Does it get any more fun than this?
Well, after more than two decades of striving for perfection, the Kiwanis-Herald Sesame Place Classic 5K believes it’s getting darn close to setting the standard for race day entertainment.
Last year’s event, which drew more than a thousand runners for either the featured 3.1-miler, the 1-miler or the Sesame Sprint, showcased what a great day it can be for running and experiencing the famous theme park in Langhorne.
This year’s 23rd rendition is scheduled for Sunday, May 21.
Last May, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Classic returned with a bang as health restrictions began to loosen.
In 2023, the atmosphere should be even a little more relaxed.
Sure, next spring is a long way off but if you’re making out your running calendar for next year, here’s a chance to circle May 21 with a big, bold, red marker pen.
The Classic, sponsored by the Levittown Bristol Kiwanis Club and the Bucks County Herald, will have all the usual fanfare.
There will be plenty of traditional features, including a free, one-day admission ticket to Sesame Place for all who register.
Also returning are “finisher’s medals,’’ which have proven to be quite popular, along with special T-shirts.
And if you consider yourself an early bird, registration for all three distances will be open on Thursday, Dec. 15, 12 noon. To register, visit the Classic website at www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com
Proceeds from the race go to the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, named for the late sports editor of the Bucks County Courier Times. Since the race’s inception in 1999, more than $500,000 has been raised to assist college-bound scholar-athletes from 18 Bucks County high schools.
“Despite some continued caution due to the pandemic, our turnout last year was still fantastic,’’ noted KHSPC race committee’s Jill Gilardi. “People have become familiar with the race and they know that we have kept this going to honor Dick Dougherty’s legacy in Bucks County sports.
“Some people come back year after year because we offer an event that families, school groups and individuals can go to knowing there is something for everyone, including our collectible shirts, finisher medals, the park tickets and the visits from Sesame characters. It all adds up to a great experience for everyone.’’
Jill Saul of Kiwanis also appreciates everything that comes with this special day.
“The members of the Kiwanis Club of Levittown Bristol are thrilled to once again offer the Classic to runners and their families and to honor those scholar-athletes who have distinguished themselves in their schools and the community,’’ she said.
“Following the two-year COVID hiatus, it was especially exciting to see more than a thousand runners participate in last year’s Classic. To see families out and about again participating in a community activity together was very gratifying.’’
Race official Donna Milner of Kiwanis enjoys seeing so many people having so much fun.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to plan the Classic as this year due to the enormous success of last year’s race,’’ she said. “What a fantastic day. I can’t wait for May 21 to once again experience the fun of the Classic.’’
Kiwanis member Dixie Rhodes has been involved in the Classic for many years and continues to look forward to the race’s return each May.
“After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, last year’s race with more than a thousand participants was a great success and a testament to the resilience of our community,’’ she said.
“Every participant is a winner. The fastest receive awards and everyone gets a ticket to Sesame Place, thus creating a great family outing.’’
When the race is over, final preparations begin for the annual awards banquet the following week.
One male and one female scholar-athlete from each high school is honored at the banquet and receives a check from the Dougherty Scholarship Fund.
For more information about the Classic, visit www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com.