Striders off to Terre Haute for national championships
Seventeen members of the Seashore Striders - 38 in the extended family - boarded a plane on the evening of Nov. 29 for a nonstop flight to Indianapolis, Ind., where I spent my junior high days running for Ben Davis Junior High School from 1980-82. The top two teams in the conference in 1982 were both feeding into Ben Davis High School - a track & field and cross country powerhouse in the city. I finished second in the ninth-grade championships in cross country and in the 1,600 meters in the spring to the same runner, Scott Williams, who is now the assistant principal of Ben Davis University High School. Scott and I were heading on a path to be teammates; he went on to run 15:02 to win the Indiana state championship in 1984, and I moved to Georgetown, a place I could not even find on a map. I connected this week with former teammate Tony Courtney, who ran 16:02 in 1984, letting him know that the Striders were racing in Terre Haute. “Nationals - not surprised at all if you're involved. Those kids are lucky to have you,” commented Courtney. Researching the NCAAs, I found Scott on the Indiana University 1987 top 10 list at 3,000 meters, running 7:59 between two guys named Bob Kennedy (7:55) and Jim Spivey (8:00), who were both Olympians. In the outdoor 5,000m Scott ran 13:49 in 1987 for IU. It is amazing how you can connect with people you have not seen in 30 years and remember things like they happened yesterday. Maybe I will get to introduce my talented runners to an Indiana running legend like Scott Williams or teammate Tony Courtney. Good luck to the following Striders at the national championships: Primary 8 & U - Lainey Shockro, Devin Hundley, Ethan Shuttleworth; Bantam age 9-10 - Lindsay Rambo, Emma Barthelmess, Sky Dunmyer, Blake Hundley; Midget age 11-12 - Brock Diaz, Daniel Brown, Logan Shuttleworth; Youth 13-14 - Ben Bamforth, Seth DePrince, Loghan Kline, Hunter Steelman, Elizabeth DePrince; Intermediate 15-16 - Jake Bamforth, Tasha Taylor, Megan Davidson.
Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K
The annual Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K was held Nov. 24 at Grove Park in Rehoboth and set a new event and Grove record with 540 registered runners and walkers from 12 different states for the 3.1-mile course. The Seashore Striders changed the course at the final hour to make it an easier course to follow and use fewer personnel for traffic control.
Huffin’ bits & pieces: The event will benefit the Toys for Tots program that is actively organized by Apple Electric of Rehoboth Beach. The Giant of Rehoboth Beach supplied the event with nearly $500 worth of pumpkin pies so each age-group winner received his or her own pie as well as plenty of pie at the post-race ceremony. First-year Seashore Strider Emma Barthelmess, 10, lined up near the front of the field at the start of the race, and at the firing of the gun, she found herself face planting with more than 500 runners stepping on, over and around the talented fifth-grader. Emma, who is definitely smarter than a fifth-grader, got up and brushed herself off and blazed the course to set a new personal best of 22:23 to take third in her age group.
Striders assistant coach Dan MacElrevey won the masters and may have been the person who knocked down his runner Emma at the start. “At the gun, some guy who thought it was a rugby match came plowing into me and I got knocked into Emma,” said coach Mac. “Most kids would have been done for the day, but she is pretty tough mentally and physically and was able to shake it off.” The largest group of finishers, 87 of them, were in the eight-minute-per-mile pace, running between 8:01 and 8:59. For race results, visit the Seashore Striders webpage, www.seashorestriders.com.
Just one week away on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 8, Cape Region residents are encouraged to come out and cheer on more than 2,000 runners in the largest downstate event to date as 1,007 runners will race 13.1 miles in the half-marathon and 1,002 runners will tackle 26.2 miles in the marathon. Ten water groups are being finalized and 18 stations are being set up throughout the night to hydrate the 2,000 participants from 48 states. Hotels are full, restaurants are preparing to be full, and the event is generating thousands of dollars for the Cape Region on an off weekend in December.
The best viewing spots are as follows: mile 3 in the Gordons Pond parking lot of Cape Henlopen State Park; mile 5 and 25.5m at Grove Park; mile 8 and 23 at the Wolfe Neck Road trail crossing; mile 14.5 at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park; mile 15.5 at the bathhouse in Cape Henlopen State Park; and mile 19 at Lewes Beach.
Gills Neck Road will be busy with two-way runners and one-way traffic being controlled by DelDOT, Delaware State Police and Lewes Fire Police. Expect delays on Gills Neck from 8 a.m. to noon near the Wolfe Runne, Wolfe Pointe and Hawkseye developments. We thank the homeowners of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach in advance for their support of the event.
7 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, Seashore Marathon & Half-Marathon, Rehoboth Beach Running Company, Rehoboth Beach.
10 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 16, 7th annual Snowball 5K Run, Fishing Pier, Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes.
5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 22, Day After 5K Shadow Run, 5 p.m., Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes.
Midnight, Monday, Dec. 31, 10th annual Race into the New Year 5K, Rehoboth Beach Running Company; Rehoboth Beach.
9 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2nd Hair of the Dog 5K & 10K Run, Bethany Beach.