By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
Morning rain and predicted showers kept a few of the local runners home, snug in their beds.
However, those that ventured out to the Santa 5K Run for Charity at the Millbridge Ruritan Building, came away with a very rewarding morning. More than 80 finishers ran the rural roads near Sloan Park, all the while following Santa Claus and Rudolph, who both rode a special side car motorcycle.
Steve Staley came over from Charlotte to run and said, “I just love this race. There is nothing like it in Charlotte. Everybody stays around to celebrate afterwards. It is just so much fun. How do you top getting to see Santa in a sidecar, handmade Christmas tree ornaments, and all the great food? Plus we were all running to benefit the local homeless shelter.”
Mike Lawson paced the field with a time of 18 minutes and 11 seconds, over a course that had a few hills. Melissa Orr added to her string of local first place finishes with a time of 21:21. Owen Suneson led the half-mile fun run with a time of 4:26.
Race Director Richard Taylor and his wife, Julie, made more than 100 wooden Christmas tree ornaments that were given as awards.
“I sure am glad to get these off of our kitchen table,” quipped Taylor. “We had a wonderful day! Thanks to all the volunteers from the RCCC Early College Junior Civitans, Rowan Helping Ministries and Locke Fire Department.”
All proceeds for the event will go to Rowan Helping Ministries. Non-perishable food was collected at the event as well. Sponsors for the Santa 5K included Novant Health, Ironfish, the Millbridge Ruritans, Locke Fire Department, and the Salisbury Post. The race is managed by the Salisbury Rowan Runners.
Complete results can be found at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org