77 runners qualify for Seashore Striders Summer Series
With just two events to go, we have 77 runners who have qualified for the Summer Racing Series, which is a much higher number than I anticipated at the start of the summer. Our youngest qualifier so far is Maya Yngve of Dewey Beach in the 10-13 age group, while our oldest qualifier is Jack Noel of Lewes in the 80 & over group. Altogether, 42 females and 35 males have qualified. Another 18 runners need just one more race to qualify, while 11 need both of the remaining races. Five 5K races and one five-mile race are required for a qualifier.
One record-breaking statistic is that 40 runners have completed all eight events so far. The all-time record for 100 percent completion is under 20 when looking back at the last 30 years. Leading the way are the females in the 55-59 and 60-64 age group, as each division has five qualifiers who have completed all eight races so far. It is unlikely that everyone who needs one or two races to qualify will make it, but if they do, we would reach 106 qualifiers, only down 20 from last summer when things were just a little bit different in the world.
37th Dam Mill 5K
The second-to-last Summer Racing Series event, the 37th Dam Mill 5K, will take place virtually this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1 and 2, anywhere in the country. The race will benefit the Millsboro Fire Department and will count toward the Seashore Striders Summer Racing Series. On Friday, July 31, the Seashore Striders will host a local packet pickup at the Route 24 Station 3 fire department four miles west of the Route 1-Route 24 intersection. Runners will enter the station parking lot from Route 24 and stay to the left to pick up their packet, then exit onto Robinsonville Road. For more information on the Dam Mill 5K, go to www.seashorestriders.com.
The big event this month in Fort Collins, Colo., is the ninth annual Human Race 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon, which normally utilizes the great trail system through town. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1, and the popular 10K and half will change to virtual, while the 5K will give folks the option to race virtually or live at a wide-open park. If electing the live race, waves of 50 runners will begin at 6 a.m. and run through 9 a.m. The event will be produced by Green Events, a popular race production company in the Fort Collins area that is committed to running events in an environmentally friendly manner. This will be a zero-waste event, meaning the goal is to divert 85 percent or more of event-related waste away from landfills through recycling and composting. In the last year, the company recycled 32 pounds, composted 324 pounds, and sent 25 pounds to the landfill. The diversion rate was 94 percent. The Human Race event will be the first race since the pandemic began back in March.
The big event in the area is the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins, a beautiful course that runs along the river through town and into the mountain ridge. The race is always scheduled the first weekend in May, and this year it went virtual with all events: Marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and relay. A total of 395 people took part. The next race is scheduled to take place May 2, 2021.
While scrolling through the frequent questions section on the Colorado website, I came across two questions that Rehoboth Beach Running Company’s Marybeth Evans and I have talked about many times. Question: Are headphones allowed in the race? Answer: In order to protect the safety of race participants, MP3 players, iPods or other devices used with headphones are highly discouraged. Participants who choose to wear such devices assume all risks associated. Question: What are the course cutoffs? Answer: A participant has six hours to complete the marathon (13:44 per mile) and the half marathon (27:28 per mile). Walkers are welcome if the course can be completed on time. Additional cutoffs for the marathon are 3:15 (9:45 a.m.) at the half-marathon point, 4:15 (10:45 a.m.) at Ted’s Place (about mile 17) and 5:15 (11:45 a.m.) at the turnoff to the bike path (about mile 21). The Rehoboth Marathon allows an extra hour with a seven-hour limit, and I like that Colorado also has a cutoff at the half-marathon point, 17-mile point and 21-mile point.
New this year for the Rehoboth Seashore Marathon is that we will strictly enforce our seven-hour time limit. Runners must maintain a 16-minute pace. If they are not at that pace by mile 18, they will not be allowed to continue. They must follow all directions of the course marshals; otherwise they will be disqualified immediately. If they do not make the seven-hour cutoff, they will be listed as DNF. If they do not follow the directions of course marshals, they will not be allowed to register for this race again.
Back to the Colorado scene, running and racing in the Denver area is not happening at the current time, since there has been a bit of a spike in cases in that city. The Colfax Marathon weekend in May is the largest marathon weekend in the Rocky Mountains, with 20,000 runners in 2019. Races include a marathon, half marathon, urban 10-miler, and 5K. In addition, the marathon relay has more than 1,330 teams in Corporate, Government or Open divisions and is the second-largest marathon relay in the U.S. As Denver’s largest running event, the Colfax Marathon includes seven races over two days and a two-day health & fitness expo. Runner’s World has selected Colfax Marathon in its top 10 lists in multiple years.
This year, the plan was to move events to fall, but it was just announced that the marathon could not safely be conducted this fall or winter, so the race is scheduled for May 16. Over the last five years, 200-plus charities have raised more than $2.5 million through runners raising money for their causes. This is in addition to the $100,000 that the Colfax Marathon donates annually.
23rd Run for JJ 5K
Congratulations to Nick Cruz of Milford who cruised to a time of 16:27, averaging a 5:17 clip, to win the Run for JJ 5K. Susan Greally of Millsboro continued her fine summer by winning the overall female title in 19:54. Just seconds back and chomping to break the barrier was Shannon Mckenzie of Bethel Park, Pa., winning the female masters title in 20:00. Rick Hughes of Monument, Colo., came back east and took advantage of the altitude to run a personal best this summer of 18:40 to win the male masters championship. I celebrated with Rick on Tuesday by having lunch in a cool town called Golden, Colo., just south of Boulder.
The M climb in Golden
Golden is a cool small town and home of the Colorado School of Mines. It’s a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today – particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment. An icon for both Colorado School of Mines and the City of Golden, the M is one of the most recognizable symbols of Colorado, visible to millions of people every year. Located high above campus on Mount Zion, the M is maintained by Mines' Blue Key Club and consists of whitewashed rocks. It was built in 1908 by Mines students, faculty and a train of burros, and first lit temporarily in 1931, and then permanently in 1932. The entire M structure was modernized in 1989, and energy-efficient 2-watt LED bulbs were installed on the M's 100th birthday in 2008. The LED lighting system is bright enough that the M can be seen clearly from many locations around the Denver metro area, and can even be seen from flights in and out of Denver International Airport more than 30 miles to the east. The M is the focus of the M Climb tradition at Mines. New freshmen walk up Lookout Mountain Road and place their own whitewashed rock on the M; before graduation, seniors can try to locate their rock and take it with them as they depart Mines. The M is occasionally lit in custom designs for special events, such as red, white and blue for Fourth of July, the annual countdown for graduation, and themed designs for E-days. A pretty cool routine for the freshmen and seniors.
I think the Cape area should come up with a similar tradition, like maybe a 16-mile trek on bike or foot from the Lewes library to the Rehoboth Bandstand by way of the Gordons Pond Trail. Once at the Bandstand, participants must follow a three-step process for challenge certification. 1. Consume a slice of pizza from Grotto’s, Nicola’s or Louie’s and a small bucket of Thrasher’s fries. 2. A selfie photo with the ocean in the background. 3. Return to the Lewes library to complete the challenge. Photos can be placed on the Seashore Striders website with your name, date and hometown under the title “Beach Challenge Hall of Fame.” Just a thought and idea in a mind that is always working overtime.