An upcoming recreational race is giving area athletes a run for their money. And it’s also giving money to a local nonprofit that supports local students.

Proceeds from the Santa Monica Classic on Sept. 13 will benefit the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, the fundraising arm of the local public school district.

As part of the partnership for the 5- and 10-kilometer events, which are organized by the entity that puts together the annual LA Marathon, the education foundation expects to receive at least $5,000 to put towards athletic programming in Santa Monica-Malibu schools.

“We‚Äôre grateful for the opportunity to use the race as a fundraiser,” SMMEF executive director Linda Greenberg said. “The LA Marathon is making a cash contribution to support our athletic endowment. We know that‚Äôs an ongoing need in our schools. When we have these kinds of events, we like to earmark money for that endowment.”

In recent years, the education foundation had been the designated charity for Santa Monica Runfest, which was organized by Generic Events. But the company decided not to host Runfest this year, according to Greenberg and the event website.

Greenberg said she didn’t want SMMEF to miss out on the funding and community clout that such a partnership provides.

“I called up (LA Marathon organizers), told them we had been the Runfest partner for four years and asked if they would consider SMMEF as their charity partner,” Greenberg said, adding that the foundation entered a competitive application process. “They ultimately decided that we would be a great match.”

Previous editions of the Santa Monica Classic supported Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based environmental advocacy group.

SMMEF, which raised about $2.35 million in a 17-month fundraising cycle that ended June 30, supports instructional assistants, enrichment activities and discretionary grants for all 16 schools in the district.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation,” LA Marathon CEO Tracey Russell said in a press release. “We firmly believe in their mission of enriching the lives of local students and we‚Äôre confident that participants of the Santa Monica Classic will rally around this great cause to use their 5k or 10k to benefit area youth.”

Greenberg said SMMEF has already benefited from the partnership with LA Marathon organizers because promotional materials for the upcoming race have increased the foundation’s visibility in the community.

In addition, Greenberg said, scores of students will participate in the event as runners and volunteers. High school sports teams and clubs in the school district have been given the opportunity to use the Santa Monica Classic as a fundraising platform.

Race entrants come from Santa Monica, Malibu and all over Southern California. In previous years, runners have traveled from San Francisco, Milwaukie, New York and even Norway to participate.

The 5k and 10k events begin at 2600 Barnard Way in the Santa Monica beach parking lots and continue south on Barnard Way, east on Marine Street, north on Main Street, west on Colorado Avenue and north on Ocean Avenue.

Participants in the 5k will turn around at Washington Avenue and head back towards the intersection of Ocean and Colorado; 10k runners will continue north on Ocean Avenue and east on San Vicente Boulevard before turning around at 11th Street.

A finish-line expo will be open to participants and spectators at the Santa Monica Pier.

Registration packets can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 12 (the day before the races) at the Santa Monica Wellbeing Buy Local Festival at the Civic Center outdoor area, said Greenberg, who is also a festival co-chair.

Runners can use the discount code “SMMEF5″ to save $5 on registration.¬† For more information, visit www.santamonicaclassic.com.

Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, jeff@smdp.com or on Twitter.

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