Record turnout as runners pound pavement for annual Celebrate Schools 5K

Marching bands, streamers, costumes, music, food and sponsor booths galore took over Alderwood Mall’s AMC Theater plaza Saturday morning as an estimated 1,375 runners arrived to give their all in the gala ninth annual Celebrate Schools 5K Fun Run.

“As of last night we had more than 1,250 pre-registered,” said Deb Anderson, Foundation for Edmonds School District executive director and chief event organizer. “That’s already ahead of last year’s 1,100 total runners, and on top of that we have a steady stream of day-of-event registrants this morning. I’m guessing we’ll get to at least 1,375, maybe more.”

On hand to keep the energy up were KXA Classic Country’s Stitch “The Voice” Mitchell, who along with Lynnwood City Councilmember Shannon Sessions offered commentary and cheerleading over the public address system.

Also urging the runners on were cheerleading squads from the various Edmonds School District high schools. At the end of run the crowd was treated to a boffo performance by the Edmonds-Woodway Marching Band, led by Jake Bergevin ,and back-to-back you-can’t-sit-down virtuoso percussion shows from the Edmonds-Woodway, Meadowdale, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood drum lines.

First-place finisher Dustin Fuchs of Mukilteo completed the run course in just over 20 minutes. Fuchs was dogged the entire race by the amazing 12-year-old from Brier Terrace, Jaxon Dubiel, who came in a very respectable second.

So how much was raised for schools?

“We’ve got to run the numbers first, but with the record participation, I fully expect we’ll set a new record,” said a beaming Anderson.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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