By MADDY VITALE
Margaret Vido, of Allentown, Pa., breezed past hundreds of other runners Sunday morning, coming in first in Ocean City’s 10th annual Half Marathon.
It wasn’t her first race win. Her time was an amazing 1:19:15.
But the 13.1-mile trek that took her and 1,000 other finishers through Ocean City neighborhoods, the downtown business district, the beaches and the Boardwalk was something that really piqued Vido’s interest.
“It was so much fun,” Vido said as she sipped water, barely looking as if she went for a walk, let alone a half marathon in the heat. “I have never run on the beach before, so it was really cool.”
Along the way runners got a lot of support from families and received water at different locations.
Ocean City Police Department’s Community Policing unit rode along to make sure everyone was safe and at the last turn of the half marathon, the 10-mile walk/run and the 5K race were people to cheer the athletes on, hand them ice-cold waters and toss towels on their necks.
Ocean City High School Red Raiders handed runners medals as they crossed the finish line. The school’s cheerleaders waved pom poms in celebration of the runners’ achievements.
Miss Ocean City Mary Grace Jamison, Junior Miss Natalie Argento and Little Miss Antonella DiAntonio were also there to celebrate the day.
The half marathon benefited the Ocean City Recreation Scholarships and Programs.
Race director Lisa Rumer said this year’s event was spectacular.
“We had over 1,800 walkers and runners. This was a great event to mark our tenth anniversary,” Rumer said, in between speaking to the host of volunteers who helped coordinate the event.
“It gives people a goal and the families come out to watch them. Some runners do the 5K and some do the longer distances. It is really inspiring to see,” she continued.
Rumer remarked about the beautiful course. “You really get to see Ocean City. Look at these views,” she said as she looked out onto the beach from Eight Street and the Music Pier, the hub of activity for the race. “You just can’t get this in other races.”
Matt and Meghan Houck, of Hatfield, Pa., and their children, Cameron, 8, and Lila, 3, held up signs in support of the kids’ aunt Kate Sikorski, who is an avid runner.
“This is the first time she is running in Ocean City,” Meghan Houck said of her sister. “We came out to support her.”
Runners trickled in. By late morning, many had finished the 13.1-mile half marathon.
Jeanine Morea, 38, of Baltimore, who visits friends in Ocean City, finished in 1:26:18 and was pretty happy with her time.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better race,” she said with a huge smile. “What an amazing race. I just felt the energy here and the crowd really made me feel right at home.”
Half Marathon Top Finishers:
Top three female and male finishers are as follows:
1. Margaret Vido, Allentown, Pa., 1:19:15
2. Adrienne Viola, 1:28:34
3. Olivia Derogatis, 1:30:24
1. Zach Brooks, 1:25:46
2. Marquis Cox, 1:27:13
3. Jason Benham, 1:27:55
5K Top Finishers:
1. Stephen Hoffman, Ocean City, 17:41
2. Tom Ferzetti, Ocean City, 17:54
3. Matt Geraci, no hometown listed, 18:43
1. Amanda Grant, Allentown, Pa., 20:45
2. Justine Beachley, Hagerstown, Md., 22:03
3. Dawn Bryant-Kuhar, Vineland, 22:25
For a complete breakdown of the race results visit www.delmopro.com.