Cruz, Ledford win Seashore Striders Summer Series titles
Local runner Nick Cruz out of Milford captured the overall championship in the 2020 Seashore Striders Virtual Summer Racing Series with a combined time of 1:47:57, accounting for five 5K events and a five-miler at an average of 5:16 per mile. The 24-year-old won the title by just over seven minutes, with Martin Rodriguez, 38, of Selbyville finishing second overall in 1:54:58 and Michael Sewell of Lewes third in 2:02:51. Sewell, 50, was the top masters runner, while Rich Hughes, 50, of Monument, Colo., was second in 2:10:25. Mark Evans, 44, of Fairfield, Conn., grabbed third masters in 2:11:31.
On the female side, Josephine Ledford of Frederica at just 15 years old captured the championship with a combined time of 2:08:34. Ledford won all but one race she entered and had the fifth-fastest combined time overall. Ledford finished just under three minutes ahead of second-place Susan Greally, 54, of Millsboro with a time of 2:11:31, while Shannon McKenzie, 41, of Bethel Park, Pa., was third in 2:14:07. Greally and McKenzie had a close battle each week for the overall titles when Ledford was resting. Both talented runners were the top two in the female masters division and finished among the top 20 overall as well. Susan Dunn of Laurel ran 2:32:01 to grab third in the female masters division.
A total of 104 runners qualified for the series, from 5-year-old Nora Furlong of Lewes to over-80 runner Jack Noel of Lewes, showing the age diversity in a series that has something for all.
Another impressive statistic is that 38 runners completed all 10 events in the series, a new series record.
The following 38 runners completed all 10 series events:
Michael Sewell, Lewes; Susan Greally, Millsboro; Aydan Vanderwende, Bridgeville; Sonny Landis, Cincinnati, Ohio; Constance Bean, Milton; Martin Rodriguez, Selbyville; Karen Eller, Newark; Shannon McKenzie, Bethel Park, Pa.; Deb Murray, Rehoboth; Jen Perry, Millsboro; Jennifer Murray, Frankford; Breck Vanderwende, Bridgeville; JR Ward, Newark, Md.; Jo Ann Moore, Philadelphia; Melissa Mulligan, Lewes; Chris Stanley, Fruitland, Md.; Cindy Dominik, Chantilly, Va.; Jane Boyd, Lewes; Marian Dowling, Ocean View; Sheila Young, Rehoboth; John Dowling, Ocean View; Peter Tracey, Washington, D.C.; Cathy Haut, Lewes; Connie Marshall, Ocean View; Deborah Rementer, Rehoboth; Jackie Rams-Martin, Lewes; Louise Holt, Milford; David Landis, Selbyville; Donald Cowie, Hollsopple, Pa.; Kirk Alderdice, Silver Spring, Md.; Rich Oldrieve, North Olmsted, Ohio; Tim Young, Rehoboth; Alan Quillen, Seaford; Jules Woodall, Lewes; Tim Abbott, Georgetown; John Kurpjuweit, Lewes; William McArthur, Lewes; and Jack Noel, Lewes.
The previous number of runners completing all series events in the summer was 18, so this total of 38 shows the dedication the runners had toward the Seashore Striders during a tough time all across our country.
The series awards celebration will be on Zoom during the final week of August.
August update for the Striders
Four popular events are coming up quickly for the Seashore Striders at the end of August, and all will be held with a little overlap, so mark your calendars and plan out your runs. Here is a look at the end of August as we say goodbye to a summer to remember.
• The sixth annual Rehoboth Beach Fire Fightin’ 5K virtual run/walk will be held Aug. 28-31, with a drive-by packet pickup on Aug. 27 in Rehoboth Beach. Custom-printed masks go to participants, and proceeds will benefit the fire company.
• The 11th annual Sundance 5K will condense to just a run/walk, dropping the swim and biathlon. It will be held virtually from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5. There will also be a drive-by packet pickup, with more information to come at www.seashorestriders.com.
• The 30th annual Last Blast Prediction Run will definitely offer a virtual option with a good chance of a live option in Rehoboth Beach. Details are being worked out with the city and police department, and all details should be made public by early next week. The virtual option will be held Sept. 4-7, while we hope the live option can be held Saturday, Sept. 5. The plan is to score each event as a prediction run, but they will be scored differently with each option having its own set of results and awards. Runners should have the option to run one or both, and of course cool swag is in the works for taking part in both. Stay tuned!
• The seventh annual Run, White & Blue 5K will be held Sept. 10-13 as a virtual run. This event, with organizer Janelle Boyer as the driving force, attracted more than 500 runners last year to Delaware Tech. There will not be a drive-by packet pickup for this event, as all event items will be mailed. Information will be posted at seashorestriders.com.
In speaking with Races2Run President Wayne Kursh recently, he informed me that the Dewey Goes Pink 5K, one of the most popular and largest events in the state, will only open for T-shirt sales this year with no live or virtual event. The public support has been great so far and Kursh said, “In the first two days, we have 303 registered, and $9,630 in race fees and $10,666 in donations.” Even with no run or party, the Cape community shows up for a great cause.
Look for Sandhill Fields to open this fall. The fields and cross country course are coming together nicely. I serve on this board of directors, and it has been very rewarding to see this project become a reality. I hope to have some cross country events this fall to showcase the facility. Stay tuned!
The Cape cross country team will be up to bat this year in the chilly months of February and March following a shortened winter season in December and January. Meet details are being worked out by DIAA due to the fact that Delaware does not have an indoor track complex. Spring season will finish up the year in May and June. There will be some overlap depending on postseason play, but the seasons look good, and if you blink, they will be over, so athletes need to be ready to perform. “By December, my goal is to be race ready and ready to run fast,” said Henlopen Conference champion junior Tia Jarvis of Cape.
I also serve on the board for Indoor Track DE. We are currently raising funds for the completion of a feasibility study that started last month with a goal of building a six-lane, banked track complex in the state. Go to www.indoortrackde.com to read about the project and make a donation to the cause. I am in charge of Sussex County, and I am contacting coaches, parents, athletes and businesses trying to get support for this much-needed project. If you have a track & field background, interest or would like to see this project become a reality, I would be glad to share information with you. If you see me coming your way, don’t jump out of the way and hide. This project is needed for the track athletes of the state. Delaware currently holds its state indoor track championships in Landover, Md., and that is the sad truth. Reach out to email@example.com or go to the Indoor Track Delaware website for more information on how you can help with the project.