Kauffman honored

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A genuine environmental advocate for Creek Road and its environs has received a recent public-service honor at the University of Delaware (UD).

photo of Jerry Kauffman

CRR Jerry Kauffman was one of two individuals at UD to be honored with the 2021 Ratledge Family Award for Delaware Public Service.

Kauffman is the director of the UD Water Resources Center in the Institute for Public Administration at the Biden School. He also holds secondary faculty appointments in the Biden School and in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences.

A longtime Creek Road Runner, for years Kauffman has been a champion for protection of water quality and improvement of conditions for wildlife within area watersheds, including the White Clay Creek, along which Creek Road runs north from Newark.

Established by the Ratledge family, the Ratledge Family Award for Delaware Public Service reflects the family’s long-standing commitment to both the state of Delaware and UD. The award recognizes contributions of UD faculty, staff, and students who exemplify excellence in public service to the citizens of the state of Delaware.

Congratulations, Jerry, and thank you for your work.

Barton also a horticulture champion

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photo of Susan Barton

In addition to being a pretty good all-around athlete, competitive within her age group, CRR Sue Barton recently received plaudits for her professional work as a University of Delaware horticulturist.

The full story, in a recent issue of UDaily, begins:

“Sue Barton’s role at the University of Delaware is the perfect embodiment of the University’s land-grant mission. She teaches. She conducts research. And she takes UD’s knowledge to the public.”

Of course, we also know Barton for her winning qualities as a competitive triathlete and a world age-group CrossFit champion in 2019!

Kudos to you, Sue, for making such an impact within your field.

Broad Street representatives

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photo of Flora Poindexter
photo of Shawn Alexander

This year’s Broad Street Run—the popular net-downhill, ten-mile, straight-down-Broad-Street run in the heart of Philadelphia—drew more than 20,000 participants. Among the masses at this May 1 run were two Creek Road Runners from Newark—CRR Flora Poindexter, who ran a 1:49:34 (1:47:07 chip), and CRR Shawn Alexander, who ran 1:56:48.

Congratulations to both of you for competing in this unique race.

April’s longer races

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Patriots’ Day in Boston, the third Monday in April, brings with it the famed Boston Marathon. One of our own ran this year and fared quite well.

photo of Clark Ridge with Boston Marathon medal
photo of Clark Ridge in 2022 Boston Marathon

CRR Clark Ridge (son of CRR Doug Ridge), who grew up in Newark and lives in College Park, Md., completed the 26.2-mile course—from Hopkinton, Mass., to the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston—in 2:51.37. This was a PR for Ridge at this distance by an astonishing 10 minutes. An interesting thing about a big marathon like Boston with seeded starting is that in order to run a big personal best one has to pass a lot of other runners. In Ridge’s case he had to pass more than 4,500 runners along the way and finished 1,602nd overall out of tens of thousands.

Whenever Ridge is home visiting his parents, he heads to Creek Road for a nostalgic training run.

Congratulations, Clark!

Locally, the Delaware Running Festival was held on April 24 in Wilmington. There were a few standouts among the Creek Road Runners in the Half Marathon and 10K races.

photo of Andrew Weber
photo of Martha and Lincoln Narvaez

In the Delaware Half Marathon, 40-yr-old CRR Andrew Weber finished 2nd overall and top master’s runner in a blistering 1:22:15. Weber always seems to do very well at this distance. He has won this race in the past.

Of particular mention is CRR Martha Narvaez. While she marked a major personal achievement by finishing this race (placing 11th in the 45-49 age group in 2:03:49), her 12-yr.-old son, Lincoln, won the 19-and-under division outright, completing the race in 1:35:50 and finishing in the top 30 overall. That’s 7:19/mile pace for 13.1 miles for a 12-year-old, and it was his first half marathon! Watch out for this young runner over in the next several years and when he gets to compete in high school.

photo of Bruce Weber
photo of Holly Scott

In the 10K, 61-yr.-old CRR Bruce Weber (no relation to the aforementioned Weber) placed 3rd overall and was the top master’s runner in an impressive 41:26. Dover’s CRR Holly Scott was the 11th overal female finisher and placed 2nd among the 60-64 women in 58:22.

Congrats to all.

Parsons conquers Mile Challenge

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The Delaware Mile Challenge was a unique event, to be sure, on the recently renovated track at The Tatnall School. On Saturday evening, April 9, runners of all ages took to the track to challenge the mile distance. Well after dark, the excitement had built to a crescendo, as the elite men and women took to the oval to compete.

photo of a victorious Sam Parsons
A victorious Sam Parsons is all smiles after clocking the first sub-4 mile in Delaware.

“Homefield” advantage theoretically should have meant nothing, as among the field of 13 elite men there were four runners who had already broken the 4-minute-mile barrier at least once. One of those competitors, however, was CRR Sam Parsons (son of CRR George Parsons and CRR Christina Parsons), who grew up in Newark and ran track and cross country for Tatnall during his high school years.

It appeared early on in the men’s elite feature race that Parsons, who trains with Colorado-based Tinman Elite, was ready for the challenge. Through the initial lap, he was in good position in fourth. Moving up, he took over third during the second lap, staying close to a 60-seconds-per-lap pace while battling with three professional runners from Baltimore’s Under Armour club—two in front of him and one right behind him.

By the back stretch of the final lap, Parsons had moved up and positioned himself right behind the race leader, Casey Comber. With just a half lap to go, both were right around 3:30, setting up what would be a frenetic sprint finish.

With the volume increasing to a roar from the hundreds who lined the track to cheer him on, Parsons out-sprinted Comber on the final straightaway and, in doing so, eclipsed the 4-minute mark—the first time this had been done on Delaware soil. Parsons clocked in at 3:58.17; Comber finished just 0.27 seconds behind, also going sub-4. The previous best mile run in Delaware had been run 50 years ago, indoors, at 4:01.1.

photo of Sam Parson addressing the crowd
Sam Parsons addresses the crowd after his historic win.

While not taking a victory lap, Parsons did take the mic to thank the crowd for helping to make The Delaware Mile Challenge such an energy-filled and memorable event. He also thanked his high school coach, Pat Castagno, who is Tatnall’s track-and-field and cross-country coach and whose own coach while at the University of Delaware was Delaware’s legendary CRR Jim Fischer, who presented the master’s mile race during the event.

By winning the elite race, Parsons bagged $2,500 in prize money. By breaking the 4-minute mark, he also walked (or maybe ran?) away with a $500 bonus, making it a very satisfying (and profitable) trip home!

The elite women’s winner, Molly Sughroue, of the Colorado Springs Track Club, ran away with the race, a new in-Delaware women’s record, and the same prize money.

Collectively, Creek Road Runners congratulate one of our own. Way to go, Sam!

Of local note is the fact that CRR Jim Bray, a Newark High School alum, once held the Delaware high school mile record for 28 years before it was broken in 1999.

The world record in the mile is still a mind-boggling 3:43.13, set by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999.