Everyone's a winner in Mariner's scenic Trail Run and lunch
Runners may be tempted to stop and smell the roses at the tenth annual Trail Run race, hosted by Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church.
With help from Seashore Striders, the Trail Run is a picturesque race from beginning to end, through the bays and marsh of the Assawoman Wildlife Area.
Beginning at Camp Barnes Sunday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m., the Trail Run offers a variety of distances, allowing people to compete comfortably, run on hard-packed trails and enjoy the wildlife.
“This is something the church takes a lot of pride in,” said organizer Bill Lord, welcoming anyone from the community, not just church members. “We’d just like to put our hand out to the community.”
There are five options for participants. People can run 7 miles or a 5k. They can walk 3 miles or 1 mile. Children can do the Kiddy 1K.
“The 7 miles goes out to every nook and cranny … you’re likely to see some wildlife and the power of Mother Nature,” said Lord. “I always say the one who wins is the one who finishes last.”
Seashore Striders manages and times the races, including the officially sanctioned 5K. Awards will be given to top finishers in each age group.
Afterward, Mariner’s Bethel invites families and non-runners to a community lunch at the park. The all-you-can-eat picnic includes soup, salad, hotdogs, fruit and vegetable trays, dessert and much more. Entrants are free, while other adults only pay $6, and children cost $3.
Trail Run will benefit Mariner’s CRASH youth programs and ministry. Money goes toward mission trips in the summer, as high school students travel to Haiti, and middle-schoolers volunteer at inner-city Wilmington. CRASH kids also attend the Youth Rally in Ocean City, Md., a peninsula-wide religious event with music, seminars and a positive message.
“People who give to this thing get as much out of it as the kids,” said Lord. “I just believe what goes around comes around. You just put your hand out to somebody, and hope they’ll reach out to someone else.”
Trail Run began with a single runner, Bill Lord, who wears the title of producer, originator and “overall cheerleader.”
“I just spent a lot of time running out there. I was looking for ways to raise money for the kids, and I knew what a beautiful place it was,” said Lord. While the first Trail Run had maybe 50 people, Lord expects 300 to 400 entrants this weekend. “It’s just like a fall bazaar, a big family picnic.”
This week, Camp Barnes was to be cleared of tree and leaf debris that Hurricane Sandy dropped on Delmarva, but Lord said the forest will be “prettier than ever.” Because hunting at the Assawoman Wildlife Area is prohibited on Sunday, runners will have free run of the trails.
Race day registration begins at 11 a.m. and costs $25 for adults and $12 for the Kiddy Run, payable by cash or check.
Kiddy Run registration ends at 12:30 p.m. and race begins at 12:50 p.m. Drivers can follow signs from the Camp Barnes entrance to the starting line.