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FARMINGTON — The fourth annual Race 2 Educate half marathon benefit to support classroom projects and scholarships for Farmington teachers and students is starting a little early this year.

The Farmington Municipal Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence will host the event about three weeks early this year, starting on Sept. 26 on the Farmington High School campus.

The decision to move the race from the second Saturday in October to the last Saturday in September was due to the number of events scheduled for October, according to Allison Cahoon, race co-director and foundation board of directors president.

The foundation provides grants to teachers to fund classroom projects and also reimburses teachers who return to college to continue their education or earn new certifications. Graduating seniors can also apply for scholarships to help pay for college expenses.

"I think our schools really need the support of everyone in this town," Cahoon said. "We need to support our teachers."

A half marathon, 10k run and 5k walk/run will provide a challenge for experienced runners while also giving families a fun route to walk or run to raise money for the foundation.

With construction underway on the first phase of the New Farmington High School project, the start and end of the race will be relocated to the southwest parking lot on the corner of North Sunset Avenue and East 20th Street.

Last year, 139 people registered for the race, which raised nearly $21,000 from sponsorships, registrations fees and donations.

The 5k and 10k races take place on neighborhood streets near Farmington high while the half-marathon will take runners north alongside city streets and on dirt trails.

It will be the second year that Farmington Municipal School District students can participate in any of the races for free. The students will not receive a t-shirt and a racing bib to measure the time unless they pay for registration, however. The school that has the most students participating will win a trophy.

"I love that we get the support for the foundation and we are starting to get some of the kids to come out and run," Cahoon said.

Cahoon has participated in the half-marathon race the last three years. She says it's a challenging but beautiful course that involves pavement, trails and hills along the 13.1-mile route.

IF YOU GO

What: Farmington Municipal School District's Foundation for Educational Excellence Race to Educate

When: Sept. 26. Half-marathon starts at 7 a.m., 10k run at 8:15 a.m. and 5k run/walk at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Farmington High School southwest parking lot, 2200 N. Sunset Ave.

More information: Participants can register at race2educate2015.eventbrite.com and visit facebook.com/FarmingtonRace2Educate for more information.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.

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