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April Fools Day Run - a unique kind of race

March 24, 2017

The 23rd annual April Fools Day Run will take place Sunday, March 26, at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, leaving the fishing pier and going somewhere in the park at 10 a.m.

The event has been dubbed “the prediction challenge,” as the course takes runners on a beautiful 3- to 6-mile journey through the state park on the bike path, sand, road, dirt, grass and more! If you're looking for even splits, a personal record or mile markers, you better stay sleeping! If you're looking for a challenging course, a great workout and good old-fashioned fun, we will see you on the starting line. An assortment of T-shirts is being printed, so get there early and pick out a size. The race features miles that are not marked, but plenty of them, digital display clock with incorrect time, post-race awards, refreshments and a possible water stop between the start and the finish.

“The April Fools event is a great fun, challenging event that you have to try,” said Strider Rich Tikiob. “You never know what will be around the corner or what you will have to jump over, crawl under or go through. It is definitely unique!” 

A look back at the last five Foolers: 

2012 - The 18th annual April Fools Day Run at the state park. At that year’s race, the runners lined up at the start in A-Z order, putting defending champion Breck Vanderwende in the back. But that did not last long. Following a fishing pier out-and-back, the course took them to the beach for some soft sand and then up onto the roads through the youth camp. An added twist was a trip through the fitness stations, where they had to cross some monkey bars and do some climbing halfway through the course. As they crossed through the chip timing split, they started another loop, since they enjoyed the first loop so much. Total distance was 3.32 miles with Vanderwende taking the male race in 23:09 and Susan Dunn winning the female race in 25:52. Christopher Stanley won the masters and finished in the No. 2 spot in 23:33, while John Thornton wrapped up the top three in 23:51, winning the 30-39 age group. Mardiny Ung finished second in the female race and won the masters in 28:07, while Monique Bamforth wrapped up the top three, winning the 40-49 age group in 28:22.

2013 - Vanderwende finished fourth behind some pretty tough foolers led by local Dan MacElrevey of Lewes in 35:12. Chris Stanley was second in 36:46, while Rock Poppleton was third in 38:57. On the female side, it was a tough Joann Szczepkowski of Rehoboth taking the top spot in 48:25, while Linda Stanley was second in 49:58 and Kim Burton of Lewes was third in 50:01.

2014 - It was Mike Sewell of Camden-Wyoming with the win in 34:05, while Chris Stanley was second in 34:58 and Breck Vanderwende was third in 38:05. For the fooling females, it was Helen Morrow of Millsboro winning in 41:21, while 8-year-old Lainey Shockro was second in 45:57 and Joann Szczepkowski of Rehoboth was third in 46:17.

2015 - The race went to a tough Martin Rodriguez in a time of 25:32; Chris Stanley was second in 26:24. Breck Vanderwende was third in 29:25. Susan Dunn won the female title in 32:07, while Abby Andrews was second in 32:40 and Edie Ashton was third in 33:17.

2016 - It was Kirk Millikan of Richmond, Va., with the win in a time of 26:02, while Andy Gorlich of Milton was second in 26:41. Breck Vanderwende was third in 29:12. For the female foolers, it was Gloria Hyde of Camden winning in 33:42, while Stacey Johnson of Dover was second in 38:27. Grabbing third was Karen Everett of Annapolis in 38:41.

At the 2017 event … only time will tell!

Seashore Classic Half Marathon 

The eighth annual Seashore Classic, a half marathon, 5K run and relay, will be held Sunday, April 9, starting and finishing at Irish Eyes in Lewes. Runners will travel toward Lewes Beach and then into Cape Henlopen State Park, where they will loop the park to an out-and-back on the Gordons Pond Trail before returning to Lewes. Preregistration packet pickup will be held the evening before, 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, April 8, at Irish Eyes. The race will take off at 8 a.m., Sunday and will kick off the opening race of the Irish Eyes 6-Pack Series. If you can complete a distance of 10 miles, you're good to go for a half marathon. Nearly 200 participants have registered. Registration is still open through the middle of next week. For more information, go to www.seashorestriders.com.

Upcoming races

Kim Miller 5K Run, 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown, Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m., www.seashorestriders.com

• Oy Vey 5K Run & Walk, Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach, Sunday, April 2, 9 a.m., www.seashorestriders.com

Raven Senior Project 5K, Sussex Tech High School, Georgetown, Thursday, April 6, 4 p.m., www.seashorestriders.com

• Georgetown Run for Color 5K Run/Walk, Georgetown Middle School, Georgetown, Saturday, April 8, 1 p.m., www.seashorestriders.com.

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