Cape runners dress for winter weather

January 17, 2014

We have had a couple looks at some snow this winter, but according to the experts, more cold and snow are on the way. Not great news for the runners in the area who are trying to log the extra winter miles before they taper for the racing season. Mother Nature can make it tough on runners and even tougher on runners who have a streak of training every day. I never really kept track of streaks. I ran hard when I needed to and took off when my body told me to. My friend Chico Barranco years ago kept a streak going during a stretch when ice covered the roads by running 300 laps around his basement water heater. Other longtime running friends of mine like Bob Porter, Doug White, Craig Dayton, Reuben Beauchamp, Breck Vanderwende, Alan Quillen, Larry Windsor, Jack Powell, and Dr. Lee Masser have all had crazy stretches of training during which Mother Nature could not stop them for months and even years when they were in the “running zone." John Wolff of Virginia, who frequently racers with the Striders, I do believe still has a streak of running every day dating back to I don’t know when.

Dressing for cold

Many runners have their own pros and cons regarding dressing for an outside winter run, and here is my take on the whole layering mind-set: There are three important layers when it comes to cold-weather running: a base layer of snug, wicking material, such as polypropylene, polyester, thermal, or wool (I am sure almost all runners own a dry-fit piece of clothing); a mid-layer of looser material that carries moisture from the base layer, such as down, polyester, or fleece; and an outer layer to block wind and allow moisture to escape, such as Gore-Tex or nylon material for warmer days. Gore-Tex suits are high-dollar items, but well worth it on a cold winter morning.

A good rule of thumb I always use is to underdress rather than overdress when heading out the door. Your body will warm up in the first mile, and many times you find yourself peeling clothes off toward the end of the run.

Maull hosts Mud Run 5K

Clemson track & field graduate Kai Maull hosted his annual Run with the Hawks 5K Jan. 12 in Middletown with about 50 runners braving the cold morning and the surprise course. The area had received so much rain and snow over the past few weeks, and the course had become so soft that we had trouble getting through it to set it up at 7 a.m. The Striders golf cart had to be pushed out of the mud twice during setup and once during cleanup, and runners were sliding through the course and having a tough time getting started at the start and getting stopped at the finish. Times were about two minutes slower than the norm, and several runners crossed the line commenting things to us like, “Now that’s a real cross country course,” or “Now I have an excuse for a new pair of running shoes.” I am sure the 5K mud run was not what runners expected when they left home Sunday morning, and it was not what I expected when I arrived either. As we rolled out of St. Georges and headed for Wawa at about noon with a van, trailer, golf cart, and equipment all covered in mud, I looked at my worker, Enos Benbow, and said, “That boy is glad I like him."

Spirit of the Marathon II

From the filmmakers who brought you the award-winning documentary "Spirit of the Marathon" comes "Spirit of the Marathon II" featuring an all-new cast of athletes as they run the iconic streets of Rome. This movie is presented by Ken Dickens and will be shown at 8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10, at the Carmike 14 Theater in Dover. Cost is $11. Five percent of the take will be donated to the Grove Park Scholarship Fund.

5K Run to the Plunge

The Saturday, Feb. 1 5K Run (or Walk) to the Plunge is the perfect way for people of all ages and abilities to support the Polar Bear Weekend. Jack Lingo Realtor will sponsor the run. Registration fee of $20 by Wednesday, Jan. 22, ($25 after) includes a long-sleeved T-shirt and hearty post-event snack. Packet pickup/registration is 5 to 8 p.m., Friday night, Jan. 31, at the Atlantic Sands Hotel and 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Bandstand in Rehoboth Beach.

New in 2014: Race course starts on Rehoboth Avenue and ends on the Boardwalk, and chip to chip timing is being used except for overall awards, which are gun start to chip.

Whether you are running to win or just interested in taking a leisurely - albeit brisk - walk, the scenic route along the Boardwalk and coastline is one you won't want to miss no matter how cold it is.

Upcoming races

10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, 9th Valentine's Day 5K & 1M Walk, Fishing Pier, Cape Henlopen State Park,