Running into the holiday spirit

December 10, 2013

Saturday may have dawned dark and on the stormy side, but the chill couldn’t stop more than 2,300 runners from their appointed rounds: 13.1 miles for nearly 1,400 athletes and 26.2 for nearly a thousand more, all crowding the Bandstand at the Boardwalk at dawn for the sixth annual Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon and Half.

It’s a scenic race that twice takes par­ticipants into Cape Henlopen State Park, in between winding through Henlopen Acres and Hawkseye, neighborhoods that anchor the Junction and Breakwater Trail.

Since the race’s start with 433 runners in 2008, the sixth annual event drew athletes from 42 states. Attracted by a flat, fast course, many runners were charmed to discover its scenic beauty. Visitors had nothing but praise for Rehoboth and the race, from the warm reception the night before to the warm tent at the finish line.

An essential ingredient of every long-dis­tance race is spectators lining the route, and local supporters turned out despite the chill, cheering and lifting spirits – especially for the many local runners among the 500 Delaware participants.

Congratulations for a top-notch event that gets better every year go to Race Organizer Mary Beth Evans of Rehoboth Beach Running Company and Race Director Tim Bamforth of Seashore Striders, supported by an enthusias­tic and well-organized team of volunteers who ensured runners got to the start, stayed on the course and made it safely to the finish.

But the day did not end with the marathon. The Lewes Christmas Parade stepped off just hours after the marathon ended, and thou­sands more braved the cold to line the streets as Santa officially arrived in Lewes, sur­rounded by floats, bands, singing and plenty of holiday cheer, all followed by tree-lighting and caroling. Sponsored jointly by the Cham­ber of Commerce and the City of Lewes, it’s a night that gets people out of their homes onto the streets and into good cheer.

Lewes’ celebration followed sparkling parades in Rehoboth Beach and Milton during the week. By the time Saturday ended, even the grinchiest among us could feel the warm, healthy glow rising above the Cape Region making spirits bright.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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