Strider Enos Benbow - more than just a talented runner

October 18, 2013
Enos Benbow great runner and better person BY DAVE FREDERICK

Runners are generally super nice people, but most runners have little trouble talking about their accomplishments. If you have stood at the finish of a Seashore Striders event over the past five years, you know that 31-year-old Enos Benbow, a graduate of Sussex Central and Salisbury University, wins about 80 percent of the races. But it is not just the wins that make Benbow remarkable.  It is what he does for others in the world of running that distinguishes this soft-spoken, caring and giving person.

During this cross country season, Benbow, winner of last year’s Rehoboth Marathon, works out in the afternoon on Mondays with the Sussex Tech Ravens, while Tuesday and Thursday he helps coach the Seashore Strider Youth Team at Cape Henlopen State Park. Wednesday afternoons, he volunteers at the Sussex Tech home meets calling out the one-mile splits or driving to the team's away meets to cheer them on. On most Friday afternoons, if he is not encouraging a young runner, he is traveling to a road race on the East Coast - he gets to a few each weekend. Last weekend, Benbow, who also works five days a week, traveled to New Jersey where he was fifth in an 18-miler, averaging six minutes a mile. The previous weekend, he won a metric marathon just outside Annapolis, Md., and then traveled with the Striders to coach the young runners at the Howard County Invite that afternoon. If you did not already know how good a runner he was, you would never learn it from him, because you rarely hear him talk about his accomplishments. It is not uncommon for Benbow to show up three hours before a Seashore Striders event and help set up the course, work registration, input the data in the computer, lace up his racing shoes a few minutes before the start, use the first mile to loosen up his legs, win the race with ease, and then spend an hour at the end of the event cleaning up. There are very few individuals like Enos Benbow, and the young runners in this area, as well as the Seashore Striders family, are lucky to have him.

High school XC wrap

The high school cross country action is heating up and nearing the last stretch of the season. Times are coming down, goals are being met, and matchups are tight. On Oct. 15 in girls' action, the Smyrna Eagles grabbed the top four positions in the Cape and Dover tri-meet held at Shuttie Park in Dover. Smyrna is led by its top three seniors in Tori Vickers, last year’s track 3,200-meter champ; Kelsey Cabrera, a transfer out of Milford High School; and Erin Cooper, the talented number three. Vickers took the win in 20:22 with Cabrera second in 21:21 while Cooper rounded out the threesome in 21:31. Cape’s junior Madison MacElrevey was sixth in 22:17, followed closely by Keren Rams in 22:24. Rachel Best was ninth in 22:29, while Sarah Dziek, 11th in 23:41, and Alyssa Mocci, 15th in 24:27, rounded out the Vikings' top five. Cape beat Dover 22-38, while Smyrna easily got by Cape 16-41.

In Georgetown at the Sussex Tech vs. Polytech/Lake Forest matchup, it was Natasha Taylor and Briana Hall leading the way for the Ravens with times of 22:23 and 22:27 on the 5,000-meter course. Marissa O’Boyle ran her best race of the year for fifth in 23:17, while Megan Davidson in 23:35 and Chloe Fisher in 23:36 rounded out the Ravens' top five. Jess Kenton, daughter of Lake coach Chris Kenton, was fourth in 23:13, while Macey Simpson led Polytech in third place with a time of 22:35. Sussex Tech ran over Polytech 20-41 and easily got by Lake Forest by the same score of 20-41.

In boys' action in Dover it was the twosome of Gabe Mojica, 17:07, and young David Hall, 17:11, who went 1-2 on Cape’s Austin MacElrevey, 17:15, while Adam Bailey grabbed fourth in 17:50 to give the Eagles three of the top four in the race.

Mojica and Hall, who also went 1-2 at the Tech meet, finished on each side of a tough Sam Phillips of CR on Oct. 14, but they will battle at the conference meet for the top two individual positions. Cape’s Ryan Thornburg was fifth in 18:05 while Solomon Cox was sixth in 18:13. Sidney Miller was eighth in 18:25 while Ben Velasquez was 10th in 18:45 to round out the top five for the Vikings. Cape easily topped Dover 17-40, while Smyrna sneaked by the Vikings, who had seven in before the Eagles' five, by a close score of 27-30.

In Georgetown, it was the Sussex Tech pack that got the job done as the Ravens took the top six positions, all within 24 seconds of each other, led by Victor Rueda in 17:26. Sonny Landis ran well for second in 17:30, while Sam Hete was third in 17:31. The Bamforth duo, Jake in 17:37 and freshman Ben in 17:42, grabbed fourth and fifth overall. First-year runner Ian Carlisle was sixth in 17:50. Raven Robbie Westhoff, 18:25, and freshman Jack Hete, 18:44, also finished in the top 10. Bryan Perry led Polytech in seventh place with a 17:57. Sussex Tech easily defeated Lake Forest by a score of 15-50 and Polytech by a 15-49 score.

The Vikings of Cape and the Bucs of Milford will travel to Sussex Tech Wednesday, Oct. 23, for the final dual meet of the season while invitational action continues Friday, Oct. 18, as most of the state will compete in the Joe O’Neil Invite to be held at Bellevue State Park in Wilmington.

Upcoming races

9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, Stephanie L. Callaway Memorial Gigglemedic 5K, Irish Eyes, Lewes,

9 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 27, 24th Sea Witch Fall Classic 5K Run/Walk, Grove Park, Rehoboth Beach,

1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3, 11th Bethel Mariner 7M/5K Trail Run, Camp Barnes, Bethany,

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