Nearly 500 runners participated in the first annual #StandUp Neshaminy Sunset Challenge 2K / 5K race held at Maple Point Middle School in Langhorne on May 10. The race drew students from every District school, their families, and runners from the community who competed on a 2K course stayed on school property and a 5K race wound through the surrounding neighborhood to Middletown Community Park.
The race was conceived by three teachers from Tawanka Elementary School, who were looking for a way to engage the community with the #StandUp Neshaminy opioid abuse prevention effort launched last spring. What started as a plans for a small race for students blossomed into a much larger event as teachers from other schools, administrators, community supporters and others joined the effort. Two schools started co-curricular running clubs to prepare their students for the race, while others promoted it during physical education classes. Approximately 100 volunteers helped keep the runners on course, watered and well-fed.
The purpose of the race was to promote healthy lifestyle alternatives, and bring additional attention to the #StandUp Neshaminy effort which has already included a number of activities this school year including school assemblies, staff training and community outreach. Pennsylvania Rep. Frank Farry and Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub showed their support by attending the race and speaking to the runners prior to the start. The race was professionally timed and the schools with the fastest average times and highest participation rates will also be recognized along with the race winners.
Plans are underway to continue and possibly expand this new tradition next year.