Cape Gazette
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Winter relents for warm 5K Run to the Plunge

By Nick Roth | Feb 07, 2014
Photo by: Nick Roth The weather shifted from unseasonably cold to unseasonably warm Feb. 1, as runners participated in the 5K Run to the Plunge in Rehoboth Beach. Shown are (l-r)  Frankie Jordan, Zach Krause, Brett Cordrey and Jayson Bak.

There was still snow on the ground, but the scene at the 5K Run to the Plunge Feb. 1 was juxtaposed with runners in shorts and T-shirts. Mother Nature offered a reprieve from the recent snow and frigid temperatures to provide a mildly warm weekend for the Lewes Polar Bear Plunge events in Rehoboth Beach.

More than 500 competitors took advantage of the warmer weather to run the 3.1-mile course and support Special Olympics Delaware. Steve Eshelman, 20, cruised to the win, crossing the finish line on Maryland Avenue in a time of 17:40. He was followed in by William Schaffer in 18:06, David Marshall in 18:53 and Adam Marshell in 18:54.

Rebecca Lewandowski finished fifth overall and was the first female competitor to complete the course, in 19:25. Rounding out the very competitive women's top five were Christine Marks in 20:18, Jennifer Lucas in 20:22, Leanne Carson in 20:42 and Jen Cawthern in 20:52.

More than $725,000 was raised during the whole Polar Plunge weekend. On Feb. 2, 3,252 people plunged into the 34-degree Atlantic Ocean off Rehoboth Beach. In its 23 years, the event has raised more than $7.525 million for Special Olympics Delaware.

The 5K Run to the Plunge started at The Bandstand in Rehoboth Beach and ended on Maryland Avenue near the Atlantic Sands Hotel. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
It turned into an obstacle course for race winner Steven Eshelman, as a loose dog tried to play a little defense at the finish line. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Steven Eshelman crossed the finish line at 17:40 to win the race by nearly 30 seconds. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
William Schaffer cruises down the home stretch to finish second in 18:06. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
David Marshall pushes himself the final few strides to finish in third place with a time of 18:53. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Adam Marshell couldn't overtake his closest competitor, finishing one second behind in fourth place with a time of 18:54. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Rebecca Lewandowski was the first female runner to complete the course, in 19:25. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Sam Spillman, left, and Graham Spillman round the final corner onto Maryland Avenue to finish the race in 23:32 and 23:31, respectively. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Brett Cordrey, front, and Jayson Bak run up First Street. They finished in 21:20 and 22:20, respectively. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Leanne Carson ran a 6:40 pace to finish in 20:42. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Drew Harris, 14, strides down Maryland Avenue to a 20:19 time. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Wesley Davis and his pup walk the course. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
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