Teachers pound the pavement to support education | ParkRecord.com

Teachers pound the pavement to support education

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

Park City School District teachers lace up their running shoes in support of the Park City Education Foundation’s third annual Running with Ed fundraiser. PCEF Marketing Manager Jennifer Billow said teachers have fun with the event and it’s one way they show their appreciation for the teacher grants they receive from the foundation.

"They get dressed up and it’s just neat that they want to support it," Billow said. ‘I think they look at it as an opportunity to give back to the Ed Foundation. This year, it’s tough with the budget cuts going on. I think we’ll all be ready to have a party when May 19 rolls around."

Parley’s Park Elementary has a particularly dedicated group of runners this year with 30 teachers participating on six teams. Parley’s Park physical education teacher Jen Wheelwright said she sent out an email to provide registration information and organize the teacher teams based on ability levels.

"All I’ve done instrumentally is make it easier for everyone to sign up," she said. "I’m a resource for the teachers and link them to the website, organize teams and print packets for them to decide what legs each team member will run."

Wheelwright said many of her peers are active and only need a couple weeks to train for the race, adding that most of the teachers will pick up their running regimes in about a month. Parley’s Park and Trailside P.E. teacher Nate Brown said runners just do the best they can on that day.

"The event goes from pretty much every school and most of the elementary schools put on a show for everyone throughout the day and then it ends at the Field House," Brown said. "It’s a great community event."

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"Especially now with the budget cuts at the district, it’s a good reason for all of us teachers to stick together," Brown said. "It’s just nice to show support as teachers in general and it does help out our Education Foundation."

May 19 will be an especially long day for Treasure Mountain 9th-grade science teacher Meghan Zarnetske, who plans to run all 41 miles. This will be Zarnetske’s third year participating, in order to raise money for the Teton Science School, a trip she takes every March with a group of students.

The first year Zarnetske participated she was able to raise about $2,000 for the science school, which enabled four students to go on the trip on scholarships. She said running the whole race makes a bigger statement.

"That’s the reason I run long distances, because it’s something I like to do and I can," she said, adding that it’s like training for a marathon because distance runners have to build up their mileage each week.

"I tell people it’s the training miles for the 100-miler I’m training for, which this year, is actually true," she said. "You have to start somewhere and once you start your keep going. I always try to think ‘no pain, no gain’ you need that if you want to train for distance, but don’t forget to have fun."

Having fun preparing for the race and also during the event is Parley’s Park 5th-grade teacher Lori Drivdahl’s motto. Drivdahl’s said her favorite leg of the race is from City Park to Treasure Mountain Junior High School on the Rail Trail, which she hopes to run again this year.

"For me it’s a fun way to get motivated to run and get healthy again after winter and it’s also a way I know I can help the Ed Foundation," she said. "I’m excited to improve my time and I’m looking forward to laughing and relaxing and running."

For more information about Running with Ed or to register, visit http://www.runningwithed.com . Registration is open until April 19. The cost for non-district employees is $400 per team or $80 per person. District employees receive a discount on registration.