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Better off Ed

The weather didn’t cooperate for Saturday’s "Running with Ed" relay race, but all of the registered teams still did.

Almost 500 runners braved the wintery morning weather on the trails and streets of Summit County on May 22. The inaugural event, put on by the Park City Education Foundation (PCEF) to raise money for public education, cleared up completely by the finish – where student bands played throughout the afternoon.

" the time the first runners started, it had at least stopped snowing," said PCEF Programs and Outreach Manager Monika Guendner. "Most of the runners said they didn’t mind the weather, and the sun eventually came out."

The runners competed in teams of varying numbers, similar to a "Ragnar" relay race, with many donning silly costumes throughout a 42-mile loop course that stopped at each public campus in the Park City School District. The race began and ended at the plaza by the Newpark Hotel.

Participating teams and volunteers included the Park City Council members, the Park City Board of Education members, and teachers and students.

"Get Lofty" teammates Ari Fishman, Steve Cuttitta, Julie Holland and Brad Osguthorpe won the mixed open and overall title with a net time of 4:28:04. Wasatch High School teammates Mark Jackson, Jeremy Wiley, Ken Pierce, Daniel Puman and Evan Taylor won the men’s open in 4:40:50, while the state champion Park City girls’ track standouts Gillian Gorelik, Ali Williams, McKenzie Snyder, Rebecca Cunningham and Alexis Lee won the women’s division in 5:24:52.

"People were really excited about it," Guendner said. "We’re a really active community that likes running, and we always love to dress up in Park City."

Awards went to Best Team Costume winners "The Jigglypuffs" and the Wasatch boys, with Honorable Mention going to "The Rockstars, starring Keith Richards." "Super Fine Lady Goddesses" won Best Decorated Car, while "The Running Report Cards," won Best Team Name. "Out of Our Way! We Cannot Stop!" led all teams in raising $1,770.

The event was patterned after a similar 180-mile run on the Wasatch Back. The PCEF board enlisted chair Tim Chesley and co-chair Peter Wood to organize the relay with just six months of notice, but the interest from the local community was instant and overwhelming, Guendner said.

The money raised from the event will go toward teacher grants and district programs that otherwise wouldn’t have the funding to take root. Donations from the teams themselves totaled $12,000, while funds from the registration fees and sponsorships are yet to be counted, Guendner said.


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