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Santa guides runners in Millbridge on Saturday

The favorites both got the wins on Saturday in the Santa 5K Run for Charity. Robert Miller was the overall winner with a time of 18 minutes and 20 seconds. Melissa Orr topped the women on the challenging course in 20 minutes and 59 seconds.

Santa joined the proceedings just before the start. Rumor was that his sleigh is in the shop for last minute maintenance and the reindeer were vacationing for a few days. He arrived by some undetermined means, possibly with Kyna Grubb, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries. They both joined Paul and Linda Rogers, who lead the RHM West effort, as Grubb thanked the runners and walkers just before officially starting the race.

Santa rode ahead of the runners in a ’52 Chevy and cheered for the runners at the finish while giving out candy.

Peggy Payne and Renny Schultz led the fun runners.

Race director Richard Taylor was pleased with the race, especially the host Millbridge Ruritans. He said, “What a great place to have an event! This facility is fantastic. It was a nice morning and the run through the rural countryside is a once a year event for us. We appreciate the efforts of Locke and West Rowan Fire Departments, too. The Salisbury Rowan Runners will make a nice gift to RHM West. Thanks to everyone involved.”

Sponsors for the event included Third Creek Dentistry, Novant Health, the Millbridge Ruritans, the Salisbury Post, Vac and Dash and Cheerwine.

Complete results are at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org

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