They came in all shapes and sizes, young and old, fast and not so fast.
But when they reached the finish line in Sunday’s 23rd annual Kiwanis-Herald Sesame Place Classic 5K, everyone had one thing in common.
A big smile.
For many, it was just the start of a total fun day at the theme park in Langhorne.
Each runner in the registered field of upwards of 900 not only received a cool finisher’s medal but also a free ticket to Sesame Place (through June 18).
Quite a few also picked up a neat blue “Bert and Ernie” T-shirt which was a big hit with kids of all ages.
There was equal excitement in the 1-mile fun run and the ever-popular Sesame Sprint.
Fortunately, after a rain-filled Saturday, dawn on Sunday brought mostly clear skies, light winds and favorable temperatures.
A number of participants were aware that all proceeds from the event go to the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, which since 1999 has raised more than $400,000 for financial assistance to worthy, college-bound senior scholar-athletes from 18 Bucks County high schools.
"Based on the turnout for this year's Sesame Place Classic, it is evident that the community support of this great event is stronger than ever,” said race committee member Ernie Nocito of the Herald.
“With some favorite Sesame Place characters (including Elmo and Big Bird) showing up, it has evolved into more of a celebration. The Bucks County Herald is proud to continue the partnership with the Kiwanis Club in the effort to raise funds from the Sesame Place Classic toward a great cause which benefits the scholar-athletes from Bucks County high schools."
Levittown Bristol Kiwanis President Jill Saul appreciates all the Classic’s three races have to offer.
“It was great to see so many runners out on a bright and beautiful morning,” Saul said. “It was especially nice to see Tom Delaney, a Truman High School special education teacher, and his incredible Special Olympics running team competing for medals.
“This family-friendly timed event was filled with happy moments as families, and serious runners alike, celebrated their accomplishments. The Kiwanis Club of Levittown Bristol is always so honored to sponsor this event for our community and share in the fun.”
Sesame Place has been a gracious host for the Classic since the turn of the century. The race course runs through nearby Oxford Valley Mall and finishes right at the front entrance to Sesame.
“Sesame Place is proud to have once again been a part of such a great community event,” said PJ Schweizer, event planner at Sesame Place. “Our water attractions will open this Saturday, May 27, including our all-new water play area, Bert & Ernie’s Splashy Shores.
“We look forward to welcoming more of the runners and all our guests in the weeks to come as we dive into our most ‘splashtacular’ season ever.”
Photographs of the event are available at www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com.
Thanks to all the Sesame Place Classic sponsors, including:
PARX Casino, Lower Bucks Hospital, McHales, Fred Beans Auto, TransPro Trucking, BP Environmental Services, Pine Valley Investments, Main Management, Bristol Township Education Association, McCarthy Real Estate, Caps, Guaranteed Rate, Secure Planning Group, James J. Dougherty Funeral Home, Faulkner Cadillac, Newtown Dental, Chiro, Night Owl Graphics, Pool Design LLC, Ricci Allstate Insurance, Apollo Pizza, Access Credit Union and PSEA Retired.
And special thanks to Langhorne-Middletown Firetruck 21 and crew, the fire police led by Larry Harvey, and the Penndel-Middletown Emergency Squad.
Saturday – Doylestown 5K, 9:30 a.m., Doylestown. Bucks 5K Series. Contact www.runsignup.com.
Monday – Memorial Main Street Mile, 8 a.m., Yardley. Contact www.runsignup.com.