• November 11, 2019

Annual Trail of Two Cities takes runners from island to the mainland - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Annual Trail of Two Cities takes runners from island to the mainland

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Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 10:31 am

OCEAN CITY – Caitlyn and Tanya Fields, a mother and daughter from Hammonton, start their mornings by running four to five miles together. 

Tanya, a marathon runner, ran with her 12-year-old daughter during her second 5K race on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the annual Trail of Two Cities. 

The 24th annual Trail of Two Cities lets racers run over the Route 52 Causeway, which connects Ocean City and Somers Point.  The southbound side of the bridge is closed during the race.  The race ends at John F. Kennedy Park in Somers Point. 

This year’s race included 300 runners and 144 walkers.  Stephen Hoffman won the race in 17:46, and Brittany Eberson, who was sixth overall, was the first female finisher in 18:40. 

The Trail of Two Cities is a fundraiser for the Somers Point Foundation for Education and the Ocean City Recreation Department children’s programs. 

It was the Fields’ first time running the Trail of Two Cities, and Tanya Fields said running over the bridge was “awesome.”

“It’s longer than you think,” she said. 

Stefanie Young, of Somers Point, ran with her son, Ben, who recently joined a high school cross country team. It was their first first Trail of Two Cities run. 

“We thought we’d give it a try,” she said. 

They also ran with friends, Dan Freeman and Oona Freeman. 

“It’s a fun race, but it’s hard,” Oona Freeman, of Pleasantville, said. 

According to Freeman, the hills and wind made the race challenging. 

Sydney Somers, director of the Somers Point Community Education & Recreation, said they have age categories from ages 8 to 80-plus, and they had finishers in both of those age groups this year. 

“Participation was very good this year.  It was up from last year because the weather wasn’t great,” she said. 

According to Somers, participants enjoy running over the bridge. 

“I think it’s something really unique and even before this new bridge was put in, we still use the same route,” she said. 

“It’s (the route is) something that hasn’t changed despite the layout and the intersection changes,” she said. 

In 2012, the race was held three days after Superstorm Sandy, despite the damage to the area. 

“People were so happy we still held it that year.  That’s something I’m really proud of.  I thought it was very cool,” she said.  

Tadris Parker, of Galloway, said it is one of his favorite races.  Parker runs a program, Run to the Best You, that trains people to run their first 5K and he runs in the Trail of Two Cities with the people he trains. 

He also hosts a race to benefit the South Jersey Field of Dreams. 

“This still feels like my crescendo to end the year out on a nice note,” he said. “It’s such a huge challenge for them to go not only up one of the inclines, but two, and for people who’ve never run a race before, to bring them to this one, it’s like, what am I doing to these people, right? But when they get over here a lot of people are in tears because they can’t believe they did it,” he said. 




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