Shamrock Shuffle 5K and 15K to run March 18

Jack Vassalotti was overall winner of last year's Shamrock Shuffle costume contest, if there had been a contest. BY DAVE FREDERICK
March 16, 2012

Over the past 21 years, I have directed more than 1,200 road race events, and last Saturday night I teamed up with my Striders cross country assistant coach Dan MacElrevey for the first of a four-event series called the Shadow Run 10K and 5K.  The only  problem was that there was no shadow, no full moon and no light at all, just plenty of darkness to make our event interesting and unique.

A great first-event crowd of 169 runners made it to the finish line, while 184 actually entered to take part in the race.   Runners were encouraged to bring headlamps, but very few did that; instead many wore the neat finger lights and blinking lights we handed out at registration. A team of gals from Sussex Tech High School even went as far as homemade black T-shirts with glow-in-the-dark ink for their team.

Both events took off from the Biden Center just after 6 p.m. and by 6:30 p.m. it was dark enough for many to miss the white flour marking a few key turns on the road as well as the volunteers standing at the intersections.   By 7 p.m. I could not see the finishers coming to the chute, but I could hear their breathing so I know they got a good workout.

Georgetown’s Enos Benbow, a soft-spoken elite runner, won the 10K event in 38:53 with Sussex Tech’s Dylan Varrato, 17, of Georgetown second in 39:57 and teammate Ricky Hernandez, 17, of Millsboro third in 41:08. Erik Farinas, 40, won the male masters division in 44:57.

On the female side of the nonexistent moon, it was Lillian McCormick, 23, of Lewes winning the overall title in 44:56 for fifth place, while Laurel’s Susan Dunn, 34, was second in 46:06. Cherylyn Minto, 34, of Dover was third in 46:22. Mardiny Ung, 45, of Elizabethtown, Pa., ran 50:24 to win the female masters division.

The top time in the 5K event went to Victor Rueda, 16, of Sussex Tech in 18:45, followed by Sonny Landis, 16, of Selbyville in 20:36.  Thirteen-year-old Seth DePrince of Rehoboth and the Seashore Striders was third in 21:10. John Sparco, 49, of Wilmington won the male masters in 24:14. Morgan Joseph, 14, of Sussex Tech/Laurel ran 22:15 to win her first overall Seashore Striders race title, while 12-year-old Logan Shuttleworth of the Seashore Striders ran 22:17 for second place. Natasha Taylor, 15, of Sussex Tech/Laurel ran 22:30 for third place. Robin Dunn of Farmington, Conn.,  ran 25:46 to win the female masters title.

Most of the participants enjoyed a post-race bonfire and shared stories about the unique event and the course they just took part in.

Proceeds from these runs will benefit Venture Crew 2540, part of the Boy Scouts of America.

Shamrock Shuffle 15K/ 5K
Sunday morning, March 18, will see the seventh annual 15K and 5K Shamrock Shuffle race kick off on the beautiful Junction and Breakwater Trail of Cape Henlopen State Park.  Both races will start behind the Tanger Outlets at the TCBY location and head toward the Hawkseye development with the 15K turning around close to Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes and the 5K turnaround closer to the south side of the trail. Registration will start at 8 a.m. There are 120 runners registered, which shatters the event record as an anticipated 200 participants will take part.

The Seashore Striders welcome any volunteer who would like to help out on the course or with the water stops along the way. Please contact Tim at

Upcoming Races
• 9 a.m., Saturday, March 31 - 1st Community Rocks! 5K Run and Walk, Big Fish Grill, Rehoboth Beach.
• 10 a.m., Sunday, April 1 - 18th April Fools Day Prediction Challenge, Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes.
• 8 a.m., Saturday, April 7 - 1st Bunny Palooza 5K and 10K Run, Bethany Beach.
• 8 a.m., Sunday, April 15 - 3rd Seashore Classic Half Marathon, Relay and 5K, Irish Eyes, Lewes.