A Day for Mother Nature
WILMINGTON, DE--The sun was just beginning to peek over the clouds above the Wilmington AMTRAK station as the Delaware Marathon runners embarked on their 26.2-mile quest from Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park on the revitalized Wilmington Riverfront on May 13, 2012
Robert Laskowski, CEO and President of Christiana Care Health System yanked the cord on the cannon that noisily signaled the start. Nearly 750 marathoners were on their way; soon to be followed by 1150 half-marathon runners and 1100 additional relay marathon runners.
The race announcer provided some incentive, reminding runners
that a champagne tent, a beer garden, and a chocolate-milk lounge
were waiting for them at the finish of their two-lap jaunt.
Wardian, 38, of Arlington, Virginia was again the star of the show, winning the ninth annual marathon for the third straight time and fourth overall. His 2:30:27 time was the slowest of his four victories but that was to be expected on a warm morning with temperatures in the 70s and full sunlight.
Asked about his run while enjoying a cold, fresh chocolate
milk, Wardian replied, "Ive been working on my hills
and on all the climbs, I felt really strong. I just felt really
slow on the flats. It was the sixth marathon the busy Wardian
had run and the third he had won. He said that the comfort of
family and friends and the familiarity of a well-organized event
keeps bringing him back.
Half-marathon champion, Darryl Brown, 29, of Exton, Pennsylvania, clocked in at 1:10:34 while the female half-marathon champion, Maggie Bradley, 36, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania finished in 1:29:59, good for 22nd overall. The relay winners were Josh Loren, Patrick Boettcher, Mike LoSapio, and Mark Hannagan, comprising the New Balance Delaware Racing Team, who finished with a 2:30:34.
The 3,000 entrants made it the largest field in event history as competitors came from 45 states and four countries. The 50 State Marathon Club and Marathon Maniacs had large contingents in the field, as many happy runners were able to say they checked-off Delaware from their bucket lists. Overall, the event organizers indicated they distributed $7,300 in cash awards in the four events and awarded 270 male and female bobble-head runners to the winners. Race organizers also gave special recognition to marathon runners from all fifty states with personalized signs on the racecourse and with Home State awards for the fastest runner from each state.
When asked about the change to Mothers Day for the annual event, Operations Director, Joel Schiller remarked: We were initially concerned about the change of dates but when the early entrants began to outpace the past registrations, we decided the event would be a new Mothers Day tradition for us. And when presenting sponsor, New Balance Brandywine and Christiana, offered us hot pink tech shirts for the ladies, we knew wed be alright.
Runners in each event could be distinguished by the color of their bibs. Half-marathon and marathon runners also had their names imprinted on their bibs, allowing for spectators to cheer in a more individualized way. Many relay teams also created special, colorful team shirts with special messages. Some read: SOS--Speed of Sound, Trotting for Tony, Red Hot Mommas, and Always for Dad.
The 2012 beneficiaries also included the Helen Graham Cancer
Center, the Center for Heart & Vascular Health at Christiana
Care, Girls on the Run, Epilepsy Foundation, Families with Muscular
Spinal Atrophy, and the Mike Clark Legacy Foundation. The Delaware
Marathon Running Festival has donated more than $100,000 to dozens
of local charities in its first eight years.