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Running With Ed fundraiser back on track after pandemic concerns

This year’s fundraising race includes eight legs

Running With Ed participants complete a lego of the annual relay race fundraiser as they climb the stairs on the Nordic jumps at the Utah Olympic Park in 2019. The stairs are back for this year’s event, which returns to an in-person event hosted by the Park City Education Foundation.
Park Record file photo

Running With Ed, Park City Education Foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the season, is back in full force after having to navigate the past two years of pandemic insecurity.

The 2022 event is scheduled for May 21, and it’s on track to be the big community party people know and love, said Jennifer Billow, associate director of the Park City Education Foundation.

“Last year we hosted a smaller version of Running With Ed with shorter legs and staggered starts at the different schools in the Park City School District,” she said. “This year, the staggered starts will return to the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse, where we will also put on the giant, finish-line celebration.”



Registration is now open by visiting runningwithed.com, where runners will get their start times that will be scheduled every 15 minutes between 8-9 a.m., Billow said.

“We will have Olympian Carl Roepke announcing our starts,” she said. “He will get the teams off and running, and we are so grateful and excited that he’s going to do that for us.”



As with all the Running With Ed races in the past, participants are encouraged to wear costumes, and the course is divided into legs of different lengths, Billow said.

“Originally the race had 10 legs, but we cut it to six last year,” she said. “We heard from a lot of people that they liked the shorter course, so we decided to make it eight legs this year.”

The entire course is 26.4 miles, and while some people like to run the whole thing, others can choose how far they want to run, according to Billow.

“The shortest leg is 1.3 miles, which is the leg between McPolin Elementary and Treasure Mountain Junior High,” she said. “It’s very flat and super easy. It’s great for kids and people who only run this the whole year.”

The longest leg measures about 4 miles and includes the return of the Utah Olympic Park staircase.

“The famous or infamous leg running up the steps is back, but participants can choose to take the chairlift,” Billow said. “If you run it, you will go up the stairs and back down.”

The leg continues under the S.R. 224 bridge, through Redstone and to Parley’s Park Elementary, she said.

“We also tried to include some areas people enjoyed running last year — such as the McCloud Creek Trail while running from Parley’s Park Elementary to McPolin Elementary,” Billow said. “People also enjoyed running on the Dozier Field track on the leg from McPolin to Treasure.”

The fundraising goal of this year’s Running With Ed is $320,000, which will benefit Park City School District Schools, teachers and students, according to Billow.

“For the longest time we’ve had a goal of $250,000, and it took us several years for us to get there,” she said. “Although we canceled the event in 2020, several of our sponsors were kind enough to pay their sponsorship, and two teachers ran and raised $10,000. So we raised some money.”

Last year, Running With Ed broke $300,000.

“We had the $250,000 goal, but the community and sponsors had stepped up so much,” she said. “Vail Epic Promise has also been an ongoing sponsor, and so has Switchback Sports.”

Intermountain Healthcare is also another sponsor and pays registration fees for all Park City School District employees — teachers, principals, custodians and lunch servers — who want to join the race, Billow said.

Running With Ed participants are encouraged to wear costumes as Rachel Massey did during the 2019 fundraiser race.
Park Record file photo

“We have 150 Park City School District employees who will run the race this year,” she said.

In addition, Running With Ed gives a discount to any educator who wants to participate, Billow said.

“We have teachers from Weilenmann School of Discovery, Park City Day School and two who are coming up from Granite School District in Salt Lake City,” she said.

Anyone who can’t run the race but wants to donate can do so by visiting runningwithed.com, Billow said.

“You can donate directly that way without having to know anyone who is running,” she said. “You don’t have to run, and you don’t have to know anyone who is fundraising.”

Another way to donate to the cause is to volunteer. Shifts usually run between two and two-and-a-half hours.

“We need volunteers, and we have a lot of openings for course volunteers,” she said, “We also need volunteers at the fieldhouse taking down tables when the event is over. People can just click on the volunteer link of the website.”

Speaking of volunteers, Billow said Running With Ed is organized by a volunteer committee that works all year.

“We have 14 people on the committee, and a lot of new people have stepped up,” she said. “We couldn’t do this without our chair Christine Grenny and co-chair Annie Cashiola, who are fundraisers extraordinaire. They have worked really hard in the past two years in difficult conditions, not knowing what will happen from month to month. We could not have done this without them and the committee.”

Running With Ed

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