Four members of McBride Real Estate Services, Inc. (Rob Blumel, Luke Joyce, Richard McBride and Peter Raczynski) participated in the inaugural “Sea Spawn Challenge” triathlon October 12th. Unlike conventional triathlons with a central start/finish/transition area, the Sea Spawn Challenge is a point-to-point event including a 0.5 mile swim from the mainland of West Ocean City, MD to the island of Assateague, followed by a 6.5 mile beach run then a 15 mile bike to Berlin, MD. In addition to the pleasure of running a course in and around an incredible refuge of coastal wildlife and arguably the best beach in the Mid-Atlantic, we were raising environmental awareness and money for the Assateague Coastal Trust.
Making the first recorded trek of this course and doing it during a Nor’easter only added to “the surreal experience, especially during the run”, according to Luke Joyce. The 20+ mph headwinds made the swim across Sinepuxent Bay somewhat “choppy, but not overly difficult”, continued Joyce. For safety’s sake, the swim leg was supported by a boat piloted by local surfer and friend, Rick Landon. Before the start, we ferried bags of running gear to Assateague. After emerging from the far side of Sinepuxent Bay, we gathered and set off on the run together. Fortunately, the wind was at our back during the run and helped propel us down the beach. The run was long, but breathtakingly beautiful with an angry sea blowing trails of sea foam and wisps of sand along a wide open, low tide beach. Other than our five Sea Spawn members, no sign of man could be seen until we reached the Maryland state park area. Equally fortunate, the wind and rain did not prove to be a major a factor for the bike leg. The 15 mile bike provided scenic farmland views and a ride through the utterly picturesque, historic town of Berlin. Last but not least, Berlin’s own Burley Oak Brewery served as both the finish line and the source of energy replenishment. In honor of the event and our participants, Burley Oak created an original brew, dubbed “Sea Spawn Saison” for all to enjoy. Baked Dessert Café also provided a sumptuous feast of baked goodies for the Sea Spawn and supporters.
As you might expect, the post-race festivities were merry, as all participants savored the satisfaction of completing the course and recounting their favorite moments over some very tasty beer. The fact that the Spawn luxuriated in the post-race glow 2 ½ times longer than it took for them to complete the athletic portion of the event was a testament to the dedication of our team and the hospitality of Berlin.
The number of participants for the inaugural running of this event was purposefully small. It was important to have a manageable group that could easily be supported as we figured out the logistics of staging a point-to-point race on this course. Now that we’ve “proven” the course and gotten comfortable with the support logistics, we plan to offer more people the opportunity to earn the Sea Spawn badge, as well as continue to raise environmental awareness and more funds for the Assateague Coastal Trust. Stay tuned next year for dates and details of the 2nd Annual Sea Spawn Challenge!