Dave Farren gives start line instructions
Richard Webb and Joan D-Alonzo (2003)
Doug White, Bruce Hubbard, Chip Bixler
Dave Farren, Race Director 1999 to 2010
The race was started in 1983 by a few guys from the Pike Creek area who, started the club and then
the race, as a means of gaining some financial assistance in getting the club off the ground.
Over the years, the club has grown, the race has grown, and today the club and race still are around
and doing well. We have raised a few thousand dollars for the Special Olympics, as well as generate
some needed money to keep the club going and keep running in the area fun and exciting while promoting our sport!
The race has seen five previous locations, each having its ups and downs. It started in Pike Creek
on a very challenging course. Like the old Caesar Rodney Half Marathon course, people seemed to
really enjoy the challenge of the hills. We had as many as 800 finishers at one time in the 1980ís.
It was run there for the 1st five years and then in 1988, was moved to Delaware Park for a two year run.
That year, we brought in the famous Bill Rodgers to participate.
In 1990, we moved again to the
Corporate commons, in part because of the sponsorship. That was a one year deal as in 1991 we got a
commitment from another sponsor in Wilmington for three years that we couldnít refuse. 1992 was the
year the race had world-class runners brought in and the fastest times ever run in Delaware were run
that year. The menís course record run that year was 44.02 by Boay Akonay of Tanzania. The women's
course record also run that year was 51:24 by Wilma Van Onna of Holland. Akonay also ran through
the 10k mark (was certified) in under 29 minutes, which nobody had or has since done in Delaware!
After the three-year commitment was over with the city, the race moved to Delcastle recreation
center for five years. It was there that the race took a turn for the worse as the number of finishers
went down quit a bit. The consensus was that the course and the fact that the running boom we saw in
the 1980ís had slowed considerably were the reasons for the decline. We added a 5K with the hopes of
getting participation higher with no luck.
Finally, it was decided to move again to the newly developed Christina Water Front in 1999 with the
thinking that a flat fast course with the scenic views (well, most of the way) would help the
participation increase. We also hoped to take advantage of the new corporations down on the Riverfront
as a source of new sponsorship. With the Blue Rocks stadium there, we had the important details of
parking, bathrooms, space, etc. already in place. The move has worked well as each of the past five
years the race has seen an increase in registered runners as well as finishers. In 1999 we had a low
of 164 finishers and in 2002 we had a high of 252 finishers. We hope to continue the improvement.
David Farren, Race Director