Seashore marathon promotes health, spurs economy
Jazz festival, Sea Witch, Lewes Maritime Weekend, Punkin Chunkin and Rehoboth Beach film festival anchor the shoulder season in the Cape Region.
To that list, it’s time to add Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon and Half-Marathon, races that drew more than 2,000 runners and many more supporters to the Cape Region on a misty December weekend.
Plenty of hard work by the Cape Region entrepreneurs who established the race – Rehoboth Beach Running Company and Seashore Striders Event Productions – paid off with an impressive list of sponsors and two sold-out races.
Participants descended on Rehoboth Friday night, filling hotels and restaurants. At dawn Saturday, runners poured onto Rehoboth Avenue for a course that took marathoners on the Junction & Breakwater Trail to Lewes and then to Cape Henlopen State Park, showcasing the beauty of the beaches and the marsh, and the vitality of the Cape Region.
Runners from across the nation participated and had nothing but praise for the event – its organization; the fast, flat course; and the great food, beer and music at the post-race party.
Veterans of larger marathons said they couldn’t get over the small-town feel of the race and the warmth and camaraderie they felt on the course.
“Everybody supports each other. You don’t get what you get here from any other marathon,” one runner said.
The sea and salt air have long been hailed as healthy, a significant draw to Cape Region beaches. Add to that Delaware’s recent emphasis on extending the state’s network of trails – including the upcoming completion of the Rehoboth-Lewes loop. The message is undeniable: Exercise and fresh air are good for everyone, and marathon participants bear that out. They ranged from competitive athletes who ran 26.2 miles in 2:45:21 to those who came in just under the seven-hour time limit, happy to have finished their race.
Congratulations to the 2,000-plus athletes who ran and walked the races, to the many people from near and far who lined the course to support them, and most of all to Rehoboth Beach Running Company and Seashore Striders, organizers of what has become the crown jewel of the Delaware Cape Region’s calendar of outstanding running events.