Nutrithon raises more than $30,000
KANNAPOLIS - About 200 athletes descended on downtown Kannapolis in a heavy fog Saturday for the second annual Kannapolis Rotary Nutrithon. The 5K, 8K and duathlon raised more than $30,000 for a fund that the Kannapolis Rotary Club will use to establish low-cost student housing in the community.
And additional fundraising at the event, including a doughnut sale and bounce house for kids, brought in additional funds for Kannapolis Rotary Club's community activities.
For some, it was a chance to reach a personal goal.
"I've been doing 5Ks for the past year or so," said Gary Martin of Concord.
At 67, Martin has lived through open-heart surgery, with the scars to prove it.
But he's been working out at the Cabarrus County YMCA, and he's got a positive attitude.
Saturday was his first time competing in a duathlon.
Saturday's duathlon started with a 5K run, followed by a 25K bicycle road course and a final 3K run.
Martin - one of only two participants in his age division - finished with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 16.9 seconds.
He placed 72nd overall, but that didn't really matter. Finishing 21 miles worth of running and bicycling was the object.
"There's a saying that a body in motion tends to stay in motion," Martin said.
And a human body that's active tends to stay active for longer. "I want to be here for my grandchildren," Martin said.
Promoting better health is part of why the Nutrithon exists.
The downtown biotechnology research center attracts visiting students and researchers, but at present the North Carolina Research Campus doesn't have student housing. Some staff who work for the universities represented on the campus host visitors in their own homes, but other visitors have to find temporary housing.
William "Whit" Whitley, event chair with the Kannapolis Rotary Club, said this year's event was a success and another step toward their goal. "I didn't hear any complaints about the course," Whitley said. "The only thing I heard was that it was too hot, but it's summertime still."
And athletes also told the Post the course was challenging but fun.
No injuries or accidents were reported, other than a couple cases of cramps, Whitley said.
The event, sanctioned by USA Triathlon, attracted some athletes who compete for national standings.
The top male finisher was Greg Thompson, with a time of 1:12:28.4, while the top female finisher, Crystal Karriker, completed the course in 1:31:46.1.
Beyond awards and competition, Whitley said he hopes the Nutrithon will continue to grow, drawing more athletes and building more "buzz" for local athletic events.
"This event continues to build a presence and to draw people to our city," Whitley said.
"It gives people another opportunity to see a new image of Kannapolis."Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor's desk at 704-797-4244.