Record 265 turn out for Masser 5 Mile Run

June 1, 2012

This Sunday marked the beginning of the 22nd annual Seashore Striders Summer Racing Series with the Masser 5 Miler in its 19th year. The Masser 5 Miler is named after 76-year-old racer Dr. Lee Masser, who competes all over the country and completes more than 100 events annually. Lee Masser, known in the running community as “Doc,” encourages runners to complete one five-miler and five 5K events throughout the summer to qualify for the summer racing series, where awards will be presented to all qualifiers following the Last Blast 5K on Labor Day weekend. This year’s event attracted a record 265 finishers to a looped course on the Cape Henlopen trail along Gills Neck Road returning to the high school through the historic Town of Lewes.

Is there a doctor in the house? Let me start by saying that I can reflect now, but at the time it was scarier than a horror movie. Last Sunday morning, 265 runners showed up to the Masser 5 Miler. Doc is loved up and down the coast in the circle of runners, and it’s hard to talk about a Seashore Striders event without bringing up the name Doc Masser. Lee and I started the Seashore Striders Series in 1990, and 22 years later, the series is a popular stop for runners up and down the East Coast. The race was hot and humid, along with being stressful with a few result glitches killing our awards ceremony. It was about two hours after the start and most had left with my race team packing up as I stood next to Doc and wife Mary chatting about the issues we had and the plan for the results - when faster than you can say “timber” - Doc stopped talking, eyes staring in space, and he fell back against the brick wall and was going down for the count. I dropped five clipboards and caught Doc before he hit the ground, and my race team went from pack-up crew to emergency crew as I kept him in my arms with ice and water being applied. Thirty seconds later, which felt like three minutes, Doc was asking why he was on the ground and why are you and I in this position after 22 years of spending every weekend together. I explained to my boy that he fainted due to being dehydrated and not eating his Tony the Tiger cereal that morning, and racing five miles in the heat didn’t help much either. Doc was brought home and was fine the rest of the day and hopes to better prepare for the next race he takes part in, as I am done catching grown men in orange short shorts.

Special thanks to my team who came to my rescue team as old legs were wobbling downhill - Dave Ritter, Emily Ritter, Rich Tikiob and Laura Zwiebel.

Running safely in hot weather, avoiding trouble
If high temperatures are expected, try to plan your workout for early in the morning when temperatures are at their lowest. Drink a lot of fluids. Take in at least 6 to 12 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes. Wear a hat. A hat with a brim will keep much of the sun off of your head and face. Wear sunscreen. Make sure you use a brand that is sweatproof. 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.


Dehydration is the most common heat-related illness. Many individuals are in a constant state of dehydration because they simply do not drink enough water during the day. Drinking coffee, soft drinks, tea and alcohol can also contribute to dehydration. Dehydration is not limited to hot weather. You can become dehydrated at anytime of the year, but it is most common during warm weather.

The warning signs of dehydration include: dark yellow urine, decreased urination, loss of appetite and muscle cramps. More severe dehydration can result in nausea, dizziness or feeling lightheaded, fatigue, irritability and lack of concentration.

The average person needs 8 to 12 eight-ounce cups of water per day. An athlete needs more. An active runner should be drinking at least 80 to 100 ounces of water per day. Runners need to drink fluids all day, not just during their workout or race. Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration level.

Upcoming races
Saturday, June 2 at 7:30 a.m., 2nd Lewes 5K Run, Lewes Beach, Lewes

Sunday, June 3 at 7:30 a.m., 2nd Dos Locos 5K Run, Wilmington Avenue, Rehoboth Beach

Saturday, June 9 at 8 a.m., 9th DFRC Blue/Gold All-Star 5K Run & 1M walk, Irish Eyes, Lewes.

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