Fit Community 10k goes ahead
By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
When most runners and volunteers awoke Saturday morning, many thought of just rolling over and catching some more sleep.
Heavy rain and wind gusts made the pre-dawn hours daunting for those who later would brave the rolling streets of Salisbury for the Inaugural Fit Community 10K. There was a 5K Health Walk and a Fun Run to accompany the longer race.
Those hearty runners who came out for the race seemed to really enjoy the morning, and the accompanying break in the weather. Precipitation was reduced to a scattered drizzle and light rain, and only an occasional gust of wind hampered the participants.
Race activities were headquartered at the City Park building on Lake Drive where displays from sponsors, as well as food and drink, welcomed runners and volunteers.
The Fit Community 10K was a cooperation between many Salisbury organizations that endorse a healthy and active lifestyle.
The city of Salisbury, Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department, Rowan Regional Medical Center, Catawba College, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Sportrax, Rowan Partnership for Community Health, Earth Grains and Sara Lee, State Employees’ Credit Union, Salisbury Academy, Whimziggy and the Salisbury Rowan Runners sponsored and promoted the event.
The course highlighted the North Main area and the Salisbury Greenway system.
Josh Readling from Salisbury was the overall winner as he covered the 6.2 mile route in 38 minutes and 44 seconds.
Readling had tested the course earlier in the week and found it challenging.
Several short but significant hills dominated the first two miles of the course, but Readling said, “The course was great, but the wind and the rain were tough.”
Runners felt the breeze as a headwind as they climbed Mocksville and West Henderson after passing the 5 mile mark, but were soon rewarded with a long downhill and flat finish on Confederate, Clubhouse and Annadale.
Salisbury has numerous races each year, but this was the first 10K in 15 years.
The longer distance and hills were welcomed by Aileen Visser of Advance and first overall female. Visser is a wellness coach at the Davie County YMCA in Mocksville.
She just completed recovery from foot surgery and wanted to challenge herself on the rolling course.
Visser led the whole way, and took advantage of the hills to widen her gap over other contenders.
“I had been looking for a good 10K, and really enjoyed this one. I give glory to God for healing and my ability today,” Visser said.
Her time was 51 minutes and 27 seconds.
J.T. Bumgarner won the Fun Run in a time of 9 minutes and 10 seconds.
Race director Elaney Hasselmann from the city of Salisbury thanked all the volunteers and volunteer coordinator Rob Holmes.
“We expected problems based on the early weather conditions, but our volunteers turned out and did their jobs. Street corners and turns were monitored throughout the route by the Salisbury Police Department and our volunteers. They did a great job. Rob made sure that volunteers were placed correctly and even brought many of them ponchos to wear. Our PD is awesome, and our appreciation goes out to all of them,” Hasselmann said
Race proceeds will go to Rowan County Relay for Life. Long time Relay volunteer Tisha Goodwin worked one of the water stops, and enjoyed the morning’s activities.
“We have several other activities going on today, but the runners and volunteers here are helping a great cause. Thanks to everyone involved,” Goodwin said.
Local runners were glad to see a 10K again in the area. In the 1980s and early ’90s, 10Ks were abundant and nearly as popular as the shorter 5Ks.
Ben Harrison of Salisbury was especially glad to participate in the more challenging distance.
“I had been looking to run some longer races. This was fun and it’s going to help me in my training,” Harrison said.
Hasselmann, who is leaving her job at Salisbury Parks and Recreation to join the city of Salisbury on Monday, was instrumental in the success of the event.
She gave credit to Amy Smith, Rowan County Wellness Coordinator, and Janet Gapen, city of Salisbury planner, for their work on the Fit Community Committee.
“Thanks to the many volunteers and staff who contributed countless hours of preparation for this event. The Fit Community 10K was a great success despite the curveballs that Mother Nature threw at us. Overall the runners enjoyed the race and we were able to raise money for a good cause. That is all that really matters,” Hasselmann said.
Complete results can be found at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.