I know I have said that every race is my “favorite” at one point or another but the Dogfish Dash really is my FAVORITE race ever! Long before April 1st I plan how I will strategically be at a computer or near my phone to ensure that at noon on April 1st I can register myself for the race. I have been lucky enough to get in the past three years with only minor hiccups due to a technical error on the website and two years before that I was able to get a transferred bib and another time I was able to register the day before the race (still not sure how that one worked out but I will take it).
Regardless of how I get to the starting line each year, it is always a fun time mainly due to the fact that this race always falls near my birthday (this year it was actually on my birthday) and I always have a large group of friends that run it as well.
The logistics of this race are pretty amazing. Besides the registration issues that most people had back in April, the day of the actual event always goes off great and seems to get better each and every year! To kick off the weekend the packet pickup for this race is Saturday at the Dogfish Head Brewery. We got there about 30 minutes after it opened and I was able to pick up all the packets for our group with no problem. They registration comes with a shirt, the nice bag, and lots of little swag items inside the bag.
Race day is always a lot of fun. After easily finding a parking spot, meeting up with our friends and doing the race morning things that people need to do (you can probably guess what I am referring to) we had some extra time to spare, so Amy and I checked out the fun little photo booth inside the Brewery Tasting room.
This was the second year that the race distance was an 8k. Being an “off centered” company they decided to pick an “off centered distance” which comes out to just shy of 5 miles. We lined up for the race and shortly after 9:30 we were off! It was actually pretty warm by the time we started and it seemed like quite a few people were over dressed due to the cooler morning temperatures.
The course was the same as last year, however this year we ran it in reverse. I think I liked the course better this way and even though Milton does have some sneaky hills, I think we were able to get more downhills then we got last year so cheers to that! It was VERY crowded at the start of the race which allowed me to go out slow and steady. According to the results there were over 2100 finishers so there was always a crowd of people around on each part of the course. It never seemed to thin out which was a nice motivation to keep running! Amy and I stopped at 2 of the 3 water stops and took a few other short walk breaks as we felt we needed.
As you can see from my splits we were able to pick it up considerably in the last mile since we had conserved some energy! The course itself runs through the back part of the brewery, through the downtown out to the little league fields and back through the downtown to finish back at the brewery. You really do get a nice little Milton tour while running this race which is pretty cool.
As the runners crossed the finish line we were handed a Dogfish Kleen Kateen which was already filled with water. In the past we got similar cups but this year they were just awesome! We made sure to stop by the Fifer’s Apple Donut Trailer to pick up the AMAZING Apple Cider Donuts they were making fresh that morning and headed to the beer line for our first Dogfish brew of the morning.
Usually we are all on “Sam-Alert” looking for the man behind Dogfish Head but he was out of town again this year. Such a bummer. We hung out for a while and indulged in all the post race goodies and one more drink before heading back home for the day.
Along with this race being the “best race ever” it also supports a great cause, The Nature Conservatory, Delaware Chapter. The race was able to raise and donate $100,000 just this year. Throughout the past 10 years of the race they have been able to donate over 399,000.00! The date for next years race has not yet been announced but go ahead and mark your calendar now for the most important day- April 1st at Noon!