OCEAN CITY- Less than a week after thousands of participants and spectators crammed into the downtown area for the 2nd Annual Susan G. Komen Race of the Cure, thousands more are expected to return this weekend for the 9th Annual Island to Island Half Marathon and associated 5k races in and around the resort area.
Last year, a record 2,600 runners competed in the two races combined including about 1,900 in the Half Marathon, produced by OC Tri Running. With those record numbers expected to be met or exceeded this year, race organizers are planning to stagger the start times with the faster runners going off first in order to disperse the field and prevent congestion.
The half-marathon course starts at the Ocean City Inlet parking lot, heads down the Boardwalk to North Division Street where runners will cross under the Boardwalk arch and head across the bridge to West Ocean City. From there, the course snakes it way through the Park-and-Ride to Old Bridge Rd. until it connects with Route 611.
The runners will pass through the Whispering Woods neighborhood and make a loop around Sinepuxent Rd. before turning back onto Route 611 for a final push to the finish line on Assateague. The 5K race also begins at the Inlet, but is run entirely on the Ocean City Boardwalk. The post-race party will be held at Seacrets on 49th Street.
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.