Park City Fourth of July Fun Run will go on after jumping COVID-19 hurdle
What: Park City Fourth of July 5K Fun Run
When: Through noon on Sunday, July 5
Although Park City’s annual Fourth of July parade has been canceled due to the novel coronavirus, another tradition, the Cole Sport 5K Fun Run, will continue.
The run, which serves as a fundraiser for Park City Ski & Snowboard, a club that provides training programs for winter sports athletes ages 7 to 27, has been adjusted to follow social-distancing protocols, said Executive Director Christie Hind.
One of the big differences is the race doesn’t have an official start time. In fact, Hind said, some runners have already completed it.
“People registered and began running their own 5Ks on June 15, and the deadline to complete the run is noon on Sunday, July 5,” Hind said. “We wanted to spread things out over two weeks so people can participate whenever they can.”
Past fun runs have included visitors and second-home owners from California to Maryland, and the pandemic has prevented many from traveling, Hind said.
“So while people who are here locally can run the familiar course that starts at Cole Sport and winds through the Sun Peak neighborhood, others can choose to run their own 5K course in their own cities and towns,” Hind said.
In addition, runners can log their running times in by visiting cutt.ly/duvAHWi, although no prizes will be given out this year.
Registration for the run is $25 and can be done by visiting parkcityss.org.
The money will benefit Park City Ski & Snowboard’s programs, according to Hind.
“We view ourselves as a cultural center in town,” she said. “Not only do we want the kids to be the best athletes they can be. We also want them to be the best people they can be.”
More than 800 kids are currently enrolled in the programs, and some of the alumni include Olympic Alpine gold medalist and World Cup winner Ted Ligety, World Cup ski jumping champion and two-time Olympian Sarah Hendrickson and Olympic and World Championship bronze medalist Izzy Atkin.
“We are one of the biggest winter-sport, community-based clubs for youths in North America, and the fundraising will go toward the professional development of our coaches and help provide scholarships for young athletes,” she said. “We are committed to making winter sports available to more members of our community. We hope over the next 10 years to diversify our club and provide more opportunities for girls, people of color and athletes of all abilities. We really want our club to fully represent our community.”
All who register for the Fun Run will receive a face mask created by Alpine Promotions, Hind said
“For the past 30-plus years, we have given out T-shirts, which have become collectors items,” she said. “This year, in keeping with the times, we’re giving out face masks.”
Local registrants can pick up their face masks at Cole Sport, 1615 Park Ave., and Park City Ski & Snowboard will mail face masks to those who register from afar, Hind said.
Adding to the Fun Run’s celebratory nature, Hind encourages runners to post photos of them wearing face masks on the Park City 4th of July 5K Fun Run Instagram and Facebook pages with hashtags #PC4thFunRun, #PCTraditionGoesOn.
The Fourth of July Fun Run was first organized by Cole Sport founder Gary Cole 38 years ago.
“His kids were part of our programs, and the idea was to promote wellness, fitness, family and competitive fun, all the things our club stands for,” Hind said.
Gail Barber, Park City Ski & Snowboard development director, has seen the Fun Run gain a massive following over the years.
“Last year we had more than 1,000 participants, and as the town grew, the run grew,” she said. “We now have grandparents, parents, kids and grandkids who run. And we always encourage runners, walkers, joggers and participants of all abilities to participate.”
Hind said keeping the Fun Run alive was a top priority for Park City Ski & Snowboard this year.
“This has been a difficult and challenging time for so many people in our community,” she said. “So we thought it was important to be able to hold on to and harness a tradition that makes us all feel the spirit of our town, and maintain some sort of normalcy.”
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