Runners compete in Winter Flight
By Shelley Smith
Chance Brown is a 13-year-old who says he started running for fun because he had too much energy.
The president of Salisbury Rowan Runners, David Freeze, sees Chance as a future champion.
Chance ran five miles in 38 minutes 29 seconds Saturday morning during the 28th Annual Winter Flight 8K race. The Winter Flight is a state championship race, and the fourth-oldest race in the state and oldest 8K in the state. Chance placed first in his age category, and was one of 350 participants in Saturday’s race.
The energetic Erwin seventh-grader said when he heard about Freeze’s summer running camp, he decided to try it.
“Since I had a lot of energy I figured it’d be a lot of fun,” he said.
Chance said he started running 5Ks. Saturday’s race was his first 8, but he said he wasn’t nervous.
“I don’t really train a lot, I’m just really active outside, playing basketball and running,” he said.
And even though Chance says he just runs for fun, Freeze says he is “up there with the best of the adults.”
“Chance is going to be a star,” Freeze said. “He’s got the mindset and the heart.”
And Freeze said he plans his races, too.
“Before he runs the race he knows the elevation of the course and the turns,” he said. “He’s got all that planned out.”
Chance said he enjoyed the race and will run again next year.
“I think it’s really fun because of the sights you get to see when you’re running,” he said. “And with all of the energy I have, it’s fun to feel the wind in your ears.”
Kelly Lowman of Salisbury also caught the racing bug this year, and will be running a marathon in February.
Lowman said she’s been running since she was seven, but stopped running competitively once she got married and had a son.
“Life got in the way,” she said. “I always ran leisurely and I just got addicted to all the little competitions.
“It’s fun to do, it’s good for you, and it’s cheap. You put on running shoes and go out the door.”
Another Salisbury runner who participated in the Winter Flight is Kevin Marsh, who has been training for his first marathon over the past 12 weeks.
“I turned 51 in November and figured if I wanted to get one in, David (Freeze) would get me started on it,” he said.
Marsh has always been a recreational runner, he said, and Freeze got him on a training plan to build up speed.
“He’s fantastic,” he said.
Freeze did not run this year’s race, but did personally congratulate and thank each runner as they crossed the finish line.
“This race is 28 years old, but we’ve got a really good reputation now with out-of-town folks,” Freeze said. “And we’ve got folks that always come back.”
Freeze said Salisbury is becoming a place that runners across the state know about, and want to come back to.
“This is a really big event for Salisbury,” he said. “We always try to put our best face on for this one.”
The overall male winner was John Compton, who ran the race in 25 minutes 18 seconds. Suzanne Hutchins won overall for the females with 30 minutes 34 seconds.
All proceeds from the race will go to Rowan Helping Ministries.
For more information on the race, visit www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.