Running with Ed to run through Park City |

Running with Ed to run through Park City

Annual event will raise money for local school district

Participants make their way through the third leg of Running with Ed, a 10-leg, 38-mile relay race, last year. The annual event is expected to raise roughly $250,000 for the Park City Education Foundation.
Park Record File Photo

Don’t be alarmed if a zombie, princess, or a skeleton is running down the street on Saturday in Park City.

No, it’s not Halloween, but rather, it’s Running with Ed.

The eighth annual 38-mile, 10-leg relay race, sponsored by Ragnar, is scheduled to take place on Saturday morning. Its course rungs throughout the entire community. The event is run by the Park City Education Foundation and gives participants the opportunity to raise money for the organization.

“The teams that sign up can do team fundraising, and it’s a fundraiser for the Park City Education Foundation, so all proceeds will end up going back into our schools for programs requested by our schools and teachers and students,” the Park City Education Foundation communications manager Jennifer Billow said.

Each year, the Park City Education Foundation aims to invest nearly $1.5 million into various Park City School District programs. Running with Ed supplies about $250,000 of the goal amount.

“Running with Ed is crucial piece to that fundraising,” Billow said. “We can’t do it without the support of the community.”

The event has grown significantly since its kickoff in 2010. Billow estimates that the event attracted roughly 40 teams and 400 people that year. She is expecting more than 200 teams and 1,400 runners to participate this year.

The event has increased in participation numbers with each passing year, despite battling Mother Nature. Poor weather is expected to make a comeback in Park City in the days leading up to Saturday’s race, but Billow expects some good karma this year.

“Almost every year for Running with Ed, the weather is horrible, and yet the race keeps growing,” Billow said. “I think this year, it’s supposed to actually be nice. It’s supposed to snow and rain this week and get it all over with [by Saturday].”

The 10-leg race will start and end at the Newpark Fieldhouse in Kimball Junction. From there, runners in the first leg will run to Jeremy Ranch Elementary school, where they will exchange with the next member of the relay.

The remaining legs of the race are from Ecker Hill Middle School to Utah Olympic Park’s base of Nordic jumps, and on to Canyons Cabriolet parking lot, Parley’s Park Elementary School, Park City Resort, Treasure Mountain Junior High School, McPolin Elementary School and Trailside Elementary School. The final leg will finish at the Fieldhouse.

Other than wanting to simply finish a grueling race, runners have another incentive to get through a respective leg on a relay team.

“At each exchange, there’s a great party going on,” Billow said. “Every exchange will have drinks, music and games going on. There’s nine parties and then you get back to the Field House and there’s a giant party that goes on there. People get free lunch and provide you with beverages. There’s all the sponsored expos and giveaways. It’s just this great party at the end of the day.”

Good times are bound to be had, but the focus is to raise money for the local schools, Billow said. She feels that if not for the community, Running with Ed would not be where it is today.

“It’s become one of those must-do activities in Park City,” Billow said. “Everyone comes out and you have a crazy team name and crazy costumes, have a great time and support education. Of course, this community supports education like none other, especially public education.”

The first leg of Running with Ed will be similar to a Ragnar Race with a staggered start. The first wave of runners is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at the Newpark Fieldhouse.

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