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Gotta’ Run: Red Hot Mamas hit the road for charity

Two of my best female running friends in Salisbury have decided to try something with new with their long-distance relay group, The Red Hot Mamas. I have known Meredith Abramson and Delaine Fowler for many years and found them both to be simply amazing in so many ways. Both are excellent runners and triathletes and have put their exceptional organizational skills to work on a big project.

Abramson put together an all-women’s team of 12 to first compete in the 210-mile Blue Ridge Relay in 2010. She said, “Over the last decade, we have grown from a group of 12 Salisbury and Rowan County runners to dozens of runners that now can be found along the I-85 corridor from Charlotte to Burlington and then on up to New York, Bloomington, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. When our group ran the virtual COVID-19 Miler as our first true fundraising event, we had 49 runners join in and wound up raising nearly $1,000 as a team beyond our race registrations.”

Fowler joined the group a few years after its inception. She added, “The COVID-19 miler raised money for personal protective equipment in the Charlotte area. This excitement and engagement got our minds going as to what we might be able to do locally to help people in need. We long for that feeling of connection in these disconnected times.”

The group, now even including a few men who are not red hot, decided to try a fundraiser here at home for Rowan Helping Ministries. Abramson said, “It may seem silly, but we share the same initials (RHM), so it seemed serendipitous. There are so many great organizations in town, and we know there are and will be many more people needing RHM to serve their needs as we slowly crawl out of the pandemic. Every little bit helps, and we hope all the money we can raise is a true representation of the Red Hot Mama way, ‘Being good, seeing good, and doing good in our community and beyond’.”

The Red Hot Mamas designed this relay to combine some of the favorite parts of events they have done in the past. Fowler said, “We love running as a team and running farther together than we can as a single person. We also love races that have set relay points where we can gather and support and cheer for each other. Obviously, we won’t have a large gathering for this particular relay, but having the same course helps logistics and allow us to do drive-by cheering.”

Due to the pandemic, only two people will run at a time, but we will ultimately have 48 runners who run for one hour in pairs for a total of 24 hours. Fowler said, “If all goes really well, we can build on it in the future to include multiple teams at a time when we’re no longer concerned about gathering limits.”

Currently, The Red Hot Mamas are seeking sponsorships with 100% of all funds raised going to Rowan Helping Ministries. There are five- and six-mile courses for relay participants.

Fowler said, “Every hour we will air hug, air high-five and send the next set of runners on their way. We hope if anyone sees us out and about, they will cheer us on.”

At press time, we still hope to have the Bare Bones 5K in some form on June 6. Gov. Cooper threw the Salisbury Rowan Runners and City of Salisbury for a loop with lower-than-expected Phase 2 limitations, but discussions are still ongoing. Look for more information as it develops on Bare Bones, one of Salisbury’s oldest races, and other future events at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org .

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