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Delaware Marathon Anchors Active Running Scene

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Run, Run, Run

Runners endure their fair share of jabs. No, they are not running away from something. Yes, they actually like it. In fact, they love it. “The days I get to run, I am in a better mood. I’m calmer and just better at dealing with challenges that come along, both professionally and personally,” says Jennifer Acord, a communications and advocacy manager for the Girl Scouts. “It’s a very healthy high. That’s not going to get me in trouble.” After catching the running bug in April 2011, Acord completed seven half marathons and two full marathons in 2014, with the support of Facebook running groups, coupled with getting outdoors and running friends. Perhaps the ultimate local challenge is the Delaware Marathon, an official Boston Marathon qualifying event that loops from the Wilmington Riverfront through Brandywine Park and the city’s most charming neighborhoods. Run the full marathon or dial back to a half marathon or 4- or 8-person relay marathon. The finish line includes post-race barbecue courtesy of 2 Fat Guys Catering. It happens May 11. delawaremarathon.org

HOOK UP

The Delaware Running Club This group wants to get you running and keep you running. It offers beginner runs, strategic workouts, trail runs, long runs and more.delawarerunning.com

Delaware Trail Dawgs Getting off the pavement saves your knees and puts you into some of the most beautiful parks in and around New Castle County. This eccentric group welcomes anyone who loves fun. traildawgs.blogspot.com

Pike Creek Valley Running Club More than 130 families and individuals are focused on fun. Group runs leave Delcastle Recreation Area on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Just show up. pcvrc.com

Seashore Striders This Rehoboth-Lewes group coordinates races and training runs throughout the year, and given the interest from beach-area visitors, it can
be very competitive.seashorestriders.com

HIT THE ROAD

James F. Hall Trail For a smooth, stroller-friendly jog through three city parks, take on the 1.76-mile paved path on the south side of Newark. It keeps you out of traffic. For extra mileage, jump on the Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail. cityofnewarkde.us

Bellevue State Park Runners circle this 1.2-mile oval for purposely thoughtless laps that let them focus on stride and pace. destateparks.com/park/bellevue

Brandywine Creek State Park Lace up your trail runners for the park’s cross-country course, which will have you huffing up and down hills, through stands of poplars and over open meadows.destateparks.com/PARK/brandywine-creek/index.asp

Junction and Breakwater Trail This flat, 5-mile shared-use trail between Cape Henlopen State Park and Rehoboth winds through scenic woodlands, marsh and open fields. Nature lovers, this one’s for you. destateparks.com/activities/trails/locations/cape-henlopen/index.asp

TEST YOURSELF

Delaware Half Marathon It’s only half as hard as a marathon, right? Not true. For more than 50 years, the hilly course that runs through Wilmington has been a test for those who don’t consider themselves climbers.delawaremarathon.org

Delaware Mud Run This wildly popular 3.1-mile run across the farm at Frightland has runners of all abilities sloshing through obstacles made of mud. Forget about your time. The dirtiest racers have the most fun. It happens in September, date TBD. There’s also a Mud Run Jr. in June for the kids.delawaremudrun.com

Milton Mile Bring the family on May 23 for 5,280 feet of glory through the heart of town. The kids can race their scooters, skateboards and bikes. seashorestriders.com

Run or Dye Show your true colors. You’ll be showered with pigmented cornstarch at the end of every kilometer of this 5K race. Sure, it’s a gimmick. But a fun gimmick. It happens July 19 at Dover International Speedway. runordye.com

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