'Fantastic' TWAM 5K dodges bad weather
By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
The word “fantastic” was used often to refer to First Presbyterian’s sixth annual Teens With a Mission 5K and Fun Run.
Both races were held on Friday night in conjunction with Salisbury’s “Friday Night Out.”
More than 200 runners ran the fast course through the heart of the historic district on a cool and windless evening.
Earlier rains cleared out, setting the stage for one of the most anticipated evening runs in our area. The race was conceived as a fundraiser to help cover expenses for the youth as they travel on various mission trips outside of the United States.
Race Director Tricia Johnson and Youth Pastor Whitney Bayer were excited following the event.
“We exceeded any expectations that we had early on. We changed locations this year, bringing the race back to the church, and we ramped everything up. Better awards, better shirts, more volunteers and much more planning,” Johnson said.
First Presbyterian adults and teens monitored the intersections on the course under the direction of the Salisbury Police Department.
“Our youth were really excited to help out. They said that this was the most exciting fundraiser that we have had,” Bayer added.
The overall male winner was David Estabrook of Lake Wylie with a time of 16 minutes, 50 seconds.
Mary Dudley Tramazzo of Salisbury won for the females in a time of 18 minutes, 42 seconds.
Fun-run winners were Bess Bryan in 3 minutes and 20 seconds, Noah Steedley in 3 minutes, 53 seconds and Norina Mueller in 3 minutes, 55 seconds. Fun-run distance was about four-tenths of a mile. Awards included commemorative hammers, inscribed with the race name.
Tramazzo is visiting at home for a few weeks, until her military husband is stationed in upstate New York. She was a member of TWAM, and was glad to give back to the organization. Tramazzo said “I received many benefits by my association with TWAM. It was great to be back and town and see old friends. I grew up running all around those parts of Salisbury.” Tramazzo ran collegiately at the University of Richmond.
The races were sponsored by Lowe’s home Improvement, Gordon and Carolyn Hurley, Bob and Sara Cook, Bill and Shari Graham, Fisher Realty, Innes Street Drug, Alan Burke CPA, F&M Bank, Rip and Debbie Collins, The Forum, Piedmont Eye Physicians and Surgeons PA, Deborah Lucas MD, Hayes and Susan Smith, Kenan and Tracy Smith, Collin Choate Grubb, Piedmont Players Theatre, Sportrax, Cheerwine, and Chef Santos by Goodfellows.
TWAM, or Teens With a Mission, is a service organization from First Presbyterian Church, made up of 10th- to 12th-graders and their youth advisors.
Funds raised from the TWAM 5K will be used to help finance a mission trip this summer to San Jose, Costa Rica. TWAM does work locally, but uses its international mission trip to build strong relationships among the members and advisors.
Residents along the course turned out to enjoy the evening and support the runners.
“This race is my favorite. It was lined with cheerleaders who I didn’t know personally. The kept yelling out my bib number, encouraging me by saying ‘Good job, keep it up.’ I loved the historic view of Salisbury,” said Michelle Macon.
New runner Molly Lassiter completed her first 5K.
“It was the most surreal and rewarding thing I have ever done for myself. To set goals and achieve them, there is nothing like it. A perfect first race,” she said .
Both races were timed and results provided by the Salisbury Rowan Runners.
The Salisbury Police Department kept the course safe, under the direction of Lt. Greg Beam.
Complete results are available at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org