School board member finishes 200-mile run

School board member Ed Barney ran the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic route this past week to raise money for Federal Way
School board member Ed Barney ran the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic route this past week to raise money for Federal Way's Elementary Track program. Here he is near Centralia with his son Mike and daughter Kim.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

As he ran across the finish line, sweat pouring and legs aching, the crowd cheered him on, bikers stopped to let him pass and kids reached out to give him high fives.

Ed Barney made it.

The Federal Way resident and school board member reached his goal on Sunday: Running 200 miles in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

"The best part was coming across the finish line," Barney said on Monday. "People you don't even know cheering you on for something."

Barney ran the route over five days, starting on July 8. He was running the bike race to raise money for the school district's elementary track program, something he has been involved in since the early 1980s.

The bike race ran over the weekend, with around 10,000 bikers undergoing the 202-mile route.

The bikers caught up to Barney when he was in Oregon, and Barney said they would cheer him on.

"One guys said 'Hey you lost your bike,'" Barney recalled. "I told him, 'No, I didn't start with one.' Another one asked if I started on Saturday. I told him, 'No I didn't start with you guys. He said 'Oh good, because otherwise you would have really made us look bad.'"

Barney got close to giving up in the heat on Saturday.

"There were a few spots there where I was ready to bag it," Barney said. "It was toasty."

But he kept on running.

So on Monday, his calves were a little tight and he was a bit sore from a tumble he took in Chehalis.

"I found the only pot hole," Barney said. "I took a roll and kept on going, although it was a little disconcerting to go down like that."

His family kept him going after the fall. His son Mike, who is the assistant track coach for long distance at Decatur High School, rode his bike alongside his father the whole way. His daughter, Kim, who was a volunteer assistant coach at Lake Grove Elementary this past year, ran part of the way with him. His wife followed in the motor home, stopping every 5 miles or so to make sure everyone stayed hydrated.

Barney isn't sure how much money he raised. He still has to collect some of the promised money and send out a few more letters, but his hope is to raise enough to run the program for one more year. As a school board member for many years now, Barney knows just how dangerous budget cuts can be for extracurricular activities.

Barney and his son also discussed several other fundraising possibilities during the run, including organizing a jog-a-thon or a 5k walk.

But Barney doesn't think he will running another 200-mile race to raise money.

"It was one of those things I had in my mind," Barney said of his run. "It was an adventure, but I don't think I am interested in doing it again. If I did, I would do it over a week's time and no more than 30 miles per day."

Learn more

To donate to Barney or to the elementary track program, you can either give it directly to him or send it to the district office, 31405 18th Ave. S., Federal Way, WA 98003. Be sure to mark that the donation is designated for the elementary track fund. Call (253) 945-2000 to learn more.

For mailing information or for more details, visit

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