Nationals, pumpkin pie and marathon mania
Twenty runners from the Seashore Strider Youth Cross Country team are currently in Louisville, Ky., for the National Cross Country Championships to be held at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park Saturday, Nov. 23. The course is the site of the 2012 NCAA DII Cross Country Championships. The national trip is the 24th in a row for the local Striders, who have had more than 300 runners qualify for the event.
The course review is Friday afternoon; hundreds of athletes from throughout the country will preview distances from 2K to 5K and begin to prepare themselves mentally for their races.
Sussex Tech juniors Jake Bamforth, Natasha Taylor, and Meg Davidson will get things going first thing Saturday on the 5,000-meter, 3.1-mile distance while the rest of the team will begin racing at 11 a.m. The final race of the day, the youth 13-14 boys, will be held at 3 p.m. featuring Tech freshman Ben Bamforth on the 4,000-meter, 2.48-mile course.
Bethany Beach sixth-grader Blake Hundley finished second last year and is one of the favorites, while Beacon eighth-grader Logan Shuttleworth has been a front-runner the past five years at the nationals and should be near the front.
Good luck to the Striders from the little state of Delaware.
Seashore Marathon update
With two weeks to go, a record number of participants from more than 20 states will toe the line for the sixth annual Rehoboth Seashore Marathon & Half-Marathon scheduled for 7 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. As of Nov. 20, the total was solid at a record 2,164, broken down as 1,268 in the half and 896 in the full marathon. Several local runners from Lewes and Rehoboth Beach are taking part in the event for their first time running the distance.
Numbers have increased following Marine Corps and New York marathons, as runners either did not finish and are looking for another or did not finish where they wanted and are looking to improve.
The marathon will include 11 volunteer groups doing 18 water stops during the event and handing out more than 35,000 cups of water and Gatorade over the 26.2-mile distance. Groups that are confirmed as of this week are the following: Delaware Swoop travel softball team, Odyssey of the Mind, Tri-Delaware, Cape Honor Society, Epworth Skate Project, Sussex Tech Cross Country, Cape Leo Club, MERR, Scout Troop 2540, Seashore Striders Cross Country and Cape softball team.
This week I rode the course with DelDOT's Jerry Njagesy as we mapped out where all the safety equipment and course monitors need to be placed to keep traffic flowing and runners safe throughout the course.
Spectators and family members of the marathon are reminded to use Kings Highway and Cape Henlopen Drive to travel through Lewes and remain off Gills Neck Road near the Lewes side of the Junction and Breakwater Trail. The goal is to keep traffic flowing on Gills Neck for the residents of Hawkseye, Wolfe Runne, and Wolfe Pointe during the event. Personnel from DelDOT, Delaware State Police, Lewes Fire Police, and Lewes Police Department have been hired by the event to patrol Gills Neck Road.
Pumpkin Pie 5K
Runners and walkers interested in the Saturday, Nov. 30 post-Thanksgiving Huffin' for Pumpkin Pie 5K in Rehoboth Beach should register now at www.seashorestriders.com. A record number of 280 preregistered participants already signed up for the event, which will start and finish at Grove Park. Parking will be on Rehoboth Avenue on the east side of the circle, while race-day registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. Long-sleeved tech T-shirts will only be guaranteed to preregistered participants. Burn off that pumpkin pie and sign up soon.
9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 30, 4th Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K, Grove Park, Rehoboth Beach.
9 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 1, 11th Sea Colony Turkey Trot 5K, Freeman Fitness Center, Bethany Beach.
7 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 7, 6th Rehoboth Beach Marathon & Half Marathon, Rehoboth Beach Running Company, Rehoboth Beach.
10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, 8th Snowball 5K Run, Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes.