Reader inspired by Couch to 5K column

July 3, 2020

In 1990, there were not a lot of runners in the beach area. Sure, we had some large events, but basically we had only a handful of hardcore and recreational runners. Numbers were low. There were not a lot of races. Everyone knew everyone. I knew that I was going to build the running scene by accomplishing the goals I set for myself, and I also knew I had to come up with a way to get more non-runners off the couch and into the game. So I wrote a program for a non-runner to become a runner and called it: From the Couch to a 5K in 10 Weeks. Of course, since then, every running publication, trainer or event director has come up with a similar program. I can honestly say that when I wrote mine, there were not too many.

I publish my program every January because that is when folks are thinking about weight loss, resolutions, and just getting fit and healthy. Unlike other similar programs that usually cost the runner something, I have never taken a penny for the program or tried to sell it. My payment is the satisfaction that it works, and that people read and try it.

I heard this week from a person from New York. It goes to show you that our great hometown paper, the Cape Gazette, is not just at the beach ... it’s everywhere.

Here is an email from Iza Wulf:

You wrote an article "Couch to 5K in Just 10 weeks" last January, I believe. I saved the article. It inspired me since I have tried numerous times to run. Due to a small health condition, it was always difficult for me – I probably tried too fast too soon. But this article helped me. During the pandemic and finding myself sitting home, I figured it was as good a time as any to try.  

It wasn't easy, but your steps really helped. I can't say I'm running yet – probably more of a jog lol, but definitely more than I could do when I started. I just completed my 30 minutes. The feeling I had when I completed it is indescribable.  

I'm going to keep working at it. I find that I do love this and want to get better at it. My next goal is to be able to do 30 minutes comfortably and then go on from there.  

I don't live in Delaware yet. I am in the process of purchasing my retirement home, but I receive the Cape Gazette where I live in N.Y. I wanted to get to know the community I am moving to. I'm glad I did because that's how I got to see your article. Thank you again for such an insightful article. These last three months have been crazy hard for a lot of people for many reasons, so accomplishing this was a real personal pick-me-up that I needed.

One more thing I wanted to mention to you. That once I hit my stride even as slow as it is, I realized how meditative the experience of running is. During this pandemic, I was lucky. No financial burden and I had my health. But I missed my family tremendously. So, it not only became a feeling of accomplishment, but I found a way to channel my sadness and anxiety during this time. So, I surprisingly received a second benefit from this experience. Who knew when I clipped this article out last January that it would help me through a really rough patch. Truly, if it wasn't for your article, I would have started too fast too soon as I usually did and given up. Thank you again.

Leadville 50-miler

One of the toughest, if not the toughest, race in the world is the Leadville Series events – running, biking, trails, you name it. If you want a challenge, tackle a Leadville Race. The tagline on the Leadville Silver Rush 50-Mile Run states: “Take on 50 miles of extreme territory that starts at 10,200 feet and reaches 12,000 feet on four separate occasions at the Silver Rush 50 Run. It will leave your lungs burning, heart pounding and eyes completely amazed.”

The race was canceled this July due to COVID and will be held in 2021; however, local Gavin Furlong of Lewes is still going ahead with the challenge – just not as tough conditions here on home Lewes soil. Furlong will tackle 50 miles Saturday, July 11, starting his first of three loops from the Lewes library at 5 a.m., heading through Cape Henlopen State Park and Herring Point/Gordons Pond to Rehoboth and back to Lewes by way of the Junction and Breakwater Trail for 16.75 miles. Each loop will take about three hours. Estimated time of finish is in the nine-hour range at 2 p.m.

If there are any runners who would like to join in and help our local get it done, message me and I’ll coordinate. Even if you do not want to join, come out and cheer him on, as 50 miles is a great achievement for anyone, regardless if you’re running like Furlong, biking like my son Jake, or driving like me. Come on out.

Race for the Ribbon 5K

The Race for the Ribbon, in its 13th year, will be held virtually Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, as the sixth race of the Seashore Striders Racing Series. The series, scored by Tim Young, is a calculation of total time from five 5K runs and one five-miler from 10 events throughout the summer. This year, the Ribbon 5K will benefit the American Cancer Society as well as local runner LeeAnn Waltz.

Waltz has dedicated herself to helping others. She works in a medical facility and is dedicated to her job and to helping others, and she enjoys the sport of running and spending time with family. A perfect day for LeeAnn would be to attend a 5K race (running a personal best, of course), spend time with her running family and then return home to her immediate and extended family. The Race for the Ribbon hopes to help LeeAnn through this tough time as she battles the blood cancer, myeloma. Our hope is that we can provide LeeAnn with some financial help as she travels back and forth to appointments, and continues with treatment. Visit to get registered.

Sweet Running 16

Seashore Striders and Lake Forest standout Josie Ledford celebrated her 16th birthday this past week by winning her fourth race of the summer series, capturing the Jungle Jim’s 5K in a virtual personal best of 18:55. Ledford has won the Masser 5-Miler, Beebe Heroes 5K, and Father’s Day 5K, as well as winning the CV19 Series in April by racing 38.4 miles in the month.

Josie was surprised by her family on her birthday with a basket of one of her favorite collectibles – old music cassettes. According to her mom Jen, she loves most ’70s stuff like Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Supertramp, America, etc. The surprise was collected from friends for her to use in her old car. The GOJO mobile is coming soon with a license plate reading “GOJO-XC.” Ledford is signed up again this week for the Beach Paper Firecracker 5K, hoping she can make it No. 5 in a row. Josie may be the only high school girl in the state listening to cassette tapes, and don’t try to steal one from her because you cannot run away from her. I am actively looking for her Christmas gift – an eight-track player that she could add to her wheels, and I may even throw under her seat a bag phone with that cool coiled cord.


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