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Contests encourage students to compete in MEF 8K Run for Education in April

The fifth annual Mountain Education Foundation’s 8K Run for Education is April 6, and organizers are offering numerous incentives for participants to preregister for the events.

A competition between grade levels at Nolan and Thrasher Elementary schools will result in the grades with the highest number of participants receiving a Popsicle party and the teachers of that grade being treated to a catered lunch.

The grade with the highest percentage of participants at Signal Mountain Middle School will be able to eat lunch outside one day, and the high school grade with the highest percentage of participants will get the chance to sleep in and come to school an hour and a half late on a date to be announced.

“The reason we’re doing these incentives this year is to try to get more students to participate and get more active, promote healthy living and support Signal Mountain schools,” said Monique Poteet, owner of Signal Mountain Athletic Club, which sponsors the run.

Also new this year is free child care for participants on-site at Signal Mountain Middle/High School by local child care center the Kidz Klub. Participants must register by March 23 to receive child care, said Poteet.

The run includes both 8K and 2-mile courses each year. This is the first year the 2-mile course has been certified, as well as the first time runners on both courses will be electronically timed using chips for more accurate results, she said. Top runners will be named in the 2-mile run for the first time this year as well.

“It’s always fun to see the kids out running,” said Mountain Education Foundation Executive Director Mike Taylor. “It’s never too early to start being healthy.”

The cost of the run is $25 for those who register before March 6 and $30 after.

“It’s a great way to raise money without [the students] having to sell snacks or other things that are unhealthy door-to-door to raise money for things they need in their classrooms,” said Taylor.

Adults who register before March 6 will receive a free performance wicking shirt, and children who register before March 6 will receive a cotton shirt.

Registration the day of the run begins at 7 a.m. and the run starts at 8 a.m. Activities for children will take place following the run.

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