Chalfont Challenge 5K
Please tell us a little bit about your race:
The event began in 1992 as a way to promote fitness and celebrate Chalfont’s birthday leading up to our Centennial in 2001. Each year a historic Chalfont building was selected as the theme for the race. Proceeds were used to purchase lights that resembled the old gas lights on Main Street, the Centennial celebration including the 2001 parade and much more
How many year’s has there been a Chalfont Challenge 5k and Fun Run:
2023 will be the 31st running of the Chalfont Challenge 5K and Fun Run. John Abbott and I have been Co-Race Directors since 2002. John is responsible for providing a safe course for the runners and I do the coordinating with the event Captains, keeping track of the participants, ordering shirts, etc. Prior to 2002, Bea Barr, Chalfont Borough Manager served as the Chalfont Race Director. It was Bea's daughter Marlene that suggested Chalfont hold a 5K. Since then, Marlene finished a Marathon in all 50 states and the Chalfont Challenge continues.
How did you come up with the name?
The Chalfont Challenge challenges our residents to participate in their community. Each year, we recognize a member of our community as our Honorary Race Starter. As a long-time resident and volunteer who helped with our first Chalfont Challenge, Janet Warren was our 2022 race starter. Local businesses answer the Challenge with sponsorships, prizes, and food for the event.
You seem to have a lot of volunteers helping. How many do you have?
It takes 100 volunteers to handle the race. Our race starts and ends on Main St in Chalfont and goes through several residential neighborhoods. We start well ahead of race day and notify the residents that several hundred runners will be participating in the Chalfont Challenge. Safety; stopping traffic, road crossing, and water stations (hydration especially on hot days) is a major concern to the enjoyment by all, is our main goal. Volunteers are recruited by our event Captains. For example, George Wozar recruits Scouts from two troops that help with water stations, parking, and the finish line. George and his family are at one water station. If the forecast is for a hot/humid race, a resident on the course sets up a sprinkler. Food Captain, Tracey Bowen, and her recruits set up and serve the food in the food tent. Watermelon is a popular treat. One runner commented, "Two weeks ago, I ran a half marathon and was given a banana. Today, I ran a 5K and was served a whole meal!"
With 30 years of having this race, there is sure to be a fun highlight you would like to share:
One year, a ranked 2 mile runner participated. When he finished the first 5K he crossed the finish line, turned around and ran the course a second time. He completed 10K ahead of many 5K finishers.
A Chalfont Challenge medal is awarded to the top 3 finishers in an age group. Over the years several residents have aspired to receive a medal in the Chalfont Challenge. Last summer a resident had to relocate to be closer to his family. Space was limited to 2 large suitcases. Placed in the "must take" pile were his 5K 1st place Chalfont Challenge medal and the Bucks 5K Series 1st place tile.
How will the proceeds be used:
In 2002, Chalfont Borough designated Chalfont Challenge proceeds to the Chalfont’s Parks and Trails Development program. Funds have been used to supplement grants to purchase Twin Streams Park, construct 4 pedestrian bridge and construct 3.5 miles of trails. The 2023 funds will go toward the construction of the North Branch Neshaminy trail which will connect Patriots Place Open Space, Chestnut Street Park, to the Lindenfield pedestrian bridge.
What changes for 2023?
Last year was our return to Main Street after Covid. We hope to challenge more residents to run in the 5K or Fun run.