The Beacon girls' track and field team closed out their season by taking part in a Regional Middle School Championship Meet May 18 at Mount Pleasant High School in Wilmington. It was expected to include 14 teams invited from Wilmington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and nearby Pennsylvania with middle school events from the 100 meters to the 1,600 meters, four relays, and three field events.
Mount Pleasant High School sponsors the championships in honor of Rich McKinnon, a former athletic director at Mount Pleasant. Rich died of heart disease in 2004. To honor McKinnon and raise money for the American Heart Association, the MPHS track team began the McKinnon Meet in 2006. Only athletes who are in sixth to eighth grade are allowed to compete.
The Rich McKinnon Track Championship is a way to honor his memory by hosting an event based on Rich's principles - competition, sportsmanship, teamwork, and striving for excellence.
Part of the proceeds from this event will be donated in Rich's name to the American Heart Association.
Running and racing in the heat
Why do people go running in the middle of the day when it is 90 degrees with 85 percent humidity? I have no idea, but one word comes to mind - dangerous. July and August are the two months where I worry the most while directing races, and extra water, ice, and emergency personnel are close by during these times.
When I drive down Rehoboth Avenue at 1 p.m., I frequently see runners wearing long-sleeved T-shirts, wearing dark clothing that absorbs the sun's heat, and looking as red as a tomato in the face. I personally was never a decent heat runner and would try my best to avoid the hot weather or high humidity if I could. Early morning or late night was always my favorite time to train.
This week, summer moved in as we had a bit of a heat wave with temperatures reaching 90 degrees. Here are some hot- weather tips for runners:
• If temperatures are expected to be high, try to plan your workout for early in the morning when heat is less intense.
• Drink a lot of fluid. Take in at least 6 to 12 oz. of fluid every 15 minutes. If your workout or race is going to last longer than 1 hour, drink a sports drink containing sodium, instead of water.
• Wear sunscreen. Make sure you use a brand that is sweat proof.
• Wear a hat. A hat with a brim will keep much of the sun off your head and face.
• Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect some of the heat. There are a number of high-tech fabrics available that will wick the moisture away from your body and aid in cooling.
• Warm up, rest and cool down in the shade. Direct sunlight can cause a rise in body temperature.
• If you are planning a race in hot weather, try to get in at least two weeks of training in similar weather. This will help acclimate your body to the higher temperatures.
• Check your urine color. If your urine becomes dark, you are dehydrated.
What running means to me
Most runners will say that their sport means the world to them when asked "What does running mean to you?" There are runners in our area who have streaks, meaning they have run every day for a number of years or decades, which shows dedication, commitment, or maybe it's all they know how to do.
Guys like John Wolff and Chico Barranco are two who I know have streaks to their name, and very impressive ones dating back into the '80s, I do believe. For myself, running has provided me with road race wins, conference and state individual and team championships, national championships as a coach, and currently a track & field team that is one of the most talented teams I have ever coached.
Even thought I do not run myself much anymore, I still enjoy what running has done and continues to do for me.
Last week I featured two fifth-grade students who wrote a piece about what Jump Rope for Heart means to them. This week, I thought it would be interesting to ask one of my fifth-grade girls what running means to her. The perspective of asking an adult and asking a child is different views, but with the same ideas.
What Running Means to Me By Ashlyn Andrew
I've loved running since I could walk. I've always ran a lot as a kid. When I started kindergarten and heard about the 4-by-100 relay, I thought it was the perfect race for me. I tried out and made the anchor position. Over the years I have always participated in the relays. I love the experience and the people I race is fun. I love this relay because it is fast and you never know what is going to happen. If you start last, you can still win the race depending on your whole team. I love Coach B and thank him so much for his inspiring support of me.
Scamper for Paws & Claws
The fifth stop on the Seashore Strider Trail Series will be the 16th Scamper for Paws & Claws 5K Run & Walk to be held this Saturday, May 20, beginning at 9 a.m. from Killens Pond State Park in Felton. The event is presented by the First State Animal Center - SPCA. In 2013, the Kent County SPCA was officially renamed the First State Animal Center and SPCA, in recognition of its statewide animal welfare focus and to help the public easily identify the full suite of services the organization provides Delaware's pets and the people who care for them. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.
Wild Goose Chase
The sixth event on the Seashore Strider Trail Series will be held Sunday, May 21, beginning at 9:30 a.m. from Trap Pond State Park in Laurel. It's a beautiful 3.1-mile run and 1-mile walk to benefit the Kat Children Trust Fund. Run and walk through the scenic woods and ponds of the park and let nature take over. A great event and an even better cause. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Both events are a part of the Seashore Strider Trail Series which includes a total of 10 events.
Saturday, May 20 - 2nd Rehoboth Run-for-the-Books 5K, Rehoboth Beach, races2run.com
Saturday, May 20 - 2nd Schell Brothers Run Happy 5K, Coastal Club, Lewes, races2run.com
Sunday, May 21 - 8th DE-feet Breast Cancer 5K, Rehoboth Beach, races2run.com