Sunset Challenge promotes healthy life choices

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.