Running with Ed draws chickens, cows, zombies and more |

Running with Ed draws chickens, cows, zombies and more

Luke Cartin, left, hands out water and Gatorade to participants of Running With Ed along the Farm Trail for runners during the fifth and sixth legs of the the annual 38-mile, 10 leg relay race on Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)
Tanzi Propst

On Saturday, Park City’s trails and sidewalks were packed with barnyard animals, zombies, iconic American figures and runners. It was the 9th annual Running With Ed race – the cross-town footrace held to benefit the Park City Education Foundation. According to Jen Billow, the associate director of communications and development at the organization, the race grew its participation again, drawing 1,475 runners. Fortunately for them, the weather held up.

“I think everyone was dreading it because they had shown such bad weather leading up to the event, but we had a beautiful morning,” Billow said. “(There was) a little rain, but overall it was great.”

Billow said the race’s student participation rate, at 380 runners, was another high point.

“That’s been a big success,” she said, adding that youth participation has helped the race grow.

“I think it used to be that the boys high school cross country team and a couple girls cross country runners would run it,” she added.

Though the competition has grown, the Park City High School boys cross country team was still competitive. It finished first overall this year, beating the nearest competition by more than 20 minutes with a time of 04:04:11.60. Chasing GOAT’S, a team affiliated with outdoor retail company Backcountry, finished second with a time of 04:27:07.07, followed by Jaybird + USA NORDIC with a time of 04:37:43.45.

The award for best costumes went to McPolin Farm, which comprised students, faculty and staff from McPolin Elementary School dressed as farm animals. Running with the DEad was second, which comprised four 10-person teams dressed like zombies, and We Can Do It took third for its Rosie the Riveter theme.

“There were goats, chickens, cows and eggs – the chicken costumes were unbelievable,” Billow said of the winning team. “The cows had udders, and (the team was) everywhere because so many of the teachers ran.”

But Jeremy Ranch Elementary school had the highest participation of any Park City school, with runners equaling 50 percent of its student base running in the name of the school. The high participation rate earned the school a $5,000 grant from Park City Mountain Resort and Vail Resorts’ Epic Promise Foundation.

Parley’s Park Elementary was second with 44 percent and Trailside Elementary was third with 35 percent.

All told, the Park City Education Foundation raised an estimated $245,000, which will be distributed to educational programs around the Park City School district.

Billow said the organization gives away around $350,000 in total grants to the district each year.

Almost half of the money raised during Running with Ed this year came from donations of $40 or less, Billow said, though some donate much more.

The highest individual donation was around $5,000, while the highest team donation was $9,250, raised by Mike and Tim’s Running Team.

Billow thanked the team captains, sponsors and the parent-teacher organizations for helping host the event.

“It’s the end of May – everyone’s tired, but every (parent-teacher organization) does an amazing job,” she said. “The thing we do hear over and over from runners is how there’s no race where you run through the school, get the spirit of the school, and know what you’re running for, and we simply can’t do that without the PTOs.”

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