Ready, Set, Go! The Kennett Run is on May 1905/09/2018 12:02PM ● By Randy
By Richard L. Gaw
For the first time in 2017, the Kennett
Run began and ended at Anson B. Nixon Park, but that wasn't the only
new wrinkle in the giant fabric that has become Kennett Square's
leading road race.
Throughout the morning of May 20, 2017, downtown Kennett Square was filled with both runners and walkers, participants in the 28th annual Kennett Run, who took on State Street to the ringing and continuous applause of the community.
It was a bold move by the race organizers, and one that ultimately drew great praise.
“Any time you change a course, you're always concerned about the reaction by the runners and the walkers, as well as with those you coordinate the race with,” said B. Christopher Daney, president of Kennett Run Charities. “After the race finished at the park, however, we received a lot of positive comments about the new course. Many of the runners and walkers enjoyed the change in contours.
“It was a course that was designed with the safety of the runner, and because it worked out well, we've decided to keep the same course this year, which we hope will result in even more competitors, this year.”
“At first, I thought that all of the changes in the course may be too much to introduce all at once, but it turned out to be a good idea,” said race director J.J. Simon. “Everyone had the perspective, for the first time, of looking at Anson B. Nixon Park as the permanent staging area for the event, rather than starting the race in another part of town and then moving everything to the park for the finish and post-race activities.”
The key reason for the successful reworking of the Kennett Run course last year, Daney said, was to put a more definitive local stamp on the event, and nothing says “Kennett Square” like State Street.
“The former routes would go up Route 82 and in the Kennett Golf Course, so competitors never really got to see downtown,” Daney said. “So we thought, 'Let's show off Anson B. Nixon Park as more than just a finish, but as a starting place, as well. Let's also showcase State Street on a Saturday morning, to create a community event where people could line the streets and cheer on the runners and walkers on.”
Daney said that he and his fellow race organizers received great cooperation from Kennett Borough Manager Joseph Scalise; Kennett Borough Police Chief William Holdsworth and his staff; as well as the police departments in Kennett Township and East Marlborough Township.
In its 29 years, backed by an enthusiastic board of directors and a town that has embraced their efforts, Kennett Run Charities, Inc. has given back to the community it serves by granting more than $1.1 million to local organizations since 1990 – funding that has created opportunities for thousands of residents in the Kennett Square area.
“The power of these contributions is seen every day in our community,” said Simon. “It creates a continuing and positive cycle, that continues to build momentum with each contribution. At first, one person receives an opportunity, and then, through that opportunity, he or she is then able to help another person and then another person, and so on.
“Kennett Run Charities has created a 'give-give-give' effect.”
This continuum of caring extends far beyond grants and donations. This year, Kennett Run Charities, Inc. has helped defray the cost of much needed repairs along the race path in Anson B. Nixon Park, and is also providing ten complimentary Kennett Run entries to four local organizations this year: La Communidad Hispana, the After-the-Bell Program at Kennett Middle School, the WIN program at the Kennett Consolidated School District, and the Garage Community and Youth Center.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].
2018 Kennett Run Event Guide