02 Mar 2012

Dust Off Your Sneaks: Capitol Hill Classic, Minus One Hill

uploaded to flickr by DH Parks

For 33 years, residents of Capitol Hill and the wider regional running community have turned out in droves to lace up their sneakers for the Capitol Hill Classic to support the Capitol Hill Cluster Schools. The 10k, 3k and kids’ fun run will be held Sunday, May 20, starting at 8:30 a.m., thank heavens! This year, as in recent ones, there’s been a collective sigh of relief when the registration opens, as it means for another year the organizers have managed to make the race profitable for the schools, and this year they found a way to actually reduce the fees paid to Metropolitan Police for race day traffic and security assistance.

The race course has been modified and there may be a large contingent of casual runners like myself who let out a deep sigh of relief to discover that a “new, more level course (that) takes runners from the vibrant H Street corridor to the U.S. Capitol and then to RFK Stadium” means the HILL is actually not part of the race. My quads feel better already.

Along with the average 3500 participants, the race depends on volunteers and sponsors. Race organizers say they need about 120 people to do a variety of things for the race, from set-up at about 5:30 am on race day, to clean-up until 2 pm in the afternoon. Let me tell you, those people handing out water and bananas, and even leading the warm-up jumping jacks, are most appreciated by those of us sweating for the schools.  There are even volunteers working with the students to prepare for the 3k race, with the focus on physical education challenging these young athletes to train beyond Fun Run expectations. Participants can help sponsor a child’s registration or volunteer with set-up through the website.

Tip to the wise (i.e. prospective sponsors):  you need to sign up by March 15 to make sure your logos make it on the t-shirts– a coveted badge of honor in the neighborhood.

All proceeds benefit the Capitol Hill Cluster School, a neighborhood DC public school serving more than 1000 DC children from age 3 through grade 8 on three neighborhood campuses. Funds raised bridge the gap between the DCPS budget and the money needed to buy art supplies, fund field trips, classroom projects, professional development for our teachers, gardens, and teacher requests.

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