Striders look back at 2020 accomplishments
This week, as school wraps up and the holiday vacation begins, presents are under the tree, stockings are hung, but things are sure different from the norm. Very few races were held this fall and almost none this past summer. The Seashore Striders were fortunate enough to host the Seashore Classic half marathon/5K and the Great Pumpkin 5K in October, the Pumpkin Pie 5K in November and the Run with Santa 5K in December. The Striders raised money for a local family that lost their home to a fire, and collected canned goods for a local food drive. One of my favorite holiday traditions is to team up with Apple Electric’s Steve and Lisa Prestipino and Toys for Tots, which the Striders have done for the last six to seven years. This year we teamed up and purchased toys, bikes and gift cards for 19 homeless families in the Cape community.
I think back to when this pandemic started in March, and how everything seemed to shut down in our area and no one had any idea how long it would last. I think back to the 227 runners that participated in April’s 6-Pack Series and the $10,333 we raised for the following 10 nonprofits: American Red Cross, Delaware Humane Association, Meals On Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth, Blood Bank of Delmarva, Coronavirus Response Fund, Milton Community Food Pantry, Beebe Healthcare COVID-19 Relief Fund, Code Purple Sussex County, Seashore Striders Delaware, and Food Bank Of Delaware.
I think back to May and the 80 teams that came together to raise over $6,000 for five nonprofits as well as completing a volunteer or “giving back” piece such as giving blood, making a mask or dropping off canned goods to the Striders’ collection box, which has filled the rear of the Striders trailer. There were so many acts of kindness from teams during this challenge, and it was a very rewarding experience to see everyone give back in such a positive way.
Then we moved on to the summer series where we averaged over 100 runners each weekend for 10 straight weeks, with each race giving back to charities in the area. I remember the hundreds that virtually came out to support the first Beebe Heroes 5K, raising nearly $10,000 for the cause.
When I look back at the year, it is definitely hard not to say it was a tough one for so many, but I also am very grateful that we were able to generate over $35,000 from March to December and give back to so many organizations and charities in our area. When you think of all the positives, it just makes you feel a little better as to what we were able to do in a year that had so many challenges.
Striders leave Christmas gifts under the tree
To local runner Martin Rodriguez, I leave another marathon PR on a course that is not point to point with a 17 mph tailwind…To Indian River fab freshman Brynn Crandell, I leave another county and conference cross country title to go after… To Cape cross country coach Matt Lindell, I leave more county, conference and state team titles for his boys’ team… To Cape distance runner Katie Kuhlman, I leave a first-team all-state selection in cross country… To Cape sprinter Tia Jarvis, I leave another conference championship title in an event to be determined… To Rehoboth Beach Running Company’s Marybeth Evans, I leave a sold-out marathon and half-marathon with 3,000 runners and full approval… To Craig Karchner of Fusion, I leave a third-place 5K finish and many races to time… To Fredman, I leave another race to shoot, 104 columns and 208 athletes to write about… To my 4-by-800-meter relay team, I leave a sub-10 relay performance… To hurdler Noelle Sabbagh and jumper Reagan Ciabattoni, I leave a successful first outdoor high school track season to make up for last year’s missed season… To masters runners Mike Sewell and Paul Montini, I leave more masters titles… To runner Jules Woodall, I leave another 1,000 races… To runner Richard Tikiob, I leave another photo to take and story to tell… To runner and magician Jack Noel, I leave another race to finish and another trick with Trixie… To runners Joey Kwit and Roxy Castillo, I leave another weekend at the beach and a Wawa gas card… To coach Gilbert Maull, I leave an indoor and outdoor track & field season… To the new Beacon Middle School track & field coach, I leave a season… To Mark Carter, I leave another awesome Dogfish Dash with over 3,000 runners in Milton… To Sussex Academy coach Jay Diaz, I leave a track… To my first son Jake, I leave another challenge to complete in the great State of Colorado and an overall tri win… To my second son Ben, I leave a sports management degree from the University of Delaware and some good leads for a job… To Timeout Sports owner Bruce Springer, I leave a trip to the beach so we can catch up… To all my running and racing readers, I leave another successful year of 52 columns as I close in on 1,440 columns in a row dating back to May 1993. Merry Christmas!