Doyle, Arnold grab big wins in China Grove’s Main Street Challenge 5K

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 12, 2017

By David Freeze

For the Salisbury Post

Near perfect Friday evening weather greeted more than 400 runners and walkers in three events at the 18th edition of the Main Street Challenge. Without a cloud in the sky and nearly non-existent humidity, fast times were the result as Davidson College’s Brian Doyle and Ashley Hunter Arnold grabbed big wins in Rowan’s largest race.

Doyle was the overall winner with a time of 15:02, an average of 4:52 per mile. Second was Jesse McIntire of Charlotte with a posting of 15:35, followed closely by High Point’s Steven Anderson in 15:45. Hunter Arnold was the top female in 17 minutes and 51 seconds. Winston Salem’s Molly Nunn was second in 18:07, with Hannah McEntire grabbing third in 20:18.

As usual, the race was a running celebration of sorts as Main Street was closed for the three races and lawn chairs were plentiful in the downtown area near the fire department. The Main Street Challenge event also included a 200-yard Tot Trot and a half-mile run for kids 12 and under.

Laura Zimmerman-Clark of Salisbury was ecstatic with her best 5K time of 27:55. She said, “It is my first time ever under 28 minutes. It was a fast course on a wonderful night.” Zimmerman-Clark credited half marathon training for her increase in speed.

The sight of second place Nunn near the front of the pack was no surprise. She said, “I had never met Ashley before. With the perfect weather, she kept me motivated to run hard all the way through. I am so grateful to be able to run the China Grove 5K every year. It is always a blast to see my running friends and catch up. And my favorite part — the Cheerwine and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I promptly had two doughnuts right after the race. I truly look forward to all of it.”

Long-time race director Aaron Crowe was pleased with the increased turnout and the cooperation of the sponsors and the Town of China Grove staff.

“It is a true partnership with China Grove and our long-term sponsors,” he said. “We strive hard to annually produce a race that encourages return participation. Year after year, it is good to see so many return participants. We plan to keep them coming back!”

All proceeds go to the South Rowan YMCA’s “We build people” program, providing scholarship opportunities where needed.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Pizza Hut, Krispy Kreme, Town of China Grove, Y Service Club, Food Lion, Cheerwine and Novant Health were the primary sponsors. Complete results can be found at