Cruz, Ledford continue their winning ways

July 10, 2020

A virtual field of 118 runners and walkers took part in the 30th annual Beach Paper Firecracker 5K last weekend, celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with a 3.1-mile independence journey of their own. Nick Cruz, who can go well under 16 minutes in the 5K, just cruised through a time of 16:27 for the win, while Josie Ledford of Lake Forest High School set a virtual personal record of 18:52 to win the female title. Ledford has won every race so far in the series. Cruz ran 28 miles a day earlier with ultra-marathoner Mike Wardian as Wardian ran from top to bottom of the state.  

Mike Sewell of Lewes captured the male masters title in 18:42, while Susan Greally won the female masters in 19:50. Congratulations to Cape Henlopen School District Board President Alison Myers for racing not once, but twice. On Saturday, she ran just over 24 minutes on the treadmill. She was reminded by longtime series participant Mike Richardson that treadmills were not allowed, so she rested Saturday night only doing four loads of laundry before coming back with a 5K personal record outdoors Sunday with a time of 23:31.

Age-group champions include: 9 & under: Nolan Furlong, 22:40, and Nora Furlong, 42:04; 10-13: Maya Yngve, 27:30; 14-19: Ayden Vanderwende, 25:50, and Faith Mitchell, 22:20; 20-24: Sonny Landis, 23:52, and Jody Boyer, 26:46; 25-29: Bonieke Rodrigues, 20:53, and Alyssa Welsh, 29:14; 30-34: Monica Wheatley, 25:15; 35-39: Martin Rodriguez, 17:21, and Eugenija King, 25:37; 40-44: Mark Evans, 19:45, and Shannon McKenzie, 20:00; 45-49: Bryan Bowles, 21:36, and Jen Perry, 24:40; 50-54: Rick Hughes, 19:29, and Melissa Denault, 23:52; 55-59: James Landis, 20:56, and Margaret Colvin, 24:05; 60-64: Bill Holdsworth, 20:33, and Nina Smeltzer, 28:01; 65-69: Robert Fitzgerald, 22:13, and Teri Moore, 34:22; 70-74: Jules Woodall, 27:52, and Marie Kuhlman, 45:37; 75-79: John Kurpjuweit, 42:39, and Sandra Gossman, 50:52; 80 & over: William McArthur, 33:49. 

Jake swimming the ferry route

Jake Bamforth of Lewes/Tampa and his swimming teammate Paul Valitutto of Tampa will tackle another challenge in the next two weeks as they will attempt to swim from Cape May, N.J. to Lewes, which is in the area of 15-16 miles depending on conditions and the direction of the swim. The conditions play a role in this challenge, which could alter the total mileage and time; however, they are hoping to finish in eight to nine hours. On July 17, 2006, Paul Timmons, 37, of Rehoboth swam the bay; his feat was published in the Cape Gazette as being 15 miles and completed in 7 hours, 15 minutes. Ironically, the day Timmons completed his swim 14 years ago was the same day Jake turned 9 years old. Jake and Paul will be escorted by riverboat pilot Dan MacElrevey. Look for the exact date and time soon on the Seashore Striders Facebook Page.  

Reunited with Huggy Bear 

Last weekend, I drove to Tampa, Fla., to move my son Jake out of the virus-infected state, and on the way down, I spent a night and reunited with Arthur Hugger, Cape graduating class of 1993. Art was nicknamed “Huggy Bear” in high school by Fredman, and it has stuck ever since. Hugger was a standout track athlete and a major player in the Vikings’ outdoor state championships in 1992 and 1993, and the 1993 indoor title. Hugger once flopped the 4-by-1 handoff at the Penn Relays, but made it up to his teammates that night in a dark Philly alley by smokin’ the fast-talking doughboy in a 100-yard dash and winning two free pizzas for his boys. Hugger at 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds in high school ran 50.7 in the 400, 1:59 in the 800, high jumped 6-4, long jumped 21-5, triple jumped 45-4, ran the 110 high hurdles in 14.9, ran the 300 hurdles in 39.0 and scored 5,400 points in the 10-event decathlon at the East Coast Invitational, which included a 10-foot pole vault. Hugger has been married for a few years and recently moved into a beautiful home where he lives with his wife, two stepsons and a dog. It had been 25 years since we had seen each other, and it was great to catch up and share some memories of the past. The coach/athlete bond is never broken.

Finish chute

The sixth event in the Seashore Striders Summer Racing Series, the 13th annual Race for the Ribbon 5K, will take place Saturday, July 11 through Sunday, July 12. Participants will be running in memory of Nancy Hendershot, and in honor of local runner LeeAnn Waltz and the American Cancer Society. The Race for the Ribbon hopes to help LeeAnn through a tough time as she battles the blood cancer, myeloma. The seventh event in the series, the 38th Seashore 5-Miler, will take place virtually July 11-14 and will be the second of two five-milers in the series.

“Great job!” to my friend Mike Wardian, mentioned above, who ran the length of Delaware north to south from Wilmington to Fenwick Island, a total of 130 miles, in one shot. Seashore Striders parent Gavin Furlong will challenge himself to do the popular Leadville 50-miler Saturday, July 11, beginning at Lewes library at 5:30 a.m. If any Seashore Striders runners would like to run with Furlong during any of the three loops he will complete, shoot me a message at Loop one will be approximately 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. Loop two will be about 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and Loop three will be about 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Each loop is about 16.5 miles. Gavin will be in the 9- to 10-minute mile pace and would welcome the company … Over & out!


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