Surfin’ Snowman 5K sends out 2016 with 2nd annual ‘twilight run’


Back in Bethany Beach for the fourth year, and the second for the area’s only “twilight run,” is the Surfin’ Snowman 5K and Santa’s Helper 2-mile Walk/Run, ready to ring in the New Year and help send out 2016 in style on Friday, Dec. 30.

Slated for Jan. 2 last year, the family-friendly fundraiser has been bumped up to the eve before New Year’s Eve, which race director Rick Hundley of Focus Multi-Sports said could make for an even larger turnout.

“It’s going to be different this year — it’s the Friday night before New Year’s. It’s going to be busier; there’s going to be more people in town,” Hundley said.

“The town’s decorated to the nines already; the Christmas tree will still be up. This is by far a family-friendly event — it gives everybody a great opportunity to come down after Christmas and stay through the New Year.”

After the success of the inaugural “twilight run,” featuring some festive costumes and what Hundley deemed “glow gear,” the downtown Bethany-based run is again set to feature a 4 p.m. start time and boardwalk finish. The start time is slotted specifically for runners to be able to take in the town’s holiday lights and decorations and still get back in time for the post-race party on the bandstand before dark.

That’s where hot chocolate and more than 60 pies donated by Giant Foods in Millville will be on offer for participants while the event’s age-group awards and prizes are given out, along with live music from D.J. Padraig.

After that, racers can head over to the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, where the oceanfront hotel will be offering a 15 percent discount to all racers at the hotel’s restaurant, 99 Sea Level.

With the race being presented for the fourth year by Miken Builders, proceeds will again benefit local charities, including Justin’s Beach House, Contractors for a Cause and the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company’s Station 70.

“That’s important to us, that all the money stays local,” said Hundley of the Focus Multi-Sports non-profit, which also puts on races including the Justin Beach House 5K in May, Coastal Delaware Running Festival in April and Bethany Beach First Responders Triathlon in September, among others.

“These charities need donations. The money’s important, but awareness is important, too, and these events create awareness.”

With more than 400 racers last year, and upwards of 500 to 600 expected this year, Hundley and the crew at Focus Multi-Sports said they were hoping to see some more volunteers sign up to help with water stops, packet pickup, and setting up and taking down the course. Those interested in volunteering for the race can contact volunteer coordinator Jackie Felici through the race website at www.surfinsnowman.com.

“Jackie Felici does a great job,” Hundley said. “The one thing about volunteering for a Focus Multisports event is we have a good time.”

While Miken will be the presenting sponsor, other sponsorships for the race were still available this week.

New this year will be the involvement of “Athletes Serving Athletes,” in which inclusion athletes with special needs will be able to enter the race along with a designated “wingman.”

Online registration is currently open on the race website, available at a discounted rate up until race day, with packet pickup and day-of registration beginning at 2 p.m. in the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites ballroom on Dec. 30.

Racers can also use the promo code “FOCUS2016” for 15 percent off the Surfin’ Snowman or the Coastal Delaware Running Festival, which is set to return April 21-23, with registration currently open at www.codelrun.com.

For more on the Dec. 30 run, visit www.surfinsnowman.com.