With the 2017 Santa Run just behind us, its worth mentioning what I think makes a good race. Especially since the Santa Run 5K has always been one of my favorites. As a veteran of somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 races (about half of them running and the other part volunteering), I am OK with sharing an opinion.
Throughout its at least 21-year history, this little race is the perfect community event.
Lots of people come together to provide the building, course safety, a post-race celebration and visits by Santa Claus and other members of his entourage. The course is one of the most challenging 5K’s of the year, but who cares? Everyone still runs the same course, a fact often lost in today’s racing society that wants the flattest courses possible.
Another piece of the puzzle is who gets the proceeds. Rowan Helping Ministries is SRR’s primary beneficiary of proceeds, partly because their professional effort and results are never in question. During this giving time of year, the Santa Run, the Resolution Run and Winter Flight all will primarily benefit RHM.
The one thing that stands out to me about any race is how long the participants stay around afterward and how involved they are in the ceremony plus how many stop by to say thanks for the effort. Such is the case with the Santa Run each year. It is one big holiday celebration for all the right reasons, including a first official 5K race for those in the recent beginning runners class. A pancake breakfast, great door prizes and nice awards play a part, but so is the post-race euphoria that only heightens the comfortable and friendly feeling of the celebration.
The Santa Run is just the opposite of big city races, the ones that lose sight of celebrating each runner’s participation. They pay a too-high fee, cross the finish line, pick up a bagel and water before heading for home through the crowds. Thanks to Richard Taylor, race director, and everyone else for another great job on a fun event.
Speaking of fun events, Saturday, December 9th is another Girls on the Run 5K, this time moving off the city streets to the safer confines of Salisbury Community Park. Almost 500 girls will graduate their fall program by running together with a buddy over a measured course through the park. SRR manages the course and provides clocks so that the runners can see their time when finishing.
Next up is the best 5K deal in town. On Monday morning, January 1st, SRR and The Forum partner for a New Year’s celebration 5K that has a low cost. Entry is only $10 and that includes a shirt and refreshments. Each walker or runner gets an exact time but no awards are given. As mentioned above, RHM gets the proceeds. Participants can get a lower fee of $5 by bringing at least three canned goods. Donations are greatly appreciated.
Then, the month of January closes out with Salisbury’s biggest running event, the 35th Annual Novant Health Winter Flight 8K. January 28th is the big day. This is SRR’s signature event and the weekend also includes the Saturday evening annual meeting, once again held at theJ.F. Hurley YMCA. SRR members in good standing will get a free catered meal and lots of fun associated with the club awards for 2017. Major awards will include
2017’s Best Community Partner, Volunteer, Male and Female SRR Member and Race Director, plus all the mileage awards. More information is coming later.
Our winter Beginning Runners Class will begin at First Methodist Church in Salisbury on January 8th. This version will last for seven weeks instead of the usual eight because of calendar restrictions.
With that, I’ll share an important part of my own life that I think many runners can relate to. We all have choices, one of them being when confronted by a crossroad that exists requiring a decision about whether to do a new thing or not. Especially if that possible new thing is quite challenging or maybe even a little scary because it mandates breaking down the box around one’s self. When that decision is required, choose to go for it! Why not? Go ahead and find out about just a little bit more about who you are.
We all know those folks who never test themselves. Don’t be one of them!
Join us at the Resolution 5K, Annual Meeting, and Winter Flight. These are your club’s events.