2016 was a sad year for the Cape Region running community

December 30, 2016

The year 2016 was a tough one for the running and racing Cape community, and it’s no secret to tell anyone that. I will start with my friend and YMCA and Lewes Little League coaching partner Tommy “TC” Coveleski, who we lost to cancer this past fall. Tommy touched the lives of so many young athletes in our area, and he taught such great characteristics like sportsmanship, dedication and hard work, just to name a few. TC always did the right thing for kids, and sometimes he and I would disagree with a lineup or a starting five, but he always had a reason, and it was always for the best with a lesson to be learned. TC always told our athletes and me, “We are better than we used to be.” TC is missed, but his legacy lives on in so many people, including athletes and coaches who knew him. We are all better humans having known T.C. Coveleski.

Just this month, the running community lost a Delaware legend in Doug White, a Rehoboth Beach resident from Hockessin. All of us are still trying to wrap our arms around this loss, as it was a complete shock to everyone. Doug had won numerous age-group titles over his running career, and in the last decade he pretty much dominated his age group in Seashore Striders and Races2Run events. Doug won the very first Lewes Marathon and went on to put together a streak of 43 straight Boston Marathons and 44 straight Caesar Rodney Half-Marathons. No other runner will likely match those two impressive accomplishments. It will feel strange not to be calling Doug up for his age-group award, not boarding the bus with Doug to head to Boston, not calling him frequently to certify a course or lining up next to Doug on a local starting line. Doug would not want any of his friends or family to hang their heads and mourn his loss. He would want us to live life to the fullest and just do one thing for him - run!

The annual running of the Race into the New Year 5K will step off at noon, Saturday, Dec. 31, at the Bandstand in Rehoboth Beach. We will honor Doug’s passing with Boston-colored blue-and-yellow tech T-shirts and medals in the Beantown colors. For early June 2017, Dr. Lee Masser and I have decided to rename an event in our Seashore Striders Racing Series to honor Doug with the running of the inaugural Doug Strong 5K. The event will also be the third stop on the 6-Pack Series circuit. Doug won many championship series titles over the past 10 years at the beach, and Doug’s event will take place at one of his favorite running locations, Irish Eyes in Lewes, with the support of Tom and Charlene Jones. 

January 2017

January will be jammed with track and field results, as the Cape Henlopen indoor team heads back to Snow Hill during the first week of the year, then both teams head to UMES on the first Saturday for the Coach O Invite with teams gathered from along the East Coast. The girls’ team will travel to the Bears High School Invitational at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, the Armory in New York City, and then to the new Ocean Breeze facility in New Jersey, while the final two Snow Hill meets will also be held during the week for both teams. The end of the month brings the Henlopen Conference Championships to Snow Hill, and the Delaware State Championships will be held in Landover, Md., at PG County Recreational Center on the first Saturday in February.

The Hair of the Dog will get the 2017 year started Sunday, Jan. 1, in Bethany Beach, and the Striders team will head south by air to produce the PICS 5K Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Miami Beach, Fla.  

The Seashore Striders wish all runners in the Cape Region a very Happy New Year and a better 2017.