BY BILL KRAUSE
Come September 25th, there’s a cake that will need cutting at the Youth Trophy Cup Runs event. The Community Programs, Fall Weekend event will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. It will be a big deal and, as always, a big day for HF-L kids that just love to run. The eight races — run off in rapid succession – are held exclusively for children, ages five to twelve, that live in the Honeoye Falls-Lima school district.
The Sunday, 1:00 to 3:30 event, is the only featured, Fall Weekend athletic event geared to grade school ages. Registration for the cross-country styled races, run across school-ground paths and playing fields, is online at the Community Programs link within the hflcsd.org web site, or, at the event on race day.
The community has come to embrace the Trophy Cup runs spectacularly. In addition to about a hundred participants each year, there are many high school student volunteers helping conduct the event and legions of proud parents, grandparents and teachers cheering for everyone. Even Manor School Principals have been known to attend frequently to cheer on their students.
As did retired cross-country coach, Bernie Gardner, recently appointed coach, Nolan Hoh, has been an enormous supporter of the runs and an energetic volunteer along with his teams of high school runners.
Noteworthy, and quite astonishing, even the divine spirits have looked down favorably on what has been going on at the Trophy Cup Runs. Never, in the twenty-four previous years that the event has been held, have rains fallen down upon it – not a single rain postponement needed.
Beyond the individual challenge, sheer fun among classmates and achievements of the day at the Trophy Cup Runs, perhaps the most significant triumph of the event is one that emerges many, many years later, in a participant’s adulthood. That, is a love for and attentiveness to lifelong, personal fitness and good health. As a recent example, past Youth Trophy Cup Runs participant Lee Matthews, now age 32, competed in his first triathlon at the Rochester Triathlon in August. While in grade school in Honeoye Falls, Lee ran the Youth Trophy Cup Runs eight consecutive years — beginning at age five through age 12 — winning his age group race seven out of eight years and setting course records along the way. Lifetime fitness has come to matter to Lee. This year’s event may even have a very special honor – that of Lee making a personal return, as a volunteer, to help run the event.
The Trophy Cup Runs has been blessed with four stead-fast sponsors over the years. They are Honeoye Falls MarketPlace, Molye Cheverolet, M&T Bank and Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria. Their support has helped greatly with expenses, kept the entry fee modest for participants and allowed many niceties like apples, free pizza, bottled water and balloons. Additionally, net proceeds are contributed to assist the Manor and Lima Primary School’s physical education programs with some purchases to enhance instruction and fun.