A Seashore Striders two-race weekend totaling over 600 runners highlighted a sunny summer solstice beginning with the 10th Jungle Jim’s 5K June 21 followed by the 19th running of the Bill Degnan 5K June 22.
Road races always have as many stories as runners. Near the back of the Jungle Jim's race, Mildred Wiedman crossed the finish line in 55 minutes surrounded by family members who came from as far away as San Francisco to celebrate her 85th ceremonial birthday run.
“I live at Cadbury, before that Seaford, but I’m actually from New York," Wiedman said. “I’m really only 84 and a half, but six months from now, none of these people will be able to make it.”
The next day at the Degnan race, Julia Lambert, 15, from Virginia Beach, ran a 19:26 and outkicked Cindy Conant, 53, to the finish line. Conant had won the Jungle Jim’s race in 19:41.
Lambert just finished her freshman year at Norfolk Academy and last spring ran a 5:17 for 1,600 meters.
Lambert wanted to clarify her age, saying, “I’m actually 15 and a half.” I told her just the day before a woman had given me her age as 84 and a half so the half seems to maintain its importance throughout the life of a runner.
The Jungle Jim’s race was won by 23-year-old Jeff Young from Wayne, Pa., in 16:43, followed by a peloton of fleet-footed runners as the top eight broke 18 minutes.
The Degnan race was won by Enos Benbow in 16:55, followed by Sonny Landis in 17:22.