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Hundreds turn out for China Grove race

By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
CHINA GROVE — More than 700 runners took to the streets Friday night as thunderstorms threatened but never materialized in the downtown area.
Clouds and a steady breeze lowered the simmering temperature of late afternoon, just in time for four separate running events.
Main Street was the venue for the Dick’s Sporting Goods one-mile sprint, the Krispy Kreme 200 yard Tot Trot, the Pizza Hut half-mile fun run, and the largest 5K in Rowan County. The 5K is aptly named the China Grove 5K Main Street Challenge, as the course is out and back solely on Main Street.
Ryan Woods, a 32-year-old chiropractor from Boone, set the new 5K course record in 14 minutes and 46 seconds. He was followed by Stuart Moran of Arden in 14:49 and John Compton of Charlotte in 14:51.
Charlotte’s Caitlin Chrisman was the female winner in 17 minutes and 21 seconds, with Alice Rogers of Charlotte following in 17:36. Vivian Dinan of High Point was third in 18:21.
Other notable area 5K winners were Miriam Lowery of China Grove who ran 22:20 as the female Masters (age 40 and over) winner. Greg McCubbins of Salisbury was second in the male grandmasters (age 50 and over) with a time of 19:05.
Fun run winners were Eli McNeil of Asheboro in 3 minutes and 25 seconds for the boys and Merritt Cobb of Hillsborough in 3 minutes and 35 seconds.
Mile sprint winners were Michael Rollins of Asheboro and Cathy Michael of Salisbury.
Proceeds for the event went to the YMCA Invest in Youth Program.
Betty Threadgill, 70, finished her first China Grove Challenge, and is already planning her next race.
“I was nervous when I got there and saw all the people. My family had challenged me to train and run in the race. I was worried that people would have to wait for me to finish,” she said.
They didn’t have to wait long, as Threadgill finished first in her age group with a time of 34:49. Threadgill continued “I especially enjoyed running with my two sons, a daughter-in law, and my granddaughter. My goal was just to beat 40 minutes.”
Woods, the overall winner, hadn’t been happy with his performance last year.
“This year, I came to the race in better shape, and the close competition really pushed me to my best performance,” he said.
Woods was a participant in the Olympic Trials as a 1,500-meter runner, and has been a strong competitor since.
Scott Weant, whose father and son both competed in the 5K, said, “While watching my son, Coby, receive his award, I am sure that my smile was as big as his. This night was full of memories that will last a lifetime.”
The J. Fred Corriher YMCA organized the event, and Aaron Crowe served as race director.
“This event keeps growing every year. We are happy that more runners and more spectators are coming out each year,” Crowe said. “Thanks to the town of China Grove, and all the other sponsors who make the event happen. I am just overwhelmed by all the community support. Planning starts Monday for 2012.”
Other sponsors for the events included the town of China Grove, the South Rowan YMCA Service Club, JR’S Floor Care, Rowan Regional Medical Center, the China Grove Animal Hospital, IC Heating and Air, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Duke Energy, Waste Management and the Salisbury Rowan Runners.
Results and timing were done by RMS Sports of Marion, S.C.
Complete results are posted online at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.

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