The Daniel Boone School District is getting ready to welcome runners from throughout the area to the first Berks Distance Festival on Saturday, May 26 at the Daniel Boone High School, Birdsboro.
Event organizers said this distance festival is the first of its kind in the area and will feature four running events for all ages.
The festival will begin at 7 p.m. with the under-age-eight Kids 800 Fun Run (two laps around the track), followed by the 1600 Meter Run (one mile), the 3200 Meter Run (two miles), and a 5K Run (3.1 miles), with the later races being run under the lights at the high school’s sports stadium.
Daniel Boone Middle School and High School Cross Country Team representatives said the festival “will enable the teams to meet their financial goals for the season while also creating an event that will allow people to work together, build relationships, and have a feeling of accomplishment.”
Event organizers have created six sponsorship levels with various marketing opportunities to allow for all levels of profit and non-profit participation in the festival.
The World Champion Level provides a company name on all multi-media marketing, 50 lawn signs placed throughout the campus, the company name and logo on the front of event t-shirts, and company space for a standard display tent and table at the event.
Other sponsorship levels are Olympic, National, States, Club Sports, and Championship.
Employees of sponsoring companies and groups are invited to participate in the Berks Distance Festival.
Festival organizer and Borough of Birdsboro Manager Aaron J. Durso said community organizations are already enlisting their support at the festival; members of Cub Scout Pack 595, Birdsboro, will occupy younger children with activities and games for two hours while parents are running, the Douglassville Subway, 955 Benjamin Franklin Highway, is supplying sandwiches, other food vendors have signed-on, and Birdsboro-Union Fire Department will provide first-aid.
He added that there will be music throughout the event, as well as a play-by-play announcer.
A Running Start, West Reading, a renting a booth to sell runner‘s merchandise.
Runner’s High, Lancaster, will time the runners and races.
“A lot of runners are excited about the Berks Distance Festival since it is a very unique distance and on-track opportunity,” said Middle School Track Teach Coach James Angle, noting that all races will be run on the track.
“The festival presents a unique challenge. Most people don’t have the chance to be in a race on the track. We have parents and kids signing up and trying to get that connection. It’ giving them a chance to do something they wouldn‘t normally do. The festival is open to all levels , and it’s a chance to see what you can still do on the track. Runners love to test and push, and challenge themselves.”
“As runners, we find the sport is a great outlet on an individual basis but also as a team -- with team camaraderie -- we can excel,” said Angle.
He said running is a very mental sport, with runners challenged to overcome their own obstacles and to do better.
“It does not matter where you are in the pack -- and you can find you’re still improving. There is an opportunity at every race to challenge yourself to do better.”
Angle said the festival’s proceeds will allow the High School and Middle School track and cross-country programs to cover all of their program’s costs that include maintaining equipment, uniforms, and registering for major races.
“We are like a big family -- it’s good to have the team-bonding ,” said juniors Emilee Durso and Alex Hamill, who are both on the school’s track team.
“Running is a good team-building sport and the festival will bring the running community together,” said Alex, adding that she is excited abut the festival.
“We will get a lot of runners from around the county, to do a head-on, which is more competitive than a 5K race,” said Hamill.
They agreed that the festival will bring a positive spirit into the Daniel Boone community and reflect that “we care about the community.”
High School Cross Country and Track Head Coach Russell Keith said both teams have a good group of kids that work hard and want to succeed.
“The festival is something different in Berks County -- it’s run on the track and under the stadium lights,” said Keith, adding, “Runners will be able to run their personal best times and it will be a family event promoting physical fitness and highlighting the Middle School and High School cross country and track programs.”
Mail-in registrations are due by May 14, with checks made payable to Daniel Boone Cross Country and sent to James Angle, 117 E. Walnut Street, Shillington, PA 19607.
The first 250 pre-registrants will receive t-shirts with the Berks Distance Festival and company sponsor logos.
Age categories are under 8 kids, 14 and under, ages 15 - 19, 20 - 29, 30 - 39, 40 - 49, 50 - 59, and age 60+.
The first place finisher in the Kids 800 Meter -- and fist place in all adult age groups for males and females -- will receive a trophy.
Medals will be awarded to all males and females in all age categories who place second and third, and all runners will receive a ribbon.
Timing devices will be on disposable computerized chips that record each runner’s time at the finish and posted on-line by Runner’s High at http://www.runhigh.com
For more information about the festival, sponsorship levels, and on-line registration, go to http://www.monicahamill.com