Running from Lewes to Hawaii
Back in 2006, ultra-marathoner Paul Staso and I became friends, and I was the finish-line coordinator for his Run Across America journey from Oregon to Lewes. Paul ran the equivalent of 125 marathons in 108 days across the entire United States all alone. He did this challenge as a promise to 97 elementary school kids, one of whom was his daughter, Ashlin. The Shields kids raced Paul every day by taking laps around the track at recess – five laps converted to a mile – as we tried to stay ahead of Paul while he averaged 30 miles a day pushing an 80-pound stroller named Bob. When Paul got to Lewes on that cool October morning, I brought 500 kids out to the front of the school with banners and signs to welcome him to Lewes. From Shields, the Lewes Police escorted Paul down Savannah Road onto Cape Henlopen Drive and to the main beach, where his Montana family was waiting to join him for the final 100 yards on the beach. Paul dipped Bob into the Atlantic and raised his arms in celebration as the crowd of spectators and kids cheered his finish. To read about Paul’s incredible journey, go to www.theusarunner.com.
We are currently taking part in another challenge. For the first 15 minutes of each gym class, my kids walk, jog, skip and run around the track. We keep track of each class’s total as well as the school total. The goal is to run to Hawaii, which is over 4,000 miles away, and if we can get there this year, I promised them a Hawaiian hula party. During the winter months, we will learn about places that we have a connection to through relatives and former staff. For example, when we get to Fort Collins, Colo., I hope to have my son on the top of the foothills for a Zoom call with my students.
The top three classes through their five-day rotation are: 1. Team Libby (third grade) - 566 laps. 2. Team Davis (fifth grade) - 430 laps. 3. Team Catts (fourth and fifth grade) - 403 laps. As a school, we have traveled 2,588 laps or 517 miles. That’s the distance from Lewes to Columbus, Ohio. Just one safe activity I came up with to get them out of a 6-foot circle.
Seashore Half Marathon
Packet pickup for Sunday’s Seashore Classic will take place at the Lewes library from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday. It will be a drive-by pickup where runners will be given their T-shirt swag, race bib, course map and directions to the starting line in Cape Henlopen State Park. The race will start at 8 a.m. from the main beach parking lot next to the hawk watch facility. The race will begin with a rolling start based on predicted pace per mile, starting with the sub-six-minute milers and ending with the 12-minute milers. The half-marathon field will go to Fort Miles then to the front park entrance and onto the new trail extension heading toward Lewes to the first turnaround. The course will head back into the park and go to Herring Point and on to Gordons Pond for the second turnaround. The course will then backtrack to Fort Miles and back to the main beach parking lot for the finish. The course is set up like a “T,” and there are five water stops that can be utilized by the runners nine times during the race. Finisher medals will be presented to all half-marathon finishers, while awards will be presented to the top three in each age group. A 5K and a two-person relay will also be held along with the featured half-marathon event. For more information, go to www.seashorestriders.com.
Wild Bill McArthur
Bill McArthur has raced with the Striders for more than 20 years and was always a talented age-group runner averaging under a nine-minute pace well into his 70s. Bill will be relocating to Florida and shared this with me recently: “I went out for a last easy run around the neighborhood this morning. Beautiful weather and a lot of memories accompanied me. Many miles of walking, running and cycling on those roads. When we leave tomorrow morning, we will grieve for leaving our beautiful home, but I will miss the running scene more. I’ll be doing my running in Florida for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep in touch with the Striders and Nutz through social media and Dave Fredman Frederick’s columns in the Gazette.”
Good luck to Bill and his family as he and Joe Link will soon be in kayaks paddling through the Florida Everglades.
Boys’ track & field project
The Cape Henlopen boys’ and girls’ track & field teams have won more than 20 team state championships since 1970, and the stadium is looking good with six girls’ signs on display as well as a record board and a state championship board on display in the tunnel. My second master’s internship with the Cape Henlopen Athletic Department and Athletic Director Kevin Smith consists of raising the money to hang the 14 signs to recognize the winning boys’ teams. The boys have won 11 outdoor and three indoor team championships.
With 14 teams, I am looking at an average of 30 guys per team for 420 total athletes. I need to raise $3,000 in the next month to get this project done, which is an average of only $7.14 per athlete if I can get ahold of all athletes. To make a donation to the Cape Boys’ State Championship Project, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook on the Seashore Strider Running page. It sure would be a lot easier to have 30 guys step to the plate with a $100 bill than to have to reach out to 450 former track athletes.