Fun run boosts ski team funds |

Fun run boosts ski team funds


Kicking of the day’s festivities for the 26th consecutive year, the 4th of July 5K Mountain Fun Run has the routine down pat.

"It’s grown consistently throughout the years," said Cole Sports apparel buyer Kathy Burke, who has headed the effort for 20 years. "It takes a lot of organization, but we’ve been doing it for so long, we have it wired."

The event, which serves as a table setter to activities throughout the day on Main Street and fireworks at night, is open to runners and walkers of all abilities (though four-legged friends are not invited).

Starting at the base of the Eagle lift near the First Time parking lot, the run was initially a joint venture between Cole Sport and Industrial Supply. Owners Gary Cole and Phil Thompson both had children competing for the Park City Ski Team (PCST) and decided to donate all proceeds to the organization. Ever since, it has been a key fundraiser for Park City’s top youth skiers, garnering more than $10,000 in 2009.

"For me, the great aspect of it is it’s on July 4 and it’s just a great way to get the family out together," said PCST director Jesse Hunt. "It’s a lot of fun. The energy is always great, largely because it’s the fourth of July and it’s just a fun weekend."

Last year’s race, which featured more than 1,000 participants, was put on by a staff of 40 volunteers from PCST and Cole Sport. The unofficial 5K course takes runners "out and back" through Thaynes Canyon, undulating through the hills around the Park City Golf Club before turning around and heading back to the combined start/finish. Burke said a concerted effort was made this year to involve some of the club’s noteworthy graduates and current standouts.

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"We really have wanted to give back to the athletes," she said. "We’ve asked a few more of the ski team alumni to enter the race, and we’re getting the kids more and more involved."

PCST standout Sydney Staples displayed her talent off the slopes by submitting the winning design for the event’s official T-shirt. Incidentally, Staples scored one of the team’s best results last season when she raced to a fourth place in the Junior National downhill.

"Sydney did a tremendous job on this design, which will make this year’s shirt a collectors’ item," Hunt said. "It truly captures the spirit of the event by incorporating the celebration of participation, as well as arousing a sense of achievement in our mountains on the Fourth of July."

A new affiliation with Salomon will give prize packages to the top overall men and women finishers, while BMW of Murray will provide a pace car to ensure runners’ safety.

Pre-registration for the race is available for $20 at Cole Sport’s Park Avenue store through Saturday, July 3, at 5 p.m. or online at

Race-day registration is $25 at Cole Sport from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. T-shirts, age-group and overall awards and prizes are included. Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, with a start time of 8 a.m. Call Cole Sport at 435-649-4806 or visit for more information.