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Runners beat the cold with Salisbury’s Winter Flight

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — Ryan Jank, of Mooresville, crossed the finish line first at the 36th annual Winter Flight.

Jank completed the 8K with a time of 25:47, happy with the win saying he likes to be competitive and his goal is to win.

He began running the Winter Flight three years ago and has returned because of the community feel.

The race was the second he ran over the weekend, running in Charlotte on Saturday.

“Winning takes the pain over,” he said.

Shawanna White, of Columbia, S.C., came in first among women running the 8K for the second year, crossing the line in 29:30. White is trying to shave off seconds to compete in the 2020 Olympic marathon trials.

This was the third race she ran over the weekend, competing in two 5Ks in Columbia.

“I wanted to see what I can do on tired legs,” she said. She added the course was challenging, especially the last hill on mile four, but the finish was fast around a portion of Catawba College’s track.

Mary Dudley Bertram Tramazzo came in second place in the women’s 8K, at 29:44. Tramazzo ran in her first Winter Flight when she was 11 years old, which got her interested in running. Now living in Fayetteville, she travels back home for the Winter Flight and for holiday races.

“When I think of races in Salisbury, this is the big one,” she said.

She enjoys seeing the running community for the Salisbury races and running down the roads she knows from growing up in the area.

Tramazzo said the course was challenging because of the many hills, but it was a good temperature for running.

Generally Tramazzo runs 5K or 10Ks competitively, but having an 8K allows her to concentrate on racing the other runners and not a set time.

Tramazzo said the course was challenging because of the many hills, but it was a good temperature for running.

The Winter Flight has a 5K version and a fun run for kids and other participants not quite ready for a big race.

One was 91-year-old Jack Sherard, who walked the two laps of the fun run. A year ago, a doctor told him he had congestive heart failure and said that he needed to start eating better and be more active. Sherard said he had run previously and wanted to participate in a portion of the Winter Flight. His friend Linda Lilly, who also ran the 5K, walked with him and encouraged him throughout.

“I’m tired, but I feel good,” he said.

Trudy Gale returned, who has either run or worked the Winter Flight when it started years ago. Gale said she enjoys seeing friends from the running community and encouraging young people to get into running. She still takes the run seriously.

“I just go out there and give it what I have,” Gale said. “I don’t run it casually.”

For Gwen Lanning, she had a bit of a hiccup, losing her shoe at the start of the race, but got a good time, she said, joking the two skunk smells on the course helped her run faster.

The Ainsley’s Angels gave handicapped persons the opportunity to participate in the run. The wheelchairs started three minutes before the start of the 5K and 8K. Tony Mullen pushed Jerry Austin for the majority of the race, but in the last leg Austin got out of his wheelchair to walk across the finish line with crutches.

Mullen first got interested in the organization after seeing them at various races and ended up volunteering last-minute to push a wheelchair. After, he was hooked. Austin became interested in racing after participating in the Lexington BBQ Festival race.

Mullen and Austin met for the first time prior to the Winter Flight.

“Meet today, family forever,” Mullen said.

The Winter Flight had about 360 participants in the three race types, some coming from as far as Hawaii. Proceeds of the race went to the Rowan Helping Ministries, totaling $10,000.

Click here to see more photos from Winter Flight.



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