First annual Surfin’ Snowman run looking to snowball
After a quiet month or two, the resort beach towns along the Delaware coastline typically begin to buzz again around the holiday season, when owners of vacation homes in the area have some time off from work — but there isn’t a lot for them to do in the dead of winter, especially outdoors.
Rick Hundley — running enthusiast and race director for various charity events in the area — decided to resolve that issue with the first annual Surfin’ Snowman 5-miler and Santa’s Helper 2-miler charity run in Bethany Beach on Dec. 28.
“It’s that week before Christmas and New Year’s,” explained Hundley. “We do get a fair amount of people coming down to check on their houses, and there’s not a lot going on.”
The presenting sponsor of the inaugural run will be Miken Builders, and the proceeds will benefit Justin’s Beach House, a charity organization that helps families dealing with cancer. The fundraising efforts will also support the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
“The beneficiaries are really important,” stated Hundley. “They should have more fundraising events at that house, because you get the sense of how overwhelmingly expensive it is to keep up,” he said of Justin’s Beach House, which offers respite vacations for families affected by cancer. “Of course, the fire company is a volunteer fire company. We rely on them, and they rely on us.”
The race will feature a 5-mile and 2-mile run through downtown Bethany Beach, with the start and finish lines at the Bethany Beach bandstand on the boardwalk. Sea Shore Striders will be timing the runners and doing the course setup for the race. The full course map is featured on the run’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/surfinsnowman.
“If you’re on Facebook, like our page — it’s our greatest avenue of providing information about the run, discount codes, incentives, photos and course maps,” said Hundley. “As we get closer to the event, a lot of questions can be answered by looking at the Facebook page.”
So far, Hundley estimated, around 450 athletes have pre-registered for the race, and he says they will be taking up to 800 runners.
“I know it sounds like there’s a lot of run slots left, but you get a big run up,” he explained. “People like to look at the weather forecast. There will be days where we could get 50 to 75 registrations in a day. For other holiday events that we’ve done, weather can play a factor. We’re very pleased with registration at this point. We’re more concerned that it’s going to sell out.”
Hundley said he can guarantee that all runners will get a long-sleeved event shirt, but only if they pre-register by Dec. 24.
After the race, an awards ceremony will be held in which the overall winners of the 5-mile and 2-mile runs will be presented with custom skimboard trophies designed and shaped by Clay Reynolds of Reynolds Back Door Surf in Millville. Custom medallions will also be given out to the winners in various age-group categories.
DJ Paidrig, a seventh-grader at Sussex Academy, will be providing family-fun tunes to go along with the free hot chocolate and desserts for participants and volunteers after the race, as well.
As an incentive to sign up early and to be guaranteed a race shirt, the race will be offering a discount to Coastal Point readers. Visit www.surfinsnowman.com and enter the promo code: COASTALPOINT to get five dollars off either race. You can also sign up to volunteer on the website.
The run is set for Saturday, Dec. 28, and begins at noon.