For 38 years, the club focused all its assets and community support on a successful Winter Flight in Salisbury to kick off the new year. There have been plenty of wonderful memories associated with our greatest race and for my money, the 2021 version ranks quite high with the fact that we were able to have the event at all. The virus had some saying that we shouldn’t have the race and if we did, it should only go forward as a virtual race.
A virtual race it was not! January 17th was probably the most beautiful day of January, thankfully, and we had the fantastic cooperation of the Millbridge Ruritans and the local fire departments, Locke and West Rowan. A total of 55 volunteers covered all the jobs and the SRR board organized and facilitated everything. 292 runners and walkers regis-tered, all receiving Meredith Abramson’s latest hoodie and lots of great refreshments and awards. Rowan Helping Ministries provided course volunteers and those refreshments while Luann and Gary Fesperman from the Trophy House brought the awards.
Speaking of January 17th, the original date planned for the races was January 31st, last Sunday. The 31st turned out to be rainy and cold with temps in the low to mid 30s. Even the date change contributed to the success with much better weather and a big plus for attendance.
The new 8K course was a big hit, combining history and the most rural course that most of the participants had seen. “More cows than cars” had been used as a promo and it proved true. The Santa Run 5K, doubling up for Winter Flight, continues to run fast regardless of early hills. And speaking of fast, we had some spectacular times, headed by Matthew and Jonathan Martin of China Grove and perennial winner Molly Nunn of Clemmons. Five states sent runners and the race has already issued a check of $11,133.84 to Rowan Helping Min-istries.
Plans are to return to the historic course that begins and ends at Catawba College for the 39th version next year, likely on Sunday, January 30th at 2pm. We’ll finalize that soon.
At this point, we have two races coming up. Both are extremely well managed. The Will Run for Food 5K at Centenary Methodist takes center stage on February 27th. Early regis-trations are going well.
Also on the schedule is the Mt. Hope 5K, to be held again at Salisbury Community Park on March 27th. This race joins Winter Flight and Will Run for Food as a great way to start 2021.
Guaranteed to happen also will be the spring Beginning Runners Class at the Salisbury Po-lice Department. From March 16th to May 4th, SRR, Salisbury Parks and Rec and Novant Health provide 8 weeks of training and fun with the ultimate goal of establishing one of the best lifelong exercise habits. One of SRR’s newest members recently said, “Why do you need to learn how to run? Don’t you just run?” That member then said, “You won’t make me run, will you?” Well yes, we hope to.
Serving at Rowan Helping Ministries continues, usually 2-3 times weekly. We are ap-proaching 90 days served since early April 2020. Linda Sufficool continues to receive na-tional acclaim for her management of this endeavor. Look for Linda’s latest book on volun-teer management, co-written with Wayne Crowder, “It’s Not What I Do That Matters, It’s What I Need You to Do!”
SRR’s Annual Awards will likely be given out in early March during a low key outdoor event that revisits something popular during the early days of the club. We hope to do a retro prediction run, open to all club members. Prediction run means that each participant predicts the time that it will take to run/walk 3.1 miles. No watches or phones will be al-lowed. Closest to the actual time will win a new pair of running shoes. Watch for constant contact updates!
I’m excited for 2021! Excitement is a mixture of enthusiasm, motivation, intuition with a hint of creativity! Sounds perfect.
See you on the roads!