KENNETT SQUARE—In the future, the Kennett Run could have the kind of stigma enjoyed by events like the Boston Marathon or the New York Marathon.
“We’re in contention of getting there,” said J.J. Simon, Kennett Run race director. “We are a third generation race right now. When people ran in the first Kennett Run, the children of their children are running to now. This is a family affair.”
More than a thousand runners are expected to compete in the 30th annual Kennett Run this Saturday, May 11, along with more than a thousand spectators. Runners from all over the country compete in the Kennett Run.
This year’s theme, Simon said, is “Run Like It’s 1989,” and there will be special prizes for those dressed in disco attire. Disco music will even be playing at Anson Nixon Park, where the race begins and ends. Free beer, pretzels, hot dogs, pizza, soda and other refreshments will be offered for both participants and spectators.
Simon said hundreds of people typically wait to register until race day.
“Right now, the weather looks good, but we would like to see some sun,” Simon said. “I think the race this year will bring you back to the old days.”
Registration is from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the park. From 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., there will be a PoweRun Lifting competition. The 10K run and the 10KPoweRun kicks off at 9 a.m., followed by the 5K run and 5K PoweRun Wave 1, and 5K walk at 9:25 a.m. The 1-mile run or walk starts at 9:35 a.m. and the 1-mile Kids Fun Run for those up to age 14 starts at 10:30 a.m.
Prizes of $400, $200 and $100 will go to the top three overall male and female runners in the 5K and 10K and a trophy to the top three overall male and female in the 5K and 10K. And $50 gift certificates will go to the first male and female Master in the 10K and 5K runs. Individual awards will go to the top three males and females in age groups 9 and under, 10-13, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70-plus.
Last year’s winner in the 5K was Kent Hall, 20, of Kennett Square with a chip time of 16:12 and a pace of 5:12. For females, Abby Dean placed first with a time of 18:50. In the 10K last year, Joshua Hibbs, 30, of Philadelphia placed first with a chip time of 32:23 and a pace of 5:13. In the women’s 10K, it was Kimberly Cary with a time of 40:52.
Dogs, bicycles and skates are not permitted during the race. Strollers are allowed only in the rear of the last wave of the 5K.
Buses will be available from 6:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. for transporting runners and spectators from the Exelon parking lot to Anson Nixon Park. When it’s over, buses will be available from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
In Kennett Square, there will be temporary road closures from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., including State Street between Walnut Road and Mill Road, Route 82 between West Cypress Street and just south of West Linden Street, the intersection of East Locust and Walnut streets, the intersection of Longwood Road and Walnut Road, and most of Walnut Road.
Since it began in 1989, more than $1 million has been raised by Kennett Run Charities. All of that money stays in the community.
Scores of local nonprofit organizations in southern Chester County will receive funding later this year from Kennett Run Charities. Last year, more than 60 local nonprofits received funding through Kennett Run Charities, including: the Kennett Food Cupboard, Family Promise of Southern Chester County, Longwood Fire Co., Historic Kennett Square, Unionville Community Fair, Tick Tock Early Learning Center, Kennett Education Foundation and many more.
To register for the race, visit www.kennettrun.net up until May 9 or in person on Friday, May 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Kennett Area YMCA. Registration fee is $30 for the 1-mile walk, 5K Run, 10K Run and it is $45 for the 5K and 10K PoweRun.