Annual Celebrate Schools 5K Fun Run draws record numbers

A record number of community members filled Alderwood Mall’s AMC Theater plaza Saturday morning to participate in the 11th annual Celebrate Schools 5K Fun Run.

Nearly 1,400 students, teachers, families and pets walked or ran to raise money that will be donated back to the Edmonds School District schools. Event proceeds fund Foundation for Edmonds School District programs that focus on academic enrichment, career and college readiness, and the Nourishing Network.

“It’s a way for us to celebrate our schools and our students,” said Deb Brandi, Foundation for Edmonds School District executive director and chief event organizer.

This year’s event is expected to raise $85,000 to $90,000 for district schools, Brandi added.

More than 40 companies and community partners sponsored this year’s event, including Virginia Mason, Macy’s, Axa Advisors, IRG Physical Therapy, Seattle Storm and Whole Foods. Emceeing the activities were KXA radio host Stitch Mitchell and Lynnwood City Councilmember Shannon Sessions.

“I love to hear these schools and these students participating with their families,” Sessions said. 

In keeping with the event’s Halloween theme, several participants of all ages wore costumes — including some of the pets that were in attendance. Though this is the 11th year of the event, it is the second year that the event has been Halloween themed.

Formerly known as the Street Strut, the 5K walk/run relocated from downtown Edmonds to Alderwood Mall AMC Theater plaza eight years ago. After gaining popularity with City of Edmonds schools, Brandi said the location was shifted to Alderwood Mall to be more inclusive and inviting for other district schools.

“We had the opportunity to partner with mall and we rebranded it to celebrate (all) schools,” she said. 

For the seventh year running, Lynndale Elementary School was awarded the trophy for placing first with the most students participating, with 287 students registered. Sherwood and Brier elementary schools placed second and third respectively. Winning schools were awarded prizes, including Seattle Storm tickets, food provided by Here and There Food Truck, and a Lynnwood Bowl and Skate pizza party.

Alderwood Middle School placed first with the highest number of registered students at the middle school level, at 59 students. The school was awarded a $500 Whole Foods gift card.

Performing at the event were the drumlines from Edmonds-Woodway, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Meadowdale high schools, as well as a performance by the Edmonds-Woodway High School band. The cheer teams from the four high schools also attended the event to cheer on the runners/walkers.

–Story and photos by Cody Sexton