Memorial 5K honors loved ones |

Memorial 5K honors loved ones

Adam Spencer
Runners from last year s PCHS Memorial 5K gather for a picture on the high school track after the race.

To cope with the pain of losing five Park City High School graduates within a seven-month period in 2008, the PCHS National Honor Society held the first Memorial 5K on Memorial Day in 2009 as a way to honor those in the community who had recently died.

Eight years later, the event is still going strong. This year’s race will be held on Monday morning and will start at Dozier Field.

Runners will gather for racing, food, music and remembrance. Sissy Saarela, a PCHS student and an event organizer, said the race is a great way for the Park City community to celebrate the lives of those no longer with us.

"It’s a way for the community as a whole to come together and remember everyone that we’ve lost," she said. "Park City has always been a tight community, so being able to be in charge of this event and help celebrate people is really special."

Bailey Hoglin, another PCHS student helping to organize the race, added that this year’s race has a personal touch. Of the nine banners honoring the deceased, featuring a quote and a picture, that will hang on the fence around the outside of the PCHS track, Hoglin will see a familiar face hanging among them — freeskier Sam Jackenthal.

"To me, it’s a big deal," she said. "Sam Jackenthal, who passed away recently, I grew up with him and we were really good friends in our childhood. To be able to say I put this on for him and for the others means a lot to me."

The money raised at the race will help support the NHS in some of its charitable endeavors, Saarela added.

"The money that we raise from the event goes toward humanitarian trips," she said. "We’ve gone to Peru and Guatemala and India. This year, we’re going to Cuba. We also give some of it to the Homeless Youth Center in Salt Lake and some of it goes to graduating seniors [for scholarships]."

Hoglin said she’s looking forward to the Cuba trip.

"A big chunk of the money will go to that humanitarian trip to Cuba," she said. "I’m going on it and we will be the first high school group of volunteers to go down there since [the borders] opened. We’ll bring baseballs and we’re teaching English and doing various other projects. I’m really excited."

Registration is open online at through Sunday night. Day-of registration will be available starting at 8 a.m. Monday at Dozier Field. The race is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

For individual runners, pre-registration is $22.50 and day-of registration is $25. For groups of four to eight people, pre-registration costs $17.50 per person and day-of registration costs $20 per person.

"Every runner gets a T-shirt," Saarela said.

"You can also purchase raffle tickets and we have NHS members put raffle baskets together," Hoglin added. "There are movie ones and summer ones — there’s one with a huge cooler filled with bubbles and chalk and towels and other summer stuff."

"They’re awesome this year," Saarela continued. "There’s one with all lululemon stuff that I want."

Hoglin and Saarela said this year’s race should be fun for everyone. Currently, 150 runners are signed up, but they expect to receive a big boost from day-of registrations.

"We’ll start the raffle around 10 or 10:15 a.m., depending on how many runners are back," Hoglin said. "It ends by 11 and there will be breakfast and other treats."

"There’s also a live band," Saarela added. "It’s high school students. They’re a bunch of really awesome saxophone players who just jam out. It’ll be awesome."

For more information on the PCHS Memorial 5K, visit .


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