Spirit Trophy making a welcome comeback at Sesame Classic

The Spirit Trophy at the Sesame Place Classic, last awarded for the 20th annual race, will make its return this year.
      One of the most popular moments at the annual Kiwanis-Herald Sesame Place Classic 5K has been the presentation of the Spirit Trophy.
      It’s given to the organization – school, running club, etc. – which brings the largest contingent of participants to the race.
      Due to the pandemic, etc., the award was forced to take a sabbatical for a couple years (the race wasn’t held in 2020, 2021).
      But this year, for the 23rd annual Classic on Sunday, May 21, the Spirit Trophy is making its return.
      It’s a source of pride, both for the recipients and the presenters, and it once again will be a highlight for the more than 1,000 expected runners competing in either the 5K, 1-mile run/walk or the Sesame Sprint.
      All runners who register by April 15 will receive a special T-shirt featuring a couple of very popular Sesame characters. Each runner who completes the 5K will get a finisher’s medal.
      In addition, each runner will receive a one-day, free-admission ticket to Sesame Place, good through June 18.
      Proceeds from the Classic, which began way back in 1999, benefit the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund which provides financial assistance to college-bound scholar-athletes from 18 Bucks County high schools.
      Over the years, the race has generated close to $500,000 for this worthy cause.
      “Bringing back the Spirit Trophy has me very excited,” said KHSPC committee member Jill Gilardi, who directs registration. “There have been a few schools which have always come close but haven’t won it yet. I am rooting for them.
      “Historically, schools such as Afton and Valley have produced strong turnouts. Fallsington, Oxford Valley and even some of the running clubs have been edged out by one or two registrations. It would be great to see one of those teams get to take home the trophy this year.”
      For more information on the Classic and to register, visit www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com.
      >Track season gets started
      With the calendar turning to spring, it’s time to start thinking about some serious training again.
      One item on the checklist should be a weekly track session. Those huff-and-puff interval workouts will help your distance race times, from 5K to the marathon.
      So, with assistance from one of our favorite running websites, “The Six-Minute Mile,” here are a few things to keep in mind as you head for your workout on the oval:
      >1. Stretch first: A quick five-minute session can get the muscles warmed up for the stressful hour ahead. Don’t forget to do a little post-workout stretching as well.
      >2. Jog at least a mile: Or long enough to break a sweat.
      >3. If you’re running in spikes or competition flats, make sure you have done at least one pre-hard workout go-round in those shoes to let your feet get accustomed to the transition from trainers.
      >4. Hydration. Especially as the weather keeps getting warmer. Don’t wait until you start feeling thirsty halfway through the workout. Take a good amount of fluid in the hour leading up to the session.
      >5. Diet important. According to Six-Minute, “getting the proper balance of macronutrients is a major component of an effective (track) diet and most experts recommend getting about 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates.”
      >6. Have a plan. If you are doing intervals to increase your overall aerobic fitness level, go with a strategy which incorporates the necessary distances. One good program is what some call “ladders.” Start with a 200-yard interval, rest a minute, then do a 400, rest, an 800, rest, a 1,200, rest, a 1,600. Then reverse and do, 1,200, 800, 400, 200. That puts you in the five-mile range for a quality speed workout.
      >7. Supplements. Studies show that adding good stuff like Omega-3 (found in fish oil, etc.) can help to preserve your intensity and metabolic efficiency during high intensity exercise.
      >8. Keep a log book. It’s not a bad idea to keep a journal of your track workouts. These become handy as you progress through a season to see what works and what doesn’t work. Like, should I drink coffee before doing hard intervals? What vitamins seem to have an effect, if any, on my running?
      >9. Have training partners. There may not be much science to back it up but common sense suggests you run faster (and better) with a bunch of people around you. Looking for a group workout? Check out the Bucks County Road Runners Club for their weekly track workout schedule at www.bcrrclub.com.
      >10. Dip your toe in a race. Yes, there are plenty of track races if you spend a little time online. For age-group competition, go to USATF’s website (United States Track and Field) or NSGA’s website (National Senior Games) to find one that’s right for you.
      Race calendar
      Sunday, March 25
      Blaze of Glory 5K, 9 a.m., Plumsteadville. Bucks 5K Series. Contact www.blazeofglory5k.com
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About Wayne Fish 2437 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.