Gotta’ Run: Main Street Challenge 5K and a Heather Fidler update

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 30, 2021

China Grove’s 22nd Annual Main Street Challenge is on tap for Friday evening. Usually the largest 5K in the county, this race has a long history. Started in 1998 by Edie and Ricky Smith, the South Rowan YMCA has managed the race since the 2000 edition.

Always an evening event, the race started as a challenging journey through some of China Grove’s neighborhoods. After just a few years, it transitioned to a Main Street out and back. Start is just north of the fire department with the participants proceeding to the Food Lion at the corner of Kimball Road and Main before turning and retracing the same route back to the fire department.

It’s a fast course with some sizzling 5K records. Former Olympian Anthony Famigletti holds the course record at 14:19 and Caitlin Bullock has the women’s record at 16:36. There’s a $250 bonus for a new course record.

But what makes this event special is that a huge number of local runners and walkers of all abilities turn out for some challenging fun. Local residents pull their lawn chairs to the curb to watch the races that include a 200-yard Tot Trot and a half-mile fun run for kids. There’s music too, and a course without a real hill. Registration continues at and at the Y. Registration is also available on Friday evening at the race. Look for a printable brochure and more information on this and other events at

I promised to update Heather Fidler’s wellness journey. She’s closing out her third month working with me on a personal journey toward some big goals. Heather manages the Partners in Learning location at Catawba College. She was a college athlete and seeks a return to better health.

Heather Fidler at The Forum on Thursday. Photo by David Freeze

I asked Heather what she thinks is working and what’s not. She said, “When I only have to worry about me, while at work usually, it is very easy to make good food choices and drink water. We have made it a culture at work, so it is simple. But at home I am a very busy mom. I find that I fall victim to what I call family circumstance. I have to be very organized to make sure I follow my meal plans and proper calorie intake. When I forget to take something out for dinner, attend a track meet, get home at 7:30 p.m. and then have to thaw or prepare a meal, it’s too easy to find something processed or on the run.”

Water is a key to a good diet for all of us. Heather said, “Water is something I am still struggling with. To meet my water requirement, I have purchased a water bottle with times on it. I can often be on the go so much that I forget to drink, but with the times on it. I know that if it is 11:00 and I am only at 9:00, I need to get drinking. It gives me a tangible goal that I can see, so progress or lack thereof, is more in my face.”

Heather knows that goals are important. For June, she said, “I would like to lose 10-12 pounds. I will be focused more on meal planning and logging my caloric intake as we will not be on the go so much. Also, I would like to push myself more at the gym to increase what I am burning. I need to get more time in the gym. I try to be active outside, exercise and family time, but it doesn’t push me enough. My girls are awesome, so they understand if I walk or hike the trails with them that I still need to go to the gym.”

Heather wants to become a runner but prefers to wait until she’s dropped some significant weight before starting. Heather is now down 15 pounds since she began our program in early March. She has completed her first 5K by walking the Bare Bones 5K on May 1. I will update Heather’s progress at the end of June.