Prediction 5K gives everyone a chance to win

September 8, 2023

One of the most unusual road races in the year was held Sept. 2 in Rehoboth Beach, as 154 participants took on the Last Blast Prediction 5K. That total was the most since 2018. It is a simple process logistically where runners and walkers make a 5K prediction during registration, then complete the out-and-back Grove Park to North Shores course without wearing any watches, headphones or GPS devices during the run. There are no mile markers, correct clocks or help allowed along the course. The top 20 runners closest to their predicted time are the winners. Every year when I see performances that I have to take out to the hundredths to break a tie – and so many under five seconds – I say it’s luck. But every year they do it again, and this year was another great competition. The great thing about this race is that everyone, regardless of their time or ability level, has a chance to win.

Last year, the top four finishers were less than a second away from their predicted time. This year, the highlight was 73-year-old Karen Levin, who completed the course in 36:01.71 and predicted 36:02 for a difference of 0.29 to win the championship. The other top 10 finishers based on their predicted time are: 2. Doug Tootell, 0.74; 3. David Teklits, 1.05; 4. Alice McAleenan, 1.63; 5. Cathy Haut, 2.00; 6. Mary Kessler, 2.14; 7. Jim Marvin, 2.39; 8. David Feinstein, 2.79; 9. Sedar Labarre, 3.02; and 10. Jim Rhatigan, 3.62.

Summer Series awards

With two dominant performances for the overall championship of the Seashore Striders Summer Racing Series, Dylan Smiley in 1:45:28 and Olivia Montini in 2:09:15 took the male and female titles. Martin Rodriguez in 1:58:06 and Susan Dunn in 2:28:33 won the masters titles.

Debra Isser won the Age Grade Award with an 85.67 rating, placing her in the National Class category. The Most Improved Award went to Michael Dobak on the male side with a 20:44 improvement over 2022, while the Most Improved Award on the female side went to Karen Eller with a 20:06 boost. The Most Consistent Award went to JR Ward with just a 20.1-second difference between his fastest and slowest 5K performances, while Susan Dunn won the female side with a 27.6-second gap. The Hank Brittingham Volunteer of the Year Award went to John Dowling, and Ally and Victoria Miller. The following 12 runners completed all 11 races of the summer: Martin Rodriguez, Karen Eller, John Blackford, Vince Pavic, Sheila Young, Peter Tracey, John Dowling, Tim Young, Richard Tikiob, Jose Lukecart, Jim Marvin and a runner who participates as The Caboose.

The Streakers

The series honors those participants who qualify in consecutive years at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and we have a few who have reached 30 years. Here is a look at the streakers who were honored Sept. 2 at the series awards ceremony. Five years in a row: Karen Eller, Jacki Rams Martin, Laurie Yanacek. Ten years in a row: Amy Kuhlman, Sheila Young, Tim Young. Twenty years in a row: Susan Dunn, Jack Noel. Twenty-five years in a row: Bryan Bowles, Bill Brooks, Chris Sinclair, Breck Vanderwende, John Yanacek. This honor was started 30 years ago by the late Dr. Lee Masser, and I thank Tim Young and Peter Tracey for organizing and keeping track.

Fall running and racing

The Seashore Striders will produce four road races in September, as many runners in the area feel that fall is their favorite time of year to race. 

The 19th annual Cannonball 5K is set for 8:30 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Lewes Historical Society in Lewes. It’s known as the most scenic course in Delaware, and runners travel on Second Street before making their way to Pilottown Road along the canal. Proceeds benefit the Lewes Historical Society.

The inaugural Easterseals Walk With Me 5K will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Salisbury Elks Lodge in Salisbury, Md. This is the first of three fall Seashore Striders events in Salisbury. 

The eighth annual Paradise Grill Stop, Drop & Run 5K is scheduled for 10 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 17, at Paradise Grill in Long Neck. The race benefits the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company. The Paradise Grill crew does a great job, with two courses for runners to choose from.

The 16th annual Dogfish Dash 3.8-mile run will take off at 9 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 24, at Dogfish Head in Milton. Runners in the sold-out race will enjoy the scenic small-town Milton course.


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