The proprietor of J. Christopher Llinas Attorney-At-Law in Ocean Pines, Maryland, Chris Llinas is an avid endurance athlete who has completed 15 marathons since 2000 and four Ironman triathlons since 2012, in addition to a multitude of shorter runs and triathlons. Recently, Chris Llinas competed in the Ironman Maryland event. One of the things that makes the Ironman Maryland stand out is that the 112-mile bicycling portion of the event goes through the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a wildlife sanctuary for birds that migrate along the coast of the Atlantic.
The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is important for a number of reasons. For one, it makes up approximately one-third of the total tidal wetlands area in Maryland. Additionally, because it is made up of three different types of habitat (forest, shallow water, and marsh), it is the home of numerous animal species, including some that are endangered. Notably, it contains large populations of rare Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrels and American bald eagles.
The refuge was founded in 1933 and because of its biological diversity and beauty is often compared to the Everglades.