Dash to the starting line is on

The 23rd Delmar Dash will step off on Sunday, April 10

Runners, walkers and spectators are gearing up for what in Bethlehem is an unofficial welcome to spring. That's right, the 23rd Annual Delmar Dash is right around the corner.

The race will step off at 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 10, from the Bethlehem Central Middle School on Kenwood Avenue, and organizers are expecting a banner year.

Over 700 people finished in last year's Dash on a beautiful spring morning, a record turnout for the annual race. Registration thus far has been strong enough that it's hoped this year will eclipse even that hearty turnout, though, assuming the weather cooperates.

Everything is full speed ahead, I think we are going to have a near record crowd again, said race organizer Marcia Adams, who has been heading up the Dash with her husband, Tom, for the last few years.

Registration for the race is still open. Members of the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club will receive a discount on registration, set at $15. Non-members will pay $18. Online registration is available through www.hmrrc.com until April 4.

The absolute last chance to register will be on Saturday, April 9, at Fleet Feet on Wolf Road, from 2 to 6 p.m. The fee at that time will be $20. The race is sponsored by Bryant Asset Protection, Inc.

Like last year, there will be no day-of-race registration. Dealing with the flood of late registrants always turned out to be a great difficulty for volunteers, and nixing the option apparently didn't hurt last year's record turnout. It's also better for the runners, said Adams, who have time to warm up and socialize instead of worrying about getting their registration in order.

"It tended to take away from the fun or the relaxing, so we basically said no day-of-race so we could eliminate the hassle," Adams said. "I think it worked...there was almost a festival atmosphere instead of a tension."

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