Cross training along the C & D Canal

July 14, 2017

On Wednesday afternoon, I traveled north to Delaware City and teamed up with wife Monique, and Dan and Dana MacElrevey to ride the new C & D Canal. Dana’s idea to ride 15 miles on the hottest day of the summer at 2 in the afternoon was an interesting task that we tackled. Riding along the water, we faced a little breeze, so it was not too bad because I knew we did not have to ride back with no breeze. As I rode my mountain bike, worth about $29.99, I kept reminding myself that it was a one-way workout, and a great restaurant, called Schaefer’s Canal House, awaited us at the end of the ride.

So as I was riding side by side with Dan we talked about how to drive a 900-foot ship. Then I hear a bang, and Dan’s rear wheel goes flat faster than wife Dana can yell, “Will you please get a real bike?”

We were about halfway through the ride, and the good news was that Dan had a spare tube. The bad news was that neither of us had a pump, which would have helped a bit. Dan road the final 7.5 miles on a flat rear wheel, which is not an easy task nor is it good for the rim. I reminded Dan that Lance Armstrong once rode the last 10K of the tour with a flat, but he didn’t answer me!

The rest of the ride seemed to go quicker as I struggled to stay with my foursome, yet I was motivated knowing that I had two rock-hard tires and Dan was having a tough resistance workout dragging a flat tire.

It is a great trail to ride and a fun 15 miles along the canal. Give it a try, but remember to bring a bike pump!

Facts of the C & D Canal 

The total cost of construction for all trail segments was $14.6 million. The U.S. Department of Transportation funded 80 percent of the total cost.

A four-tenths-of-a-mile segment opened last summer between Delaware City and what is now the Michael Castle Trail, creating a continuous trail through most of the First State. With the final western segment of the Michael Castle Trail now complete, Maryland's Ben Cardin Trail - extending between the state line and Chesapeake City - is incorporated into the pathway.

An average of 100,000 walkers, joggers and cyclists used existing trail segments in recent years, said David Small, former secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the agency that maintains and patrols the pathway.

The continuous path will bolster outdoor tourism along the historic canal, particularly in Delaware City and Chesapeake City, Small said.

"Both cities have a rich [maritime] history," he said.

While planned by Castle, the trail is one of many that was constructed through former Gov. Jack Markell’s State Trails and Pathways Initiative, a program that has sponsored the construction or rehabilitation of 571 miles of Delaware trails.

35th Seashore 5-Miler

The 35th annual Seashore 5-Miler, formerly the YMCA 5-Miler, will be held Sunday, July 16, beginning from Deauville Beach in Rehoboth Beach at 7:30 a.m. The event will follow one of the most popular races at the beach, the Race for the Ribbon 5K, to be held Saturday, July 15, from the Greene Turtle in Rehoboth Beach, also starting at 7:30 a.m.  

This year the Seashore Striders will change the 5-mile course to head north into Cape Henlopen State Park and onto the Gordons Pond trail. The runners will turn around on the trail at the 2.5-mile marker and make their way back to Deauville Beach with Hopkins Farm Creamery ice cream waiting for them at the finish. The goal is to go over 200 runners for this off-center distance of 5 miles, as the course is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) 5-milers in the state. Register through Saturday at noon by going to

Seven ways to beat the heat

Here are seven ways to beat the heat that I thought might be helpful to my running readers as temperatures close in on triple figures.

1. Train at 5 a.m.  

2. Cross-train indoors  

3. Do speedwork on a treadmill  

4. Ease into the heat  

5. Have a hydration plan before you start

6. Don't just drink the water  

7. Plan to race in cool temperatures.

Established at the beach

It was interesting to look at the next four events and the longevity of the events at the beach. Running and racing at the beach is an activity known throughout the country, with runners coming from states near and far. It’s no lie that many families build their vacations around the races they want to run. If we look at the next four events at the beach, you will see 10th, 15th, 20th and 35th annual events, making a total of 80 years for just these four events. Many events in our area start off with a bang and stick around for an average of five to eight years and then disappear; however, the majority of the running and racing events in Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach have been around for an impressive number of years. I compare the running events to a conservative stock account that remains consistent over the long run - no pun intended.