MICHAEL WARDIAN OF ARLINGTON,
VA TAKES TOP HONORS AT THE
DELAWARE MARATHON WITH A 2:30:27.

A Day for Mother Nature
COURTESY OF THE NEWS JOURNAL

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.
Michael Wardian zipped to the front within the first mile and as he led the field back through the park on the Christina River less than fifteen minutes later, the sun was already blazing. It was quite evident early on that this would not be a day for personal bests.

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, "I’ve 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.
Although he did not pick up any of the event bonuses, he did pocket a $1,000 winner’s check.

 

 CHRISSY GRAHAM OF OLNEY,
MARYLAND BESTS THE WOMEN'S
MARATHON FIELD IN 3:08:07.
CHRISTY MCDOWELL PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO
Smiling broadly as she crossed the finish line, the $1,000 winner’s check as woman’s champion went to Chrissy Graham, 38, of Olney, Maryland, who was running her first Delaware Marathon. Graham wasn’t even breathing heavily when she finished in 3:08:05 and 18th overall. “This one was close to home and I read the reviews and they were awesome,” Graham said. “It was way better than some of the bigger marathons I’ve run”.

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 Mother’s 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 Mother’s Day tradition for us. And when presenting sponsor, New Balance Brandywine and Christiana, offered us hot pink tech shirts for the ladies, we knew we’d 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.”

 

 EIGHT PERSON RELAY TEAM LETS EVERYONE KNOW THEY
ARE "TROTTING FOR TONY."
CHRISTY MCDOWELL PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO
One eight-person team wore familiar purple shirts that read “Run for Bobby,” honoring Robert Stewart of Wilmington, who died of lymphoma several years ago. The team said they were raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, one of the event beneficiaries.

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.
The tenth annual Delaware Marathon Running Festival returns to Wilmington on May 12, 2013.