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OC Island to Island half marathon on Sat.

(May 1, 2015) More than 3,500 runners from 37 states are expected to partake in the 11th annual Island to Island half marathon and 5K on Saturday, which is hosted by OC Tri-Running Sports.

“It’s not every day you’re given the opportunity to run from one island to the next, crossing two bridges with beautiful scenery along the way,” said event organizer, Chris Klebe of OC Tri-Running. “Family members get to see and cheer on the runners coming up to the Boardwalk for their last mile to music, which pumps them up, it’s a great finish.”

The half marathon course will begin at Assateague again this year at 7 a.m. Participants will run along Route 611 to Landings Boulevard and make a left into the Park and Ride lot. Runners will travel through West Ocean City and over the Route 50 bridge. Once reaching the Ocean City inlet parking lot, participants will be greeted by family and friends as they complete the last leg of the race. They run down to Fourth Street, turn around, circle the rides and cross the finish line in the inlet parking lot.

The 5K will start at 7 a.m. at the inlet parking lot with participants heading north, around the pier to the concrete portion on the Boardwalk. They will head up to 16th street, turn around and come back to where they started.

Both races will begin at 7 a.m. to give half marathon runners a crowd to cheer them on for their last mile.

There will be eight fluid stations along the route and runners will have the chance to vote on the best.

“Our volunteers are very special and make the event go off, we could not take this on without them,” Klebe said.

There is an hour time limit for the 5K and a three hour and 15 minute time limit for the half marathon.

“I have been a runner for many years and would love to participate in the race myself,” Klebe said.

About 3,500 runners participated last year and the race continues to grow in size.

First, second and third place males and females in each race will receive awards. The top three males and females in each age group will also win prizes.

Half marathon finishers will receive a medal and 5K participants will be given a dog tag.

A post-race party will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the inlet parking lot and is free of charge. There will be deejays along the course and at the party. Dough Roller will be selling pizzas and drinks.

Packet pickup will take place today, May 1, from 1-9 p.m. at the inlet and will be the last chance for participants to enter. There will be no registration on race day. The half marathon costs $115 and its $45 for the 5K.

On Saturday, packet pickup will take place from 5:15-6:15 a.m. and buses will take half marathon runners to Assateague Island. There is a specific schedule for pick up times, which are determined by the runner’s last name.

This year’s race will once again benefit Worcester Youth and Family Counseling. Founded in 1975, the organization assists thousands of area residents each year by offering counseling, advocacy, outreach, support, professional education and training with offices in Pocomoke and Berlin.

For more information, visit www.octrirunning.com or search “OC Tri Running Sports” on Facebook.

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