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Relay Races

44th Annual COUNTRY Financial Kids Relays Set for May 19

Thousands of Salem area elementary students will pass the baton in the spirit of this year's theme "Together We Succeed"

April 27, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – The COUNTRY Financial® Kids Relays, presented by COUNTRY Financial in partnership with the Optimist Club of Salem and the City of Salem Public Works Parks and Recreation, will be held Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Willamette University’s McCulloch Stadium. Over 3,000 first through fifth graders from 47 Salem area elementary schools are expected to run in the friendly relay competition that emphasizes teamwork, sportsmanship and fun. The event themed “Together We Succeed” is an annual tradition that brings thousands of community members together for a day of fun and excitement.

The tradition began 43 years ago when the City of Salem Regional Park and Recreation Agency, Salem Jaycees, and Salem Track Club hosted the first event at McCulloch Stadium on May 24, 1975. Eleven organizations participated with teams made up of families, schools, or by neighborhood association. The events included boys, girls or co-ed 220 and 440 relays and the Mayor’s Mile, which is still held today. The High Point Trophy was awarded to the winning team. Today, in effort to keep the relays focused on a fun, recreational team effort, everyone who participates earns a ribbon. Participants in the Mayor’s Mile earn a medal for their valiant effort.

“The COUNTRY Financial Kids Relays is something we look forward to year after year,” said Melinda Mokalla, recreation specialist for the City of Salem. “Generations of families in the area have run, cheered and volunteered together at this event for over four decades. It’s such a positive community event full of camaraderie. Everyone who participates is considered a winner. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this event.”

This year’s event begins at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 19 and includes 4x100 boys, girls and co-ed races for grade levels one through five and the Mayor’s Mile.

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Ali Livolsi