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Escape the Cape

ETC1 (1)

Generally speaking, when you’re riding the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, you’re asked to remain aboard the ferry until it has docked safely at your destination. That’s typical ferry-riding etiquette. It’s safe, it’s sane, it’s… what normal people do.

Unless you’re one of the 1,750 people participating in Escape the Cape.

On Sunday, June 12, this award-winning triathlon commences with the entire group of participants plunging into the Delaware Bay from the back of a ferry. To say the least, it is an evocative moment.

We sat down with Maryland-based triathloner Colleen McGuinn — wife to James, mother of two, prosecutor par excellence, Villanova grad (go Cats!), and general, all-around badass — who is participating in the race for the first time this year. Colleen ran her first triathlon in 2001 at age 26 — “It was an excuse to hang out at the beach for a weekend,” she says (If you need an excuse to hang out at the beach for a weekend, call us, because we have about 23 on tap right now….).

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Colleen after running the Virginia Beach Shamrock Half-Marathon in 2014

Colleen has been running seriously since 2012, training for triathlons by adding biking and swimming to her usual running routine. She’s run some pretty hefty races since then — Ironman, anyone?!? — and can’t wait to take the plunge for Escape the Cape.

“I’m excited to jump off the ferry!” Colleen says. “That just seems like the coolest thing, and the most interesting way to start a triathlon ever.”

It’s all done safely in stages — 1,750 people all attempting to dive off the back of a boat simultaneously could result in multiple injuries — and the last thing you need is a competitor jumping on your back before a triathlon. “It seems like a pretty amazing thrill,” Colleen says, “and certainly not something you get to do every day. I’m not remotely scared about it or nervous, just excited!”

This year’s race involves competitors swimming a mile, biking 25 miles, and running five miles. Let that sink in for a moment. Most of us don’t even like driving 31 miles — these people do it under their own power… for fun.

CMBC is the official beer sponsor of the race. “How could we not support something like this?” Ryan asks. “The sheer insanity of it all puts it right up our alley.”

CMBC’s prez, an avid biker himself, was all set to participate in the race two years ago before falling victim to a run-in with a razor blade and some zip ties while installing a projector.

“And it gives us an reason to brew a special beer.” As if we need a reason.

Colleen takes the plunge in the 2016 Escape the Cape. (Photo courtesy Colleen McGuinn)</center.
Colleen takes the plunge before ranking first in her division in the 2016 Escape the Cape. (Photo courtesy Colleen McGuinn)

Brewed with assertive and exotic hops but fermented with our house lager strain, Escape the Cape Pale Ale is a straw-colored, lager-esque ale, crafted to appeal to beer drinkers yet be invigorating enough to sip after a running a triathlon. This brew has a strong hop aroma with little bitterness: crisp, dry, and poignantly refreshing.

“I love to have a beer after a race,” Colleen says. “Not immediately after, but after a race, a beer is just so cold and tastes better: probably similar to tasting better on a beach. Maybe it’s the warmth contrasting with the coldness?”

Colleen is looking forward to trying Escape the Cape for the first time. “I’ve not had the chance yet as I’m in Maryland and this is my first Escape the Cape, but I am looking forward to it.” Husband James is “a bit of a beer buff, so we are definitely going to the brewery during the weekend at some point. I’m excited to check it out.”

“Our #1 focus is the athlete experience,” said Stephen Del Monte, Founder and CEO of DelMoSports and Escape the Cape Race Director. “Athletes will get to do things at this race they can’t do anywhere else, like jump off the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and enjoy a custom-brewed race beer by Cape May Brewery. We’re proud to buy each athlete an ice cold Escape the Cape beer to celebrate their accomplishment. Can’t wait to try it myself!”

Colleen, Stephen, and the rest of the runners will be able to sip Escape the Cape at the pre-race party at the Tasting Room on Friday, June 10 from 5-7 pm and at the post-race party at Harpoon Henry’s after the race on June 12th from 11am-2pm.

Escape the Cape taps Thursday, June 9th in the Tasting Room and in better bars and restaurants throughout the area. Best of luck to Colleen and all the competitors this weekend!

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Yum.