Record crowd of 331 turns out for Fire Fightin’ 5K

Inaugural Boardwalk Mile Swim set Sunday
August 25, 2023

What a better cause to have a road race event than a fire company fundraiser. Last Sunday morning in the center of the Nation’s Summer Capital, a record field of 331 runners and walkers turned out for the popular event. The field was the largest in nine years and the first time over 300 participants, although the event went over 200 three times: 2018 with 229; 2022 with 252; and 2019 with 284.

“I am just so happy that we had a record turnout and we raised about $10,000 more than our previous best,” said Chatham Marsch, co-chair. “The race came together nicely, and the runners and walkers came out and supported us. We are already thinking about making our 10th annual event very special.”

Young Jack Blanchfield, 17, of Townson, Md, was first across the line in a time of 17:27, while Zuleyka Martinez, 33, of Wilmington won the overall female title in 21:50. Local Bobby Hutton, 59, of the Rehoboth Beach Running Company grabbed the male masters title in 19:51, while Teri Welsh, 55, of Lutherville Timonium, Md., won the female masters title in 22:52.

Following young Blanchfield across the line was 34-year-old Pierce Conlon of Wilmington in 17:53 to win the 30–34-year-old division, while 18-year-old Liam Dennehy of Milford was third in 19:16 and winner of the 14-19 division. Jason Kymingham of Mount Airy, Md., was fourth in 19:36, while Bennett Brumbley, 15, of the Seashore Striders rounded out the top five in 19:47.

On the female side of the action following champion Martinez and second-place Welsh across the line was 32-year-old Megan Coughlin of Rockville, Md., in 23:07. Margaret Colvin, 62 years old, was fourth in 23:31 taking the 60-64 division, while rounding out the top five was Amanda Greenbery, 35, in a time of 24:06 good for the 35-39 title.

Some notable performances in the race include Cameron Hastings of Randolph, N.J., at just 9 running 25:29 over local Ruby Leps of Lewes who ran 27:05. Twelve-year-old Brandt Kuklish of Rehoboth ran 22:15 to beat regular Quade Cummings of Milford who ran 24:07. Jason Gamble at age 44 had a top 10 finish in eighth place winning the 40-44 division in 20:28. Rick Hughes was 10th in 20:41 winning the 50-54 age group, while Joanne Senft of Mount Wolf, Pa., won the 50-54 female age group in 24:55, and local Kelly Gelof of Rehoboth was close behind in 25:01.

Adam Lawler won the 60-64 age group in a nice race of 22:23 over Tim Young, while local Rick Poppleton, 70, won the 70-74 age group in 22:59. Mary Kessler of Harbeson won the 70-74 age group in a nice performance of 25:41, while 82-year-old Bernie Gallagher broke an hour with a 59:02 performance.

Mark this August event on your 2024 calendar, as the 10th annual will be worth the trip to the starting line.

Boardwalk Mile

I have hosted a boardwalk mile back in the ‘90s which was a running event. I have also hosted many mile races over the years on Rehoboth Avenue as well as multiple mile events at Cape Henlopen High School.

For the first time in my 33-year race directing career, I will host a mile race in the water. The inaugural Boardwalk Mile Open Water Ocean Swim will take place this Sunday morning beginning at 8 a.m. starting from either Queen Street or Grenoble Place, depending on the current and which direction the swim takes place. There will be one wave, and awards will be presented to the overall, masters and top three finishers in eight age groups from 13u to 70+. The Rehoboth Beach Patrol will control the water safety.

Proceeds will be used to start a future scholarship in the name of Tommy “TC” Coveleski to be presented to a Rehoboth Beach Lifeguard. See you on the starting wave.

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