If any participants in this year's Raintree Run get within a mile of the finish line and think about calling it quits, they'll have an extra motivation to keep them going this year: the face of Sarah Elbayoumy, a gifted Lawrence teen killed in a car wreck this December.
Photos of Elbayoumy will line the last mile of the 5-kilometer and half-marathon races at the April 18 run, which is the main annual fund-raiser for Raintree Montessori School, 4601 Clinton Parkway.
Elbayoumy -- a former Raintree student, Free State High School junior and likely National Merit Scholar -- died in a car wreck in December on her way to visit colleges in St. Louis.
After her death, race organizers decided to dedicate this year's run to her. In addition to the photos along the route, the Free State High School choir will sing two songs before the race that were special to Elbayoumy, a former choir member.
Also, Spanish students from Free State will write messages to her along the route.
"I know she would probably be embarrassed by the attention, but she also would be delighted with the show of love," said her father, Moussa Elbayoumy, who will be there volunteering with his wife, Maggie Khater, and their younger daughter, Nora Elbayoumy.
As it has in recent years, the 1-mile fun run will be dedicated to the memory of former Raintree student Jack Stineman, who died in a traffic accident in June 2001. Also, "Libby" Kriz-Fiorito, a longtime Raintree supporter who died in February, will be honored before the races, said Marcia Riley, a race organizer.
In the past, the run has raised up to $15,000 for Raintree. Money from this year's run will help replace some of the 37 trees lost in the tornado that struck the area in May 2003.
|What: Raintree RunWhen: Sunday, April 18Where: Raintree Montessori School, 4601 Clinton ParkwayTimes: 5K run begins at 8 a.m. Half-marathon begins at 8:05 a.m."Jack's Mile," a one-mile fun run and walk, begins at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds from that race go to the Jack Stineman Scholarship Fund.Registration: Forms are available online at www.raintreemontessori.org.Cost: Entries received by April 7 are $22 for the half-marathon, $17 for the 5K and $10 for the one-mile fun run. Entries received after April 7 are $25 for the half-marathon, $20 for the 5K and $10 for the fun run.You also can enter in person from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 17at Raintree. To avoid race-day rush, pre-registered runners are encouraged to pick up their packets at these times. Race-day registration and packet pick-up begins at 6:45 a.m. Entry fees are nonrefundable.|