David Freeze: Butterball 5K, Hospice results and gift ideas for runners

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and that means the 8th Annual Butterball 5K Run/Walk is about ready to roll. The Forum of Salisbury hosts the event on Thanksgiving morning, starting at 8:30 a.m. The Butterball 5K is one of the fastest-growing races in the area, following the national trend of successful Turkey Day races.

The Forum has several things that will attract runners and walkers to the event. For the fastest, gas cards are the big drawing card. Gift cards of $250 go to the winners, with $200 to second place and $100 to third place in both the male and female divisions. Awards will also be presented three deep in seven age groups for both males and females. For those with charitable intentions, proceeds will go to Prevent Child Abuse Rowan and the Terrie Hess House. These charities work to end the cycle of abuse that too many families experience.

For most of the runners and walkers who will toe the starting line on Thanksgiving morning, the main goal for the Thanksgiving morning exercise is to burn calories in advance of a plentiful meal. The Butterball 5K is a festive event for all abilities and gets the holiday off to a wonderful start.

Race director and Forum Manager Rayna Gardner said, “I can’t believe this is already our eighth year for the Butterball 5K. The outpouring of support from the community just keeps growing, and we couldn’t be more pleased to provide help for Prevent Child Abuse Rowan and the Terrie Hess House through this race.”

All participants get a long sleeve dri-fit shirt and plenty of refreshments, along with earning more room for a slice or two of pie. More information and registration links are available at www.theforumfitness.com and www.salisburyrowanrunners.org

The inaugural Share the Care 5K was a big success last week for Rowan Hospice and Palliative Care. A few highlights from the morning are worth mentioning. Several local athletes caught my attention for their efforts. Masters runner Robert Miller was back to race again after battling long term injuries and working back into shape. He took home a strong second place. One of the best efforts of the morning came from 9-year-old Emberleigh Pauley Brown. She captured a strong third place overall against the adults and was strongest at the end after climbing a significant hill. With her trademark smile, Emberleigh said, “I just love running and hills are fun!” I can’t wait to see just how good she gets. Luann Fesperman, owner of the Trophy House and a regular racer, said, “Oh yeah, Emberleigh just went right by me smiling all the way.”

Another special effort came from three West Rowan High School runners. Joseph Ward, Thomas Waldo and Graham Miller continued the recent trend of high schoolers helping the young fun run participants, usually ages 12 and under, to run smarter and stay safe during their event. Joseph, Thomas and Graham each picked out a runner and ran along with a big-brother-type effort. Thanks, guys, for doing this!

Now with the big Christmas shopping days coming this week, here are a few ideas on what to get for your current runners or runner wannabes. I have heard many times that runners only need a good pair of shoes to hit the road. That is basically right, but a few more things help along the way. A few tips from my own experience may help you find the perfect gift.

Back to the shoes. You can’t pick out a pair of shoes for your runner without them along, so visit your running store and get a gift certificate. My girls do this one every year, and I am glad they do. Shoes should be replaced after 400 miles or six months of age. The extra cushioning is worth it every time. Make sure you go to a real running shoe store, with the nearest being Ralph Baker Shoe Store and Phidippides in the Carolina Mall. Runners need to buy shoes from other runners, not the guy who was selling shotguns the day before.

Other popular items are dri-fit clothing that includes socks, shorts, T-shirts, jackets, gloves and hats. Just remember that all of these items don’t shrink with washing so buy them in the size that fits your runner now. This material also wears longer than cotton or other materials, so the extra cost is worth it.

Now for the runner wannabes, who are my favorites, there are several options. Beginning runner classes are popular year round, but recently the largest class is the January/February offering. This year’s resolution class will be held at First Methodist Church in Salisbury starting on Jan. 11, 2016, and meets for eight consecutive weeks. For more information, check www.salisburyrowanrunners.org, where you can hold a place for your beginning runner.

Finally, a great gift for everyone, not just for runners, is my latest book, “Riding the Rails to Freedom.” This book recounts my recent cycling journey from Mobile, Alabama to Toronto, Canada. Highlights include the Underground Railroad, loads of history and a visit to Elvis Presley’s birthplace. Books are available at the Literary Bookpost, Skinny Wheels Bicycle Shop, Just Hair, and Father and Son Produce in Salisbury and Patterson Farm Market in Granite Quarry. Book signings are scheduled at Father and Son on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. and at the Literary Bookpost on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Stop by to talk cycling or running.

Now, with the anticipation of abundant calories this week, a little extra time on the roads might be in order. I’ll be looking for you out there running. Happy Thanksgiving!

David Freeze is a nationally certified running coach and president of the Salisbury Rowan Runners. Contact him at david.freeze@ctc.net. Learn more at www.Ulearn2run.com


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