Dam Mill 5K celebrates 30 years Aug. 3 in Millsboro

Start of the 2007 Dam Mill race now entering its 30th year in 2013. BY DAVE FREDERICK
August 2, 2013

For the 20th annual Dam Mill 5K back in 2003, I felt that I needed to come up with an idea to honor the great people that were and continue to be such a driving force in the race, which has become a tradition in early August.  So I created a Hall of Fame for the event, and there are currently 17 members, and I'm not one of them. In many cases, with groups I have been associated with and awards dinners I have attended, I find that the creator of the Hall of Fame is usually inducted in the first or second year. I always ask the question: Did they create the honor to pat themselves on the back, or are they honoring the event and the great people who made the event what it is today? Several people come to me every year and ask why I don’t put myself in as the director of the event for more than 20 years, and it’s simple…when I created the honor I told myself that maybe someday I would go in, but I am inducting 20 members who have been more important to the event than I have been into the ring first.

Here is the history of the Hall of Fame for the Dam Mill 5K:

In 2003, the Seashore Striders celebrated the 20-year anniversary with induction of the original three founders: Gary Brittingham, Graham Living and Donna Rogers.

At the 2004 event, longtime runners Marion Lisehora and Tom Sombar won the honor for their yearly dedication to the event.

The highlight of the morning was the induction of the 2005 third class. That year, the event’s first winner back in 1984, Eric Beam of Ocean View, was inducted along with longtime race director in the 1980s Dr. Paul Collins.

The Hall of Fame presentation was held just before the award ceremony as hall of famer Marion Lisehora presented former chamber President Joan Boyce with the 2006 honor; safety coordinator John Hall was inducted for his efforts in making the event one of the safest in the state.

The highlight of the day, outside of the best running weather of the whole summer, was the 2007 induction of Roger Marino into the Dam Mill Hall of Fame. Marino and his crew from Mountaire work countless hours on the event and team up with the police and fire police of Millsboro to make sure the event goes off perfectly.

Race director Bruce Springer was inducted in 2008. Springer directed the event in the late '80s and into the '90s and was the owner in the same time period of Timeout Sports, a longtime running shop in Rehoboth Beach.

The 2009 selection went to the level-headed brains of the 19-year operation and the Hall of Fame added its own personal physician of racing Dr. Lee Masser to the group.

Behind-the-scenes individuals who work hard to make the event as safe as possible, the Millsboro Police Department became the 2010 selection to the Dam Mill 5K Hall of Fame.

In 2011, the first and one of the best age-group runners, a guy who dominated three different age groups for nearly 15 years, Herb Hall joined the Hall of Fame. Joining Hall was Terry Ayers, who handled many post-race celebrations withe great refreshments and door prizes.

In 2012, longtime runners Peter Tracey, 52, of Washington, D.C.,  and David Landis, 52, of Selbyville, who had competed for 20 years, entered the Hall of Fame.

Now, 30 years after the first event, John Hall continues to work on safety with the support of the Millsboro Fire Police and the Millsboro Police Department. Peter Tracey and David Landis are on their fifth age group and still competing and near the top week after week all summer long. Tom Sombar continues to show his support of the event and toes the line each year. Dr. Lee Masser continues to handle the cuts and bruises of the series and at 77 continues to compete in every race with his trademark no shirt and orange shorts.

To register for this memorial event, go to or show up on race day beginning at 6:30 a.m. Enjoy a fast and flat course, a sleeveless tech T-shirt, quality awards, a live solo acoustic musician, Rita’s Italian Ice, fruit from Giant, bagels from Surf Bagel and finisher medals to the top 200. Don’t miss the 30th!

Upcoming races

7:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, 30th Dam Mill 5K, Cupola Park, Millsboro.

8 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 4, Fifth Outlet Liquors 5K benefiting the Dewey Beach Patrol, Dewey Beach.

8 a.m., Saturday, Aug, 10, 11th Highway One Group 10K & 5K, Dewey Beach.

8:30 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 11, Fourth Free to Breathe Lung Cancer 5K Run, Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes.

8 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 11, Second Best Buddies Run 5K, Dewey Beach.