OCPD Honors Marathoner for Running Town’s Perimeter

first_imgBy TIM KELLYLike thousands of other top marathon runners, Britt Miller was disappointed when the 124th running of the Boston Marathon was postponed recently and ultimately canceled on Thursday.Miller, 34, a part-time resident of Ocean City, had trained and qualified for the historic race, which would have been her 35th time competing over 26.2 miles. But her planned trip to Beantown, like so many other plans and events, was wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Britt took matters into her own hands by creating her own marathon – a run around the perimeter of Ocean City, which she completed last Sunday.Hearing of the accomplishment, the news of which blew up on social media earlier this week, the Ocean City Police Department and members of the local running community honored her with a “piece of the Boardwalk” trophy and other swag at a ceremony Friday in front of the Music Pier.“Many OCPD members are avid runners and we can relate to canceled races, and transitioning into different workouts and fitness routines during this time,” said Lt. Pat Randles, a spokesman for the police department.“We felt that Britt should be recognized for her unique accomplishment,” Randles added.The 2020 annual Cop Chase 5K run in Ocean City befell the same fate as the Boston Marathon.Using route-plotting software, Miller’s husband Ian Kelly traced the perimeter of Ocean City, starting at the south end of the Boardwalk.Heading north, the route covered the entire perimeter of the town. Every lagoon, the Corson’s Inlet area and even the abandoned railroad tracks leading into town were part of the route. And, naturally, stretches of beach and boards.The most amazing part of the plotting exercise was the realization that the loop course covered almost the exact same distance as her canceled marathon’s route from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to the Prudential Center in downtown Boston: 26.2 miles.When Britt Miller and her husband Ian Kelly plotted the course for her run, they were amazed to see the distance come out to the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. (Photo courtesy of Britt Miller)It all began recently when a friend of Miller’s, Michael Gagliardi, traced Philadelphia’s city limits. Miller and Kelly, who reside full-time in Center City Philly, thought it would be fun to do a similar perimeter jaunt around Ocean City, where Miller’s parents George and Missy have a second home.Over Memorial Day weekend, the couple walked and biked the course on Saturday, declaring it plausible to actually run. And at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday, Miller set off.With a personal record of 3 hours, 27 minutes and 10 seconds in the Philadelphia Marathon under her belt, Miller took the O.C. perimeter run more as a fun training jog, and finished in 4:35.That doesn’t mean her invented marathon was without adventure.“When we went over the course prior to running it, the tide was low,” Miller said. “That wasn’t the case on Sunday.”As a result, Miller found herself facing ocean water up to a line of trees at Corson’s Inlet.“I had to scramble over and around a bunch of trees,” much to the amusement of the surf fishermen looking on, she said.Also challenging were the narrow lagoon streets. However, the veteran marathoner who, in addition to Boston, has finished such iconic marathons as New York City, Chicago, Rome, Lisbon and Disney World, was equal to the challenge.“I brought some (snacks) along and my husband met me at the golf course and brought me a banana.”Afterward, Miller’s account of the run on social media attracted a lot of attention, including that of OCPD Sgt. Pat Walsh, who alerted Randles.“As we speak of physical and mental health and the importance of resiliency, we can appreciate even more the accomplishments of individuals like Britt,” Randles said.Britt Miller reacts to receiving her “piece of the Boardwalk,” a plaque made from Ocean City’s famous wooden way, from Officer Jen Elias and Lt. Pat Randles of the OCPD.For her part, Miller said she hopes more of her fellow members of the running community will look for positive ways to help fill the void in their race schedules during the pandemic.“There are a lot of things you can do (as an alternative to conventional road races),” said Miller, a digital product manager for the conglomerate URBN in Philly. “Perimeter runs like I did or running all the streets in a city or town. There’s no limit.”Randles, along with Officer Jen Elias and the city’s race coordinator, Lisa Rumer, took part in Friday’s ceremony to recognize Miller’s Ocean City run. Also in attendance were Miller’s parents and sister Mary Clare. Miller received runner’s swag donated by the Sneaker Shop and special presentations from the police.Miller said she never expected her one-person marathon to gain so much attention. “I’m thankful and honored,” to receive the recognition, she said.“I’ve been coming to Ocean City my whole life and to receive a piece of the Boardwalk, one of my favorite places, is special. I’ll keep and display it forever,” she noted. OCPD Officer Jen Elias, left, Lt. Patrick Randles and Lisa Rumer, far right, present Britt Miller with Ocean City-themed items commemorating her marathon run around the resort.last_img read more