Blue Ribbon Run-A-Thon raises awareness about colorectal cancer

March 3, 2023

Gavin Furlong, a local runner, Seashore Striders member and Sussex Academy coach, will attempt to run and walk 100 miles to support the Blue Ribbon Run-A-Thon he created. Furlong will try to complete six loops of the 16-mile trail between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach Saturday, March 4, to raise awareness for colorectal cancer.

According to Furlong’s website, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 38 in 2021. “I was very fortunate; my body gave me a clue something was wrong. I told my doctor, found the tumor and had it removed quickly before it spread,” said Furlong. “Many are not so lucky. Colorectal cancer is currently the third-leading cause of cancer deaths for young adults and the leading cause for men under 50, but with early detection colorectal cancer is very treatable. Early detection made a dramatic difference in my life, and I want to do what I can to educate others on this disease.” 

Furlong organized the Blue Ribbon Run-A-Thon as part of that effort. In partnership with Beebe Healthcare, all funds raised will go toward educating our local community on the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and the importance of regular screenings. Those interested can make a donation to the cause or perhaps even join Furlong Saturday, March 4, for the Run-A-Thon.

March 4 is a memorable day for Furlong, as it is the two-year anniversary of his cancer surgery. His personal goal is to complete the 100 miles in under 24 hours.

Run-a-thon course

Furlong explains on his website that participants can plan their own route wherever they may be or start with him at 8 a.m. at the Lewes library. The route he will be running is a 16-mile loop starting in Lewes, through Cape Henlopen State Park to Rehoboth, then back to the library on the Junction & Breakwater Trail. Participants may also sign up for a five-miler (library to Herring Point), 10-miler (library to Grove Park) or the 16-miler (one full loop). The average pace for the group starting at 8 a.m. will be 9:15 per mile. 

Aid stations will be available at Herring Point (4.7 miles) and Grove Park (9.25 miles). For those running the five-miler or 10-miler routes, there will be a shuttle available to transport runners back to the library. Those planning to use the shuttle should reach out so organizers can ensure there’s enough space. 

Striders double 

The Seashore Striders will host the inaugural Tales & Ales 5K at 9 a.m., Saturday, March 4, starting at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. The race will kick off the Tales & Ales Festival to be held at the convention center. The course will go out to the entrance of Gordons Pond and back. Registration is still open, and last-chance registration will be held from 8 to 8:50 a.m. at the bandstand. 

The second event of the weekend will be the Shamrock Shuffle 10-Miler and 5K on the beautiful trails of Cape Henlopen State Park starting at 9 a.m. from Fort Miles. A two-person relay is also available. This is a great training run for the Seashore Classic Half Marathon in early May. The course will take runners from Fort Miles to Lewes for the first turnaround and then to Rehoboth for the second turnaround before making it back to the Fort Miles area. Registration is still open, and last-chance registration will be held from 8 to 8:50 a.m. at Fort Miles. See you on the starting line.


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter