Gotta Run: Two races coming up, along with spring Beginning Runners Class

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2022

The first two races of the spring season are set to go with the local running scene back to normal after reduced events during the last two years. First up is the Mt. Hope 5K on March 26 at Salisbury Community Park. Race director Belinda Wyatt said, “The seventh annual event got its start back when Pastor Johnny Boggs wanted to hold a fundraiser to raise monies for missions. I am not a runner but thank goodness my daughter Miranda was and still is. Prayers and good guidance got us here.”

Volunteers and dedicated sponsors make all the races work. Belinda added, “Both groups bless us all. Our runners come from across the state, some of them returning each year. And our church uses the event as a team-building exercise, with many of the members returning each year to do the same job.”

Proceeds all go to missions. Mt. Hope has a couple of missionaries serving abroad, one starting churches in Africa and another working with kids in Romania. The rest of the money raised is invested in Rowan County. Local projects include feeding the homeless several times a year, providing back-to-school supplies for local schools, and purchasing tents for some of the homeless population as well as hats, gloves and socks each winter. Mt. Hope and a partner hold a Christmas Fest where gifts are passed out to low-income kids. Last year, the church bought Christmas gifts for some local children from another nearby church.

Belinda says it’s a pleasure to hear from participating runners about her race. Once the race is finished, she starts planning what can be improved upon for the next year. Belinda sends results out via email and hopes to get a reply back.

Next up on April 2, we are kicking off a brand-new event, the West Rowan Bible Teachers Association 5K. Deb Gussler, a school system employee and WRBTA 5K race director said, “To show support for our Bible Teachers of West Rowan, we create fundraisers that allow for them to be paid. The newest fundraiser we are having is a 5K race in the town of Cleveland. This idea caught momentum shortly after the new West Rowan Elementary school was built.”

With the new school hosting the event and one of the flattest courses around, as well as the beautiful historic town of Cleveland, runners and walkers will be able to enjoy the scenery. This race is special because the West Rowan community is coming together to show their support. West Rowan High School students, the Town of Cleveland, the local fire departments and the police department all will have a hand in making this race fun and successful.”

Although this is the first official 5K event for the West Rowan Bible Teachers Association, organizers hope to make it an annual event. Deb said, “We are blessed to have Bible History classes in our West Rowan area schools. All proceeds will go to support the West Rowan Bible Teaching Association. The WRBTA is a 100% community nonprofit organization. Bible teachers in the N.C. school system require funding for their position and benefits to be provided by outside sources.”

Both the Mt. Hope and West Rowan races have shirts and refreshments for all participants, plus plenty of overall and age group awards. Walkers are encouraged to attend.

The South Rowan Bible Teachers Association has scheduled its first 5K for Sept. 10 in Landis.

The spring Beginning Runners Class kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, at the Salisbury Police Department. The class is sponsored by SRR, Salisbury Parks and Recreation and Novant Health. Weekly meetings continue for eight weeks and will begin with classroom sessions before going out on the streets around the PD to eventually build up to the 5K (3.1 miles) distance. The first night’s run/walk is just a half mile. Classroom topics include shoes and equipment, stretching and strengthening, running form, injury prevention, nutrition and safety.

Information on all of these events can be found at