Local runners have big day at Saturday’s Winter Flight
While many awards were given on Saturday, quite a few went to area runners who used the perfect conditions to have great races at the 31st Annual Novant Health Winter Flight 8K. The event once again served as the Road Runners Club of America 8K North Carolina State Championship and continues to be on the Running Journal Grand Prix, a series of well-known races throughout the southeast.
Maleah Pinyan of Salisbury was the big local winner, taking home cash prizes for being top overall female, first female Rowan County finisher, and first female to the one mile mark. Pinyan's winning time was 32 minutes and 33 seconds, while Kelly Lowman of Salisbury was just 25 seconds back with a time of 32:58. Trudy Gale of Salisbury won the North Carolina masters female award with a time of 39:32. Elizabeth Kimberly of Mocksville won the North Carolina senior grandmasters female award with a time of 48:22. Masters runners are over 40 years old, grandmasters are over 50 and senior grandmasters are over 60.
Overall winner was Matt Longsworth of Charlotte with a time of 27 minutes and 7 seconds. He also won the fastest male to the one mile mark with a time of 5 minutes and 16 seconds. Adam Cornelius of Rockwell was the top Rowan County male finisher with a time of 29 minutes and 57 seconds.
The half-mile fun run was very competitive with Macy Abramson winning with a time of 3 minutes and 21 seconds, followed closely by Abigail Calvert in 3:23 and Carson Green in 3:31.
Approximately 200 total participants enjoyed the cool and overcast conditions after a week of wintry weather predictions for race morning. Wind was not a factor for the morning's activities which also included a 5K Health Walk.
Neal Wilkinson of Salisbury wowed the crowd with his rendition of the National Anthem, just before official race starter Kimberly Collins of Rowan Helping Ministries thanked the runners for their participation before sending them out onto the 4.97-mile course. All proceeds from Winter Flight will benefit Rowan Helping Ministries.
In addition to Novant Health, other sponsors for the event included the City of Salisbury, Catawba College, Fowler Physical Therapy, the Forum of Salisbury, the Civitans of Salisbury, MedExpress, Salisbury Post, Cheerwine, Brent Parks, CPA, Sheetz, Koontz and Smith, Attorneys at Law, Community Grocery of Cleveland, Cleveland Drug and Vac and Dash of Albemarle.
The event was organized by the Salisbury Rowan Runners. Complete results are at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org