(Aug. 30, 2019) Thirty-six participants competed in the inaugural Ocean City Beach Patrol 5K event on the 40th Street beach last Saturday. 

The event was open to the public and surf rescue technicians. In addition, more than 20 donors contributed.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Sgt. Matt Postell, coordinator of the 5K, wanted to replace the original triathlon event, which had been held for 13 years.

A majority of the people who signed up for the run were surf rescue technicians from the Ocean City Beach Patrol.

crew 6

Carrying a crew champion flag during the inaugural Ocean City Beach Patrol 5K race, Saturday, Aug. 24, from left, are Connor Johnson, Tyler Wojo and Greg Gordon, members of beach patrol Crew 6.

The 5K began on 40th Street and continued down to 16th Street. Participants then turned around and returned to 40th Street. Most of the run took place on hard, packed down sand and a shorter segment was on soft sand for more of a challenge.

“The runners really seemed to enjoy the challenge of running on the soft sand,” Postell said. “They were also happy to donate to a really good cause.”

The 5K raised just under $1,000, with the help of event sponsors.

The money will be sent to the family of Benjamin Paepcke, 19, of Baltimore.

Paepcke broke his neck at the C5 and suffered spinal cord damage on July 4 after diving into shallow water on 38th Street in Ocean City.

These injuries could leave him paralyzed for the rest of his life … although doctors performed some electrical stimulation physical therapy on Paepcke’s thighs, wrists and fingers and noticed muscle reactions, according to a social media post update from Paepcke’s mother, Lillian.

Four surf rescue technicians were involved in Paepcke’s rescue and beach patrol members have stayed in touch with the family, Postell said.

 “We’ve become really close with the family, so we wanted to help them,” Postell said.

Postell is already planning for next year’s event, though he plans to have the race earlier in the summer, still during low tide. His goal is 150 participants – both guards and members of the public.

For more information for next year’s event, email Postell at mpostell@oceancitymd.gov.

For more updates on Paepcke or to donate to his family, visit his GoFundMe page: www.gofundme.com/d5tusu-prayers-for-pap

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