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Good running conditions help make Sesame Place race another classic


Middletown Township – For a while there, it looked like some of that rain we can’t seem to shake lately was going to spoil the day.

Less than two hours before the start of Sunday’s 21st annual Sesame Place Classic, the outlook appeared dim.

It was raining cats, dogs and just about anything else you could find in a pet store.

But by the 7 a.m. starting time for the one-mile run, the sun was out and the first wave of some 800 runners was wearing big smiles.

Everything went well from there, with hundreds of runners completing the either mile, the featured 5K race or the kids’ sprint.

All runners received a finisher’s medal this year to add a special note to the occasion.

This year the featured character was Cookie Monster. He was on the T-shirt and also on the coveted Spirit Trophy, given to the group with the largest contingent.

This year the trophy was taken home by Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School, which brought some 175 runners to the race.

The 5K race, which features a course incorporating roads around Oxford Valley Mall, once again drew a large contingent of runners.

Matthew Brown, 28, of Chalfont won the men’s title in a time of 17:35. Finishing second was Robert Sassaman of Levittown in 18:16. Third was Morrisville’s Seamus Kelliher in 18:29.

On the women’s side, Shana Kearney, 13, of Bensalem was first across the line in 20:32. She was followed by Allison Hopkins of Coatesville in 20:41 and third was Lauren Trinsey of Feasterville in 21:19.

The masters winners were Scott Burton of Southampton in 19:44 and Marlene Ridgway of Morrisville in 23:06.

All proceeds from the event go to the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund. In its 21-year history, the race has generated more than $400,000 in scholastic financial aid to college-bound Bucks County high school seniors.

“On an almost perfect Sunday morning, weather-wise and enthusiasm-wise, it was great to see so many happy faces young and old coming out to participate in this great fun event,’’ said race committee member Ernie Nocito. “There was a big turnout of runners from near and far enjoying the races and festivities and knowing they are supporting a great cause.’’

Robert Galkin of Morrisville (5:40) and Katie Williams of Danville, Pa. (5:45) won the mile race titles.

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