Remembering Chelsi: Memorial run raises funds, honors accident victim

ST. GEORGE – Tuesday at 10 p.m., family, friends, runners and supporters will gather at the LDS chapel in the St. James neighborhood, 1095 E. St. James Lane, to pay tribute to the life of Chelsi Dawn Petersen, who died in a car accident in 2008.

Tuesday marks what would have been Petersen’s 27th birthday and the seventh running of the Chelsi’s Run 5K, a 3.1-mile night race dedicated to honoring Petersen’s life by raising funds to provide scholarships for local high school students.

Petersen was a talented, budding heptathlete on the BYU track team, and friends who helped organize the race wanted a way to help her memory live on, her mom, Lisa Petersen, said.

Every year, those managing the Chelsi Petersen Memorial Scholarship Fund partner with the Washington County School District to provide scholarships to student athletes at each of the four high schools in St. George: Desert Hills, Dixie, Pine View and Snow Canyon.

“We are able to provide eight $1,000 scholarships – two to each high school,” Lisa Petersen said.

Funds for the scholarships are raised through race sponsorships and registrations and go directly to young student athletes in need of a little extra help.

One of the recipients, a boy, is the oldest of 10 children, Lisa Petersen said. Another recipient, a young girl, was set to be the first in her family to go to college.

The 5K is a two-loop course starting and ending at the chapel, and all – from the serious runner to the casual jogger to the walker – are invited to participate.

“The course is blocked off, and huge lights keep the course well lit,” Lisa Petersen said. “The support is great. The neighbors come out and spray you off with a hose and hand out Otter Pops, too.”

For Lisa Petersen, it is the perfect way to honor her daughter’s memory.

“It is so cool to see people love and support you, and we are so grateful for the friendship they render,” she said. “It is really a neat thing.”

Preregistration for the 5K is ongoing through Friday and can be completed online. There will also be same day race registration.

Event details

  • When: Tuesday, July 15, 10 p.m.
  • Where: St. James Chapel (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), 1095 E. St. James Lane, St. George
  • Registration: Electronically register or print out a registration form online
  • Cost: $20 per individual, $60 for a team or family of four
  • Additional information: Strollers are allowed on the course, and the roads will be blocked and lit for safety


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