Parker Jenkins: TWAM event helping get youth group to Mexico

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

By Parker Jenkins

For the Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — At 7:30 p.m., just as the sun was falling on a cool 66 degree afternoon, 4-year-old Rory Hurtabise darted down South Fulton Street alongside her brother Milo.

“We’re going to win!” Rory and Milo both shriek in their glamorous Spider-Man and Incredibles costumes before competing with many children their age. “I’m the fastest!”

Rory and Milo were racing in the Half-Mile SuperHero Fun Run, the preliminary event to the actual 5K hosted by First Presbyterian Church.

Although Rory and Milo were clearly dressed as superheroes, everyone participating in the Friday night “Teens with a Mission Run and Walk” race was a superhero in disguise as the money raised was contributed to an extremely valuable cause.

The funds were dedicated to the First Presbyterian Teens With a Mission (TWAM) group, consisting of over 20 teens and adults traveling to San del Mar, Mexico from June 17-24. The group is picking back up from where it left off because of the challenges COVID-19 presented them, now traveling to the area again to build houses of families in need.

Everyone in the group — and those contributing to the group by participating in the race — were excited to again experience a sense of normalcy that COVID took away and continue doing things they loved, such as having the opportunity to run, all while doing so for a good cause.

The run was everything associated with normal as prom pictures were being taken in the newly renovated park by the church as the bell tower chimed in the distance.

Individuals racing had various reasons for wanting to do so, Nichole Towns participating “just for fun” and for the good cause, competing with her 14-yearold son and 70- year-old father. Others did so for fun and the good cause, but also strived for the winning opportunity. 26-year-old Andrew Avery, consistently training with a group of runners trotting 30-40 miles per week, was seen crossing the finish line just after 17 minutes and 51 seconds to become the male winner of the race. Katie Efird, also a participant of the running group finished just at a whopping 21 minutes, offered with the title of the female winner of the race.

Both individuals  and others  were presented with door prizes offered by local businesses alongside the annual hammer, given as a token of accomplishment for winning the race.

Although running 3.1 miles has the common reaction of making runners feel like they are dying, those in the Teens with a Mission Run and Walk can be handed out with the name of a hero, despite what they may have actually placed.

Parker Jenkins served as event journalist for First Presbyterian’s Teens With a Mission (TWAM) 5K. She is a junior at Salisbury High School.

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