'Runner's day' makes for large pack

22nd Delmar Dash sees record turnout with 707 finishers

The spring air was cool and dry Sunday morning, and the streets of Bethlehem were filled with a record number of runners participating in the 22nd running of the Delmar Dash.

707 people aged 9 to 79 finished this year's 5-mile run, a considerable increase over the roughly 633 finishers in last year's event.

Over 800 registered for the event, some of who either did not finish or did not show.

Despite the record turnout, the 9 a.m. start went off cleanly, and the streets of Delmar were momentarily flooded with sprinting bodies before the pack spread out.

If it gets too big we might have to go with wave starts, but I didn't see and problems today, said Race Director Tom Adams.

Adams started the race on Kenwood Avenue along with Brian Debraccio, Chet Bolkie, Kathy Sullivan and Brittany Adams. The finish line was at Bethlehem Central Middle School.

Sunday's weather could not have been a deterrent to any participant. Overcast in the morning but relatively warm, organizers and runners alike said the conditions were optimal.

"It's a runner's day," said Marcia Adams, who organizes the Dash along with her husband.

The turnout is even more impressive given the fact day-of-race registration was done away with this year to streamline Sunday morning for race workers and timekeepers. Most of the registrations were submitted within two weeks of race day, said Marcia Adams.

"That's very high," she said of the turnout. "I think it's because it's a week later and the weather's been warm."

Along with runners both local and from afar, the pack included local officials such as Bethlehem Councilman Mark Hennessey and former town Supervisor Jack Cunningham.

For full race coverage and results, see the Bethlehem Sports section of www.spotlightnews.com.

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