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Upcoming PPIE Run for Education features new attractions

A's mascot appearance caps event highlights

Thousands of community members are storming the streets of Pleasanton on April 14 for the annual Run for Education. The Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation (PPIE), which has organized the event for the past seven years to raise money for all 15 Pleasanton public schools, hopes to break the piggy bank and beat last year’s final fundraising tally of more than $100,000.

“Funds will basically go to pay for supplemental staff at schools,” said PPIE executive director Steve McCoy-Thompson in an interview. “It helps to pay for extra librarian hours, and we’re also paying for student intervention specialists. These are special teachers who help students with reading and math.”

Support counselors, STEAM projects and other academic programs are also supported by money raised at the fun. The event starts at the Alameda County Fairgrounds and has three distances for participants, the 5k, 10k and 15k. The 5k travels under the Pleasanton arch, through downtown, and finishes at the fairgrounds, while the 10k winds along the Marilyn Kane Trail and through other Pleasanton parks and neighborhoods. For the very ambitious, the 5k and 10k courses are combined into one extended challenge.

For the first time, the 5k run is now “exactly 5k so if a high school student or anybody who wants to run and document that as part of their own program, it’s an officially sanctioned run,” McCoy-Thompson said.

About 3,000 students, teachers and other residents pound the pavement each year and “right now we have about 1,800” signed up. While there’s always a good turnout of avid athletes, McCoy-Thompson said, and while dogs, scooters and bikes aren’t allowed on any of the courses, everyone else is welcome to join, no matter their level of fitness.

“They don’t have to run,” he added. “You can come and you can stroll with friends, and many people in the 5k, they’re walking with babies in strollers. It’s really casual, it’s designed to be a family-friendly event.”

Young ones under 12 are invited to join Oakland A’s mascot Stomper for a special quarter-mile Kids’ Challenge this year. The elementary school with the highest participation rate will also be awarded with an ice cream social provided by event sponsor Workday, and teachers who encourage five or more students to run will receive special awards like A’s tickets and family passes to Bay Club. District teachers will also receive a 75% discount on race registration.

The PPIE Run and Walk for Education starts at 8 a.m. April 14 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave. All attendees will receive a T-shirt and finisher’s medal, and are invited afterward to enjoy food, music, entertainment and an awards ceremony.

Registration is $19-$55, depending on the course. For more information or to sign up, visit www.ppierun.com.

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