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David Freeze: Gotta Run

Early opportunities to go running and racing as we roll into a busy 2019

From 2007 to 2011, Salisbury was designated a Fit Community and the signs are still up. Most of the things that helped garner that designation are still in place. Things like healthy and active events, and cooperation with the city services and businesses that support it all. It doesn’t take long to realize that Salisbury and Rowan are great places to go running.

By going running, I include more than 25 races in the county of which a dozen are in Salisbury. I’ve said many times that I think that there are too many races nationwide now. A long way from the 80s, 90s and the early 2000s, when it was common to search for races. Times have changed, and I do understand the new normal, one where many charities want to be associated with a healthy activity such as a road race. Years ago, the same local runners drove miles to meet up in another part of the state for a challenging race. The running boom was strong, and people wanted to be active and fit. No different than what we have here now, but more racing options exist.

Today, every new race brings out some of the same folks but plenty of new ones too. The really good part of having new races is that more people are getting involved. Nothing makes me feel better than to see new people coming to the sport. Another good thing that happens with greater competition for the available runners is that quality and uniqueness of the races has had to improve. A race planned and organized haphazardly won’t make it out of the blocks, especially now with the more in-depth city permitting.

Longstanding races contributed to the bottom line for local charities in a big way. Runners got fitter because they wanted to test themselves. All ages of runners have the fever, and many of them have expressed why in this column. The physical and mental aspects of a good run keep the doctor away and much more. Seldom does a day go by when I fail to hear about yet another wonderful individual or group’s story of personal achievement.

So, on we go. We have two unique races to start 2019. On Tuesday, Jan. 1, again at The Forum, the Resolution Run 5K gets the starting horn at 9 a.m. Different from any other local race, the Resolution Run 5K is a simple and low-cost event meant to kick off another great year of races and running. If you haven’t yet tried racing, this is the place to start. Participants pay $10 or $5 with three canned goods for Rowan Helping Ministries. In fact, every dollar of proceeds goes to RHM. Runners and walkers get a quality dri-fit shirt, with both short and long sleeve available. All ages are encouraged to participate. Everybody gets an exact finishing time but there are no awards. Plenty of refreshments and something special, a grilling demonstration by the folks from Back Country and Beyond, are planned for after the race. Registration is only available at the Forum. There is no online registration.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, the oldest 8K in the state and the 4th oldest race in North Carolina, the Novant Health Winter Flight 8K takes place at Catawba College. It’s the 36th Annual Winter Flight 8K, this year with a competitive 5K and a half mile fun run. Long one of the better known races in the southeastern US, the same 4.97 mile course has been used for most of its history. Olympians and some of the best runners in the southeast and several foreign countries have been here for this historic race.

For the first time, Winter Flight will have something for every single runner or walker, regardless of ability. The special commemorative shirts will be replaced by a hoodie for the first time, again designed by Meredith Abramson. There will be more awards than ever, plenty of great door prizes and once again, all proceeds will go to Rowan Helping Ministries.

These two events are posted at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org and soon more than 30 other events including beginning runners classes, learn to ride bike classes and much more will be posted too. I am excited about 2019 and I hope you will be too. Come join us at the Resolution Run.

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