Sports

Elementary track: Federal Way School Board president will run from Seattle to Portland

He's running so others can continue to do so.

Ed Barney, who is also a member of the Federal Way School Board, is running to raise money for the district's elementary track program.

"If I could raise $1 for every person in the Federal Way School District," Barney said, "I would have enough to fund (the track program) for over seven years."

Perhaps most interesting is the running path that Barney will take: He will run in the annual Seattle to Portland bike race.

The race is 200 miles long and boasts more than 10,000 participants each year.

Federal Way is one of only a handful of school districts in the nation that have an elementary track program. This year, there were more than 2,000 students who participated in the program at no cost.

"With the cuts we continue to get, everything is up to be cut," Barney said. "I want to make sure that a program such as this stays in place for kids. Running is one of the cheapest ways a kid can stay in shape. The kids love it. I would hate to see it go away."

Barney will begin the race a bit early, spreading it out over four days, starting on July 8; the race officially runs July 11-12.

Barney is also toying with the idea of running from Seattle to Federal Way the first day, then starting early morning on the July 9 at Celebration Park. He invites anyone who wants to run with him as long as they could last. But that is still just an idea.

Barney will spend the next several weeks campaigning for donations, speaking to organizations and spreading the word — something his kids are helping to do.

"My kids thought it was a great idea," Barney said. "They've been telling everyone, so I guess it's happening."

His daughter is also helping out with training.

"My daughter works in Enumclaw, so she just dumps me off and I run back to Federal Way," Barney said.

It was also his children who first got him involved with the elementary track program back in 1985. He has been helping the program ever since.

Learn more

To donate to Barney or to the elementary track program, you can either give it directly to him or 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 www.crazy2run.com.

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