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Santa runs to aid Rowan Helping Ministries

By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
MILLBRIDGE ó Saturday was wet and chilly on Sloan Road in western Rowan, but all was bright for Rowan Helping Ministries when Santa and about 120 runners converged for the second annual Santa’s Run for Hunger.
The Millbridge Ruritans provided their building to host the race, and the vehicles and volunteers of Locke Fire Department kept the roads safe. Actual running conditions were near perfect for fast times with temperatures in the 40s, cloudy skies and light winds.
Santa arrive just before the 9 a.m. start of the 5K run. He explained that he was able to leave his reindeer at Chris Hoffner’s dairy farm on Kerr Mill Road, allowing them to rest and be well fed before other scheduled activities. Hoffner and his family knew the day would be special because the race course goes by their farm.
The rural course passed Sloan Park, historic Kerr Mill and two farms.
Kim Miller, a teacher at Shive Elementary School near Rockwell, said, “Those dairy cows sure had puzzled looks as we ran by.”
Lana Torkildsen, who came from Charlotte with her husband, Tom, enjoyed the scenery and said, “I just love coming here. Too often we don’t appreciate such beautiful places.”
Josh Houghton of Rowan Helping Ministries thanked everyone and read a special RHM prayer. Santa used an air horn to officially start the runners on their way.
The Salisbury Rowan Runners timed the event and provided results.
Local runners Michael York of China Grove and Tracey Kinyo of Linwood were the male and female winners of the 5K. York had a time of 17 minutes, 22 seconds. Kinyo finished in 21:01.
Rhys Little of Salisbury won the male fun run in 3 minutes and 15 seconds over the half mile course. Kelly Petraski of Mooresville led the females in 3 minutes and 50 seconds.
Santa helped hand out awards in 28 age group categories before disappearing.
A hearty “Ho-Ho-Ho, I’ll be back soon!” was heard just minutes later as everyone was leaving.
Complete results can be found at http://www.salisburyrowanrunners.com.
Other sponsors besides the Salisbury Rowan Runners, Millbridge Ruritans and Locke Fire Department were Sportrax, Vac and Dash of Albemarle, Gay’s Chapel Men, Bank of the Carolinas, and Masonry Restoration Inc. Rowan Helping Ministries received all proceeds from the event, as well as canned goods contributed by the runners and spectators.

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