Certified Running Nuts head south to New Orleans

February 7, 2014

A group of runners with Delaware beach ties and representing the popular Certified Running Nuts group took off south last weekend to take part in the New Orleans Half-Marathon & Marathon, which benefited a great popular charity, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A field of 2,749 finished the full marathon, while 9,675 crossed the half-marathon finish line, completing the out & back course.

Here is a look at the locals and their times: half-harathon: Mardiny Ung,1:46:53; Ed Hartwell, 1:55:07; Joey Kwit, 1:58:42; Linda Stanley, 2:15:08;  Greg Martini, 2:04:47; Susan Landis, 2:16:26; Jack Vassalotti, 2:18:02; Jay Epstein, 2:20:15; Betty Ridenour, 2:30:20; Sandra Waldee-Warden, 2:41:38; Lori Waldee-Warden, 2:41:39; Rosanna Castillo, 2:44:05; marathon: Chris Stanley, 3:37:57.

School is a challenge

This is the time of the year that training is high, energy is in the gym, groups are gathering for workouts and everyone has just about the same goals in mind: to lose weight, to get healthier, to reach a goal or keep a new year's resolution. At Shields Elementary in Lewes, a group of staff members has decided to start the Nike + Running Challenge spearheaded by fifth-grade teacher Kristin Gray. Gray thought it would be a good staff morale project, and a fun and worthwhile activity.

As of Feb. 5, Malorie Tartal leads the way with 30.1 miles, which is no surprise as she has more energy than a six-pack of 5 Hour Energy drink. A close second is Captain Gray with 25.3 miles, and she is hoping that the yellow brick road can lead her to the championship. Social worker Heidi Quillen is currently in third place at a distant 11.9 miles, but is my dark horse to take the title as she has her own personal trainer. Quillen, who trained years ago along the Coolspring railroad tracks, is important for the team, as she will make sure the project does not become too competitive and will reward participants will neon dolphin dollars for good sportsmanship. Art teacher Denise Costello is currently in fourth with 11.2 miles, while music teacher Juanita Clendaniel wraps up the top five at 11.1 miles and was hoping for a waiver to allow headstands to count toward the competition.

There are a total of 21 staff members doing the program, which has a goal of 40 miles during the month of February. According to Costello, participants can run, walk, or use the elliptical. You can also chat back and forth and see what your friends are running. “It really helps to motivate you,” said Costello. “I really do not like to run too much, but this has really made me want to get out and compete.” Costello also informs me that several members are planning on rewarding themselves by taking part in the Kim Miller for Delaware Breast Cancer Run hosted by 16-Mile Brewery the first weekend in April in Georgetown.

Valentine's Day 5K

Why not celebrate Valentine's Day and spend some time with your loved one at Cape Henlopen State Park on the morning of Feb.15? The 9th annual Valentines 5K Run & Walk will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb.15, from the fishing pier. Runners looking to register for the event can visit or show up on race day an hour before the scheduled start. The course takes runners to Fort Miles and back on the multipurpose path.

As a side note, I thank my race team in advance for hosting this event without me as Monique and I will be visiting our friends Tim and Faith in Las Vegas for the holiday weekend...over & out!