Rehoboth Seashore Marathon/Half Marathon has 1,991 finishers

December 13, 2013

The Rehoboth Seashore Marathon and Half Marathon took to the streets of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes the morning of Dec. 7, connecting the two beach towns by way of the beautiful Junction and Breakwater Trail of Cape Henlopen State Park. The Seashore Marathon attracted the largest field for a marathon/half-marathon combo in the state, with 807 completing the marathon and 1,184 completing the half for a total of 1,991. A record 2,314 entered the event; however, many did not show and many dropped out. Another large event in the state happens every May as the Delaware Marathon had 602 complete the full and 1,013 complete the half for 1,615 total finishers in 2013.

Having nearly 4,000 runners traveling to our little state to compete in these two special events, one upstate and one downstate, has put Delaware on the marathon map.

Mother Nature made it tough on the Seashore Striders crew who worked in the rain throughout the night Dec. 6 marking and remarking the course to make it as safe and easy to follow as possible. "The original plan was to put arrows throughout the marathon course, but the rain put a hold on that idea,” said course volunteer Matt Dunn. “We added more cones, barriers, directional signs, and police tape throughout the course to make up for the wet roads.”

A light rain lasted for the first few miles, and then it became just another cloudy day on Delmarva for the remainder of the race as the enthusiastic field headed to Lewes and the beautiful Hawkseye development.

Eighteen water stops greeted the runners throughout the course, all manned for many hours by volunteers of all ages from around Sussex County. “The first two stops were just overwhelming, and we were working hard to get everyone that important water early in the race,” said coordinator Cheryl Baldwin at Deauville Beach. “The runners just kept coming down the hill toward us.”

So many inspiring stories came out of the race as well as positive comments following the crossing of the finish line. It is a lot of work and effort by a lot of people from all over the county, but it's worth every inch of the 26.2-mile journey to call Rehoboth Beach the Seashore Marathon’s home.

Snowball 5K Run

This Sunday morning, Dec. 15, at Cape Henlopen State Park, the eighth annual Snowball 5K Run to benefit the Sussex County Needy Family Fund will kick off at 10 a.m. from the fishing pier. Awards will be presented to the male and female champions as well as the top three finishers in each of the nine age groups from 9 & U to 70 & O. Race-day registration will begin at 9 a.m. at the fishing pier pavilion for $25 per runner. The race premium will be a combination of tech T-shirts from previous Seashore Striders events as well as custom knit hats. Dress warmly and support a good cause. See you at the starting line.

Toys for Tots

This past Wednesday evening, I drove my Seashore Striders trailer to Walmart and told the manager I had $2,767 to spend on bikes and I wanted as many as I could get. For the past three years, the Striders have used the proceeds of the Sea Witch and Pumpkin Pie 5K runs and have partnered with Apple Electric and my buddy Steve Prestipino, and for every bike that goes to the Toys for Tots program, they match it.  Within an hour and a swipe of the card, I had seven Walmart employees loading 32 bikes into the trailer along with 20 helmets as some gathered outside to watch. Steve, my wife Monique, my son Jake, longtime Strider "Half" Stockley and I unloaded the goods at Apple Electric while holiday music played in the background and cars stopped along the road to listen and watch the popular 50,000-light show. It was a great feeling to know that 32 kids in Sussex County will have smiles on their faces on Christmas morning when they see their new bikes.

Upcoming races

10 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, Eighth Snowball 5K Run, Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes.

Noon, Saturday, Dec. 28, First Surfin’ Snowman 5 Miler & Santa’s Helper 2 Mile Family Challenge Run/Walk, Bethany Beach.

Noon, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 11th Race into the New Year 5K & Kids' 12 & Under Dash, Rehoboth Beach Running Company, Rehoboth Beach.

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