Fayetteville-Manlius Schools' fastest employee runners will join the top corporate runners from around the world next month at the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Championship in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The F-M team is among just 36 teams from around the world invited to compete. They earned the trip by recording the best team time at the Syracuse Chase Corporate Challenge June 23 on Onondaga Lake Parkway.
All four of the F-M runners are teachers, and they're looking forward to the experience, said Allison Peelle, a physical education teacher at Eagle Hill.
"One of our goals as a district is global citizenship," Peelle said. "The students will see us going over there. Hopefully we can bring some information back to them and they can see there's no limit, no boundaries."
The winning team was selected on the basis of its top two male and top two female times. Leading the way for F-M was third grade teacher Laurel Burdick, who had the fastest overall women's time. The other top finishers were Peelle, high school math teacher Pat Engle, and Eagle Hill English teacher Chris Compson. Since Burdick no longer works for the school district, the F-M woman with the next fastest time, Eagle Hill math teacher Trish Winje, will compete in Johannesburg.
Peelle said she and the other F-M runners are planning to take a few group tours while in South Africa. It will also be fun to meet runners from other countries, she said. The team's 22-hour flight and hotel accommodations are being paid for by Chase, Peelle said.
"I'm definitely looking forward to the opportunity to travel to South Africa," Peelle said. "It's amazing that we get the chance to do this for free."
The 3.5-mile championship race will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 4 in Johannesburg, where it is fall, Peele said. The team will be leaving March 1 and returning March 6.
The Eagle Hill community is planning a pep rally for the team at 2:25 p.m. Friday Feb. 12.