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Liem Fitzgerald, age 4, runs his first 5K through puddles and rain

A weekend of inspirational Just Do It stories
Liem Fitzgerald, 4 years old, posterizes himself with his 5K finish. DAVE FREDERICK PHOTOS
August 15, 2017

Just Do It! - Liem Fitzgerald of Middletown insisted on running the Que Pasa 5K in a steady Saturday morning rain with his dad Patrick, rejecting out of hand the jogging stroller, Jolly Trolley, rolling dolly easy pass. It's genetic, an Irish fog and bog double recessive gene thing. Liem is a 4-year-old kid and not passing on a certified chance to run through puddles with the rest of the wet dogs; it was just too instinctively irresistible. Liem hit the ground running and just never stopped, averaging 10 minutes a mile and 30 minutes later turned onto Van Dyke Avenue and pugnaciously ate up the final stretch, posterizing himself for eternity. Que pasa!

Blinded by the Light - Norval Ellingsworth, 59, was escorted by April Braica, 37, through the rain and puddles of the Que Pasa 5K Saturday morning with both finishing in 1:02:22. Norval is non-sighted, but to say he cannot see totally misses the point. He sees and feels plenty, and he finished wet and happy. I posted Norval's finish photo to my Facebook empire and comments came quickly back on the Seaford resident. "I have known Norval most of my life. His handicap has never stopped him from going after his dreams. A great guy," said Ron MacArthur. Ben Sirman said, "Norval was in the Seaford High School Marching Band and marched in parades and football halftime performances. Spectators never realized he was blind. I was his guidance counselor and he remains a special friend of mine." Some years ago, Jimmy Ferneyhough and I took his father-in-law Don Anderson on a Boston Whaler ride up the Broadkill from Lewes to Milton. Don is blind (glaucoma robbed his sight) but had Jimmy describe things as we passed. He had his nose into the wind like a Golden Retriever. All senses get amped when one is shut down. I know Don saw more that day than I did, but somebody had to drive the boat.

Best Buddy - Chris Gordon gets bib No. 1 - you have to know somebody, and Chris knows a lot of somebodies. He delights in crossing the Dewey Beach Buddy Run 5K finish line to congratulations and a bottle of water and pancakes on the waffle house. Life is always good surrounded by best buddies.

We Are the World - Two weeks of watching the world championships of track and field twice a day on high-definition television was a million times more enjoyable than some preseason NFL game featuring players most of whom have no chance of making the 53-man roster. What strikes me is that the world is now fully colorized and you don’t have to be an anthropologist to know humans migrate - some call it immigrate or emigrate - but as a species we are constantly on the move. Talk of race, rather than  racing,  quickly gets a sportswriter in trouble unless writing about a relay on the track. The world is going in a blended direction, and I saw the athletes fiercely loyal, many with tears rolling down their cheeks when standing on the podium during the playing of their country’s anthem. Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Daniel Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake took the top of the podium after winning the 4-by-100, upsetting the United States running 37:47, the 14th fastest time in history. And they sang the words to “God Save the Queen” as most of the crowd of 60,000 in London Stadium sang along. It was moving just to watch it.

Snippets - Practices for fall sports begin Tuesday, Aug. 15. Cape Henlopen posts practice schedules and scrimmage times at www.websites4sports.com or www.capevikingssports.com, which gets you to the same place. Senior citizens can stop in the athletic office and get a photo ID card which gets you in free to all athletic contests and a 10 percent discount at local liquor stores. Sometimes substandard is good. Like the first day of tryouts for a sport, the standard is 6:30 in the mile and you run 6:10, that is substandard and a good thing. Temple lacrosse had a system where those under the required time could give their seconds to a teammate who didn’t make it because, after all, your mile or two-mile times are only meaningful if you race those distances in the middle of a game. And there should not be a rash of injuries the first week of practice unless the athlete shows up grossly out of shape or the coach is mentally grossly out of touch. Beacon tryout dates for sports teams are posted on their website as of Aug. 14. Mariner dates are not posted yet.

Tryouts for the Eastern Shore Lacrosse Club are Sunday, Aug. 20 at Champions Stadium. Go to easternshorelax.org for information. Go on now, git!

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