Kids kicking off Classic race weekend
KINGSTON, N.Y. — Hundreds of area youngsters are preparing to compete in Saturday’s 16th annual YMCA Kids Classic at Dietz Stadium.
As of earlier this week, race director Joe Burns said about 400 youths, from pre-schoolers to eighth-graders, were pre-registered for the event.
The final mile of the marathon distance is the first race on the schedule at 8 a.m. for participants in the Y26.2 program that began back in January.
From there, runners in second through eighth grade compete in either a distance race or sprint race on the Dietz track, while kindergartners and pre-schoolers take to the football field for a 50-yard run.
A NEW coed school relay is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.
“All of the races are on the track,” Burns said. “We want parents to be able to watch their children run every step of their race. It’s also a lot more safer.”
Burns said another twist added this year is an option for any youngster to take part in a long jump competition.
There is no additional fee for the long jump and each grade level will get their chance at the conclusion of their respective races.
“This is one of the few opportunities for kids to take part in a track meet,” Burns said. “I thought the long jump would be a great field event to introduce kids to. Dietz is such a great facility to let them try this and it is optional, so it’s entirely up to the kid whether or not they want to do it.”
Burns said the time of the race was moved back to 8 a.m. after organizers tried a later start last year, Continued...
“WE’RE always going to conflict with soccer leagues, Little Leagues and other sports,” he said. “Kids that really want to run in the Kids Classic will show up.”
Proceeds from the race benefit the YMCA Strong Kids Scholarship Campaign that provides assistance to kids to attend camps and after-school programs at the Y.
Every participant receives a medal and trophies are awarded to top finishers in the races.
“We are keeping many of the traditions alive that were started 16 years ago by Dan Bigelow,” Burns said. “You don’t fix what isn’t broken since it all works well.”
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