Run for JJ 5K is still a premier race in Delaware

August 11, 2023

The Run for JJ 5K will be held Sunday, Aug. 13, to close the 32nd edition of the summer racing season. The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. from the corner of Grenoble Place and Lake Gerar. The certified course will loop Rehoboth Beach’s north side before heading into the Henlopen Acres loop for one of the most scenic 5Ks in Delaware. The 26th annual race is one of the longest-running 5K events in Rehoboth Beach; it supports and remembers JJ Stein, who served on Rehoboth Beach Patrol. JJ served on the patrol for three years and was a member of the 1990 4-by-100 soft sand relay team that won a national championship and finished runner-up at the world championship event the same year. JJ won numerous titles at the local Rehoboth Beach Lifeguard Olympics and will always be remembered.  

The Run for JJ event will also be remembered for the elite runners who toed the line to race for the prize money that was put up annually by the late Jay Stein. The prize money went on for 15 years, with some of the best American runners on the East Coast competing against foreign runners from Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia, to name a few.  

“Jay wanted his race to hold the fastest time ever run in Delaware, and he kept the foreign runners coming until he finally got it,” said Rich Tikiob.   

It happened at the 2007 event. The field was stacked with three teams of foreign runners. Bringing in other teams eliminated the slow-race tactics and assured me a fast race. The mile was passed in 4:25, with the second mile and a pack of four in 4:36 for a two-mile split at 9:01. Then the racing began. As the foursome exited the Acres, the pace that was already fast was cranked up another notch. The final mile was run in 4:21 for a 13:23 three-mile split with a 29-second kick to the finish, as Nelson Kiplagat hit the line in a new state 5K standard of 13:52. Louis “Half” Stockley drove the lead truck with Jay Stein, Fredman, a few media types, and me  hanging on tight in the bed. The iconic Rehoboth Beach performance is still a personal best on the road for Kiplagat, while he ran 13:45 on the track in 2003.

Over the last 10 years, we have not had the invited guests, but the race has continued, and runners keep showing up to support the cause.

Maggie’s Mile

Join the Seashore Striders Friday, Aug. 11, as we bring back one of our popular ‘90s events – the mile. We will be on the track at Legends Stadium at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes running and walking in memory of our angel Maggie Browne; we hope to come together for some great Maggie’s Miles. The opening race will go off at 7 p.m. The first Maggie Brown Memorial Scholarship was presented to Elizabeth Melson in 2022, while the second went to Katie Kuhlman earlier this year. Both winners will be present at the event. There will be eight divisions, including Lil Mags 9U (800 meters), Youth 10-12, Teen 13-19, Open 20-29, Masters 40-49, Grand Masters 50-59, Ultra Grand Masters 60-plus, and Elite Division. We may combine divisions or genders depending on the number of entries. Donations can be made at by visiting the Maggie’s Mile event page.

Paws bits and pieces

A new event record of 438 runners and walkers showed support for Humane Animal Partners Aug. 5 as the Race for the Paws 5K was held  at Dewey Beach Lions Club. A few highlights included two course records on the female side, as Debbie Isser in the 65-69 age group ran 23:35 to break Joanne Szczepkowski’s Northbeach course record of 24:14 set in 2011. Isser finished a second behind the state record of 23:34, also set by Szczepkowski in 2011. In the 70-74 age group on the female side, Dianna Golden ran 25:01 to break Mary Kessler’s Northbeach course record of 25:51 set in 2022. Golden also broke the 70-74 state record set in 2022 that was held by Diane Kukich of 25:09.

University of Delaware women’s track & field and cross country head coach Kenyetta Iyevbele, 30, and newly hired assistant coach Ben Bamforth both participated in the 5K, with Iyevbele finishing second in the 30-34 age group in 19:38 and Bamforth finishing fourth in the 20-24 age group in 24:33. The Blue Hens will have 15 to 17 girls on the upcoming cross country team and will report to campus next week for two days before rushing off to the Shenandoah for a mountain retreat, better known as hill work. Shiloh O’Grady, 13, in her first race of the summer, turned in a time of 23:39 as she preps for the season.


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