Gotta’ Run: SideKick Learning Center completes One Mile Challenge

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 25, 2020

Races are beginning to happen again and an unusual one took place on Wednesday. SideKick Karate sponsored a mile run and walk for breast cancer awareness, all completed in their parking lot at 520 South Main Street. A total of 36 runners and walkers from the SideKick Learning Center and After-school Program participated in the One Mile Challenge. Ricky and Edie Smith are owners of SideKick Karate of Salisbury.

The theme of the race was “run or walk a mile for the cure…one foot at a time.” Since 5,280 feet make a mile, the goal for each participant was to raise $52.80 by asking 10 sponsors to give $5.28, a penny a foot. “Every foot and every penny makes a difference.” said Ricky. The total raised was $2,246.06 and will go to the Susan G. Komen Charlotte Foundation. The top three fundraisers received an engraved samurai sword. They were Dalton Hardy who raised $443.52, Anderson and Azalee Everhart with $253.80, and Jackson Kelly who brought in $210.24. The top 10 received a pink belt which represented their commitment and fight for “The Cure.” All will wear their pink belts for the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness.

All the participants in the SideKick Karate One Mile Challenge, held on Wednesday. Singer Taylor Mason holds the guitar.

“We wanted our students at SideKick Learning Center to continue the Daily Mile curriculum that the Rowan County Schools incorporated for exercise, especially since students are sitting at their computers more than usual for virtual learning and schoolwork. Every day before lunch, our students are required to walk, jog, or run a mile around the parking lot. We wanted the One Mile Challenge to give the students a goal. A favorite Charlotte race of mine for many years was Race for the Cure, so we decided to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Charlotte Foundation,” Edie explained. Ricky added, “This was a perfect opportunity to teach the kids to help fight for others who are struggling with breast cancer. What does running have to do with karate? It’s the best self-defense technique you can learn.”

There were two heats of runners, both completing 10 laps around the asphalt parking lot. The overall winners of the 5-8 year old’s first heat were Urijah Magana, timed at 9 minutes and 48 seconds in the male division, while Azalee Everhart clocked 11:42 in the female division. Winners of the second heat, 9 years old and up, were Drew Hodges with a time of 6:40 for the males and Sophia Maycong at 9:58 for the females. They all received a four foot trophy.

“I am very proud of my son,” said Jacob Hardy, Dalton’s father. “This was an excellent opportunity to raise money for a good cause.” Overall male winner Hodges said, “This is my first race and I plan to continue running and entering other races.” Female winner Maycong stated, “This is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life but worth every second of it. It was fun.” Miquel Velazquez, a second-place finisher said, “Cancer has affected one of my family members and that motivated me to get in shape and run.” His father, Mario, said, “Many families are dealing with cancer and it was good for kids to be made aware of this and raise money for the cause.” Rev. Lincoln Roth of Maranatha Church in Salisbury explained, “It encouraged me to see the kids encouraging each other.”

Country music association singer and Catawba College graduate Taylor Mason performed the national anthem and also interacted with the students. She sang some of her own songs, along with taking requests from the students. “Taylor was perfect for the event,” Edie said, “The kids loved her great personality, and we think she’s on the way to musical success.” Taylor’s mom, Tricia, was awarded a pink belt by Ricky Smith for her own personal battle and victory with breast cancer.

The Salisbury Rowan Runners provided a complete finish line set-up and each runner/walker received an individual finish time and place. Look for more events at