Santa showed up in Dewey Beach July 18 for the in-person Santa Sprint 5K. The race was the hottest of the summer by default because it was the first non-virtual race of the summer season in Dewey Beach. Runners weren’t looking for corona, they were looking for Dante, many remarking, “It is hot all up in here.”
The front of the race pack was fast from the start, as the first five runners rounded the bend by Dewey Beach Liquors and never looked back. Of the 171 registered runners, only 15 opted for the virtual option.
The race started in three separate waves so runners weren’t as bunched up and could observe social distancing.
Tyler Muse, 26, from Bel Air, Md., a former Wilmington University runner, set a tough pace, going 4:50 for the first mile and 10:10 at the two-mile mark to win in 16 minutes flat.
Muse is a 2:35 marathon runner. He ran a 1:07:48 to win the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach last March.
Nick Cruz, 24, of Milford was second in 16:50, followed by Joey Andrisani in 17:21, Martin Rodriguez in 17:50 and recent Hodgson graduate D.J. Farren in 18:51.
Farren was expecting to run cross country this fall for Goldey-Beacom, but he just found out the fall season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Emily Rzucidlo, 17, from Garnet Valley, Pa., who ran cross country for Ursuline last fall, was the overall women's winner in 19:32. She placed 12th at the DIAA Division II state championships last fall, helping the Raiders to their second consecutive state championship.
Michele Karsnitz, 35, a Mariner teacher, placed second in 20:07. Bethany Killmon Wright, a former Sussex Tech and Misericordia star, placed third in 20:26, followed by 16-year-old sisters from New Castle Tiffany Herrera in 20:41 and Stephanie Herrera in 21:35.
Matt Sparacino, 43, the Harrington Harrier, won the male masters race, clocking a time of 19:21. Mary Rice, 45, the Pennsylvania Manheim Steamroller, won the women's masters title in 24:37.
Notables: Mike Marciano, 31, ran 19:05 to win the 30-34 age group. Rick Poppleton, 67, is back in fluid action, winning the 65-69 age group in 22:24. Jeff Gravett, the head baseball coach at Caesar Rodney High School, was second in the 30-34 age group in 22:05. Casey Kenton, 40, of Rehoboth, pushing a stroller with his son Carson, ran 24:51, while younger brother Fletcher Kenton, 37, ran 27:04. The mom-and-daughter team of Caroline Judge and Tami Judge finished in 24:07 and 31:43, respectively. Paul Keifer, 79, took a break from his landscaping business to run 45:30.
The Penn State Day 5K is Saturday, July 25, at Northbeach in Dewey Beach.