Summer mileage builds a cross country foundation

July 27, 2012

Aug. 15 is just around the corner,  the start of another season of cross country as smart kids throughout the country are using this summer to log the mileage and get their bodies ready for the competition.

I call it building a foundation to the perfect house that will be completed at the state championships in early November.  If you build a strong foundation with group runs throughout the summer, the walls of your house will be strong; however, if you try to build your house with a weak foundation, then your walls will collapse later in the season when you try to put the roof on. My rule of thumb for high school kids is 30 miles and two running days off a week, one for cross-training and one for rest.

The season should be fun and competitive with Milford and Caesar Rodney always at the top of the conference, a much-improved Cape team strengthened by tough kids coming out after a successful track season, and a Sussex Tech team that has seven guys all with a PR at 17:30 or better. The Lake Forest Invite will be the opening big meet in early September and will  give a preview of who has the strongest foundation to start the season.

Dogfish dabble

On July 25, I made a trip to Milton and met with Dogfish Dash organizer Mark Carter, one of the smartest and most down-to-earth guys I know, to continue working out the dash details. The Dogfish Dash is scheduled the final Sunday of September, away from Bike to the Bay weekend this year, but the same as NASCAR Race Weekend in Dover.  This simply means that hotels are likely already filled, and if you are registered and looking for lodging, you should try Cape Henlopen State Park with a tent. The Dogfish Dash sold out in 10 hours and has about 1,800 participants registered at this time. The Milton Police Department, Milton Fire Police, Delaware State Police and nearly 100 dedicated volunteers do a first-class job for the participants. If you did not get into the event, you can volunteer for the event or you can qualify for the Seashore Striders Summer Series for a last-second spot. Dogfish Dashers can begin to look for email updates toward the end of August regarding registration pickup, parking and the course.

Race for the Ribbon

A crowd of 339 runners and walkers turned out July 21 at the Greene Turtle to show community support for a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society in memory of Nancy L. Hendershot. Part of the proceeds will also benefit the Madison Handley family. Organizer Stephanie Shuttleworth and her team of volunteers have raised more than $40,000 over the past four years, and this year's total was again over the $10,000 mark for the team.

Enos Benbow of Georgetown captured the male title in 16:59, while Brock Waughen of Pennsylvania was second in 17:26, followed closely by Sussex Tech runner Bobby Townley of Laurel, who ran a PR of 17:29, which is a minute faster than he ran the 5K last season while running on the JV team.

Cape graduate Ali Coning of Lewes won her second race in a row as she won by nine seconds with a time of 20:26 for 18th overall. Lisa Eaton of Georgetown was second in 20:35, while Kristin Anspach of Pennsylvania was third in 21:20.

“I want to thank all the participants, sponsors, and volunteers for all their support in making this event successful,” said Shuttleworth “We had nearly 200 more participants this year.”

Upcoming races

8 a.m., Saturday, July 28, 11th Northbeach 5K College Day (wear your colors) and PSU Day, Dewey Beach.

7:30 a.m., Sunday, July 29, 15th Run for JJ 5K,  Stuart Kingston, Rehoboth.

7:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 4,  29th Dam Mill 5K Run, Cupola Park, Millsboro.

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