar" and grant more thanks to the generous amount raised by the relay this year.
"We are just so thankful to the community and our sponsors for all their support and for making this a bigger event every year," Billow said.