Run with Santa 5K set for Saturday in state park

December 11, 2020

The Seashore Striders will host the 15th annual Run with Santa 5K at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12. The event will leave the main beach bathhouse parking lot and travel on the bike trail to Fort Miles, where runners will then make their way on the trail behind the campground and up to the sand dune tower before turning around at the 1.55-mile mark and retracing their steps to the finish. 

The event will be held, along with two others in the state in Newark and Dover, just before the state enters a no-event window coming down from the governor’s order that will go from Dec. 14 until Jan. 11.

The Seashore Striders-hosted Race Into The New Year 5K, held every year on Dec. 31 in Rehoboth Beach, was scheduled for the state park before organizers were told it was not approved. Some race directors feel the shutdown is only a recommendation, not a mandate, and they plan to go ahead with their New Year’s event.  

A long-sleeved T-shirt is guaranteed to the first 200 entries for the Santa event, and trophy awards will be presented to the overall, masters and top three in 10 age groups. Entry fee is $25 through 6 p.m., Dec. 11. 

We will do a rolling start beginning at 10 a.m. with groups of no more than 30 based on your pace per mile. Park entrance fees are in effect, so locals need to drive the correct car with a pass. The Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park will monitor the course and oversee the serve-yourself water stop, as well as leading the race. A drive-by packet pickup will be held at the Lewes library from 4 to 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11. For more information and to get registered, go to

Shields students reach California 

Back in September, I organized a challenge for my students at Shields Elementary where we were going to walk/run to Hawaii. When we arrive, we will celebrate by having a luau party.

From Lewes to Honolulu, Hawaii, is just about 4,937 miles. This week the students reached Sacramento, Calif., at 2,919 miles or, more impressively, that’s 14,598 laps around the track.

Team Johnson (third grade) leads the way with 1,005 laps completed, followed in second by Team Catts (fourth/fifth grade). Team Libby (third grade) and Team Gannon (fifth grade) are in a tie for third with 909 laps, while Team Smith (second grade) rounds out the top five. Students are only able to count laps during gym class. They are given 15 minutes to complete as many laps as possible. In the final minute of every day, the students must get to the halfway mark around the track before time expires in order for the lap to count. If time expires first, students count only the total laps completed.  

I developed this project and challenge as a way for students to not only gain physical activity, but to also learn the importance of setting goals, working together, having teamwork and feeling a sense of accomplishment in a time of their life when these concepts are much needed. It is amazing to see students who hated to run a lap around the track now doing a mile because they have a goal and a challenge that they are working toward. We are just past the halfway mark and getting ready for a long swim!  

Horsetooth Hike

Last Sunday morning, I found myself at the bottom of Horsetooth Mountain in Fort Collins, Colo., at 5,000 feet of altitude looking up at the highest point in Fort Collins and prepping for a 2.5-mile hike with wife Monique and son Jake, who resides in Fort Collins as a grad student at Colorado State University. Horsetooth Mountain is a mountain summit in the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 7,259-foot peak is located in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, seven miles west of downtown Fort Collins. The mountain is easily distinguishable by the large rock formation on its summit known as Horsetooth Rock. The formation is a prominent landmark of the nearby city of Fort Collins and often used as a symbol of that city, appearing in the official city seal. The name comes from its distinctive appearance.

I used hiking poles for the first time and it won’t be the last, as the poles made the difference in whether I made it or not. I told Jake to tell me when we were one-third and two-thirds finished. At one-third of the way, I felt pretty good. At two-thirds, I was pretty dead, as the feeling reminded me of chasing Tom Higley (Sallies) on an uphill finish at White Clay State Park in 1984. I struggled the final half-mile as we made our way to the top, but was motivated by the elementary-aged kids passing me on their way back down. Seventy minutes after the start and at 7,200 feet of elevation, we made it to Horsetooth Rock, and what an amazing view as it overlooks Fort Collins. You can also see from a distance Denver, Estes Park, Rocky Mountains and Wyoming. Going down was much easier, with the only hazard being slippery snow and ice. Definitely worth the trip to Colorado if you ever want to visit the cool city of Fort Collins and take a memorable hike on the Horsetooth Trail.


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