OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Half Marathon and 5K races held in the resort area last Saturday were big successes with nearly 2,600 competitor combined in the two events.
Conditions were nearly ideal with clear skies and cool temperatures as nearly 1,900 racers lined up at the start line at the Ocean City Inlet parking lot around 7 a.m. last Saturday. Minutes later, the first group of competitor dashed across the Route 50 Bridge and never looked back as they crossed the finish line on Assateague Island about an hour and a quarter later.
For the record, Dan Swain of St. Mary’s City won the 2012 Ocean City Half Marathon, finishing in 1:13.49. Ocean City’s Joshua Ludwig came in a close second, finishing in 1:15.14, while Eric Hack of Cape Charles, Va. finished third at 1:16.46. Swain, Ludwig and Hack were part of an early group that quickly distanced themselves from the pack and had gained separation by the time they crossed the Route 50 bridge.
The half-marathon course started at the Ocean City Inlet parking lot, headed down the Boardwalk to North Division Street where runners crossed under the Boardwalk arch and headed across the bridge to West Ocean City. From there, the course snaked it way through the Park-and-Ride to Old Bridge Rd. until it connected with Route 611. The runners then passed through the Whispering Woods neighborhood and made a loop around Sinepuxent Rd. before turning back onto Route 611 for a final push to the finish line on Assateague.
This year’s Ocean City Half Marathon was run in memory of the late Kenny Miller, a competitor who collapsed and later died during the 2010 event. The race began several years ago as a full marathon, with the course beginning and ending at the commercial harbor in West Ocean City. Five years ago, organizers changed the event to a half marathon and 5K, with the course beginning at the Inlet in Ocean City and ending at Assateague Island.
The top three female competitors in the half marathon were Cara Wettlaufer of Nottingham, Md., Elizabeth Flynn of Ellicott City, and Laura Paetrow of Baltimore. The Top 10 local finishers in the half marathon were Joshua Ludwig, Ocean City (2nd); Sean Rolleston, Berlin, (56th); Brian Frable, Ocean View, (63rd); Jonathan Metro, Berlin, (91st); Tony Oliphant, Salisbury, (106th); John Lorman, Ocean City, (149th); Brenna Stuhler, Salisbury, (176th); Daniel Dypsky, Pittsville, (197th); Dennis Huber, Dagsboro, (198th); and Tracey Sapia, Ocean City, (209th).
The associated 5k race also began at the Inlet parking lot and was run entirely on the Boardwalk. For the record, Michael Insler of Annapolis finished first in 16:54, while Sean Riegel of Royersburg, Pa., was second at 19:28; and Sean Hanley of Monkton was third at 19:22.