Gotta Run: Fall Beginning Runners Class just ahead

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2022

Many years ago, I started running. Best estimate says it happened for good in 1979. I ran some for school physical education classes and could take it or leave it. Nothing made it interesting at the time and my one regret was to never consider the cross country or track teams at South Rowan High. We usually had work to do at home and on the farm after school and nobody in my family ever considered running as important.

But in my early 20s, I found the sport. Nobody much helped me, but the running boom was well underway, so others were doing it too. Races were happening and running groups were forming. I never had a coach but read everything I could to get better and not make mistakes. Still I made some mistakes and gained some knowledge by talking to other runners who also made mistakes.

Attending a national running convention in Houston, I heard that there was a movement across America to promote more running programs, especially those for beginners. That was 16 years ago and with the support of Salisbury Parks and Recreation and Novant Health, both SRR and me are still at it, hoping to limit those early beginner mistakes.

The newest fall class starts on Sept. 8, a Thursday, and lasts for 8 weeks. The class will be held again at the Salisbury PD headquarters on Liberty Street. The class gets underway each Thursday evening at 6 p.m. with a classroom session that covers topics such as a class overview, shoes and equipment, stretching and strengthening, running form, nutrition, injury prevention and safety. A professional in the topic will teach the class each night.

After the classroom session, we will go outside and start running slowly and with walking mixed in. This is a running class, not a class for walkers, and while walking will certainly be allowed, the point is to learn to run. On the first night, we’ll cover a half-mile by running or run/walking. Each Thursday class will gradually increase the distance until the 8th class reaches 3.1 miles, a 5K. Additional running, usually three other workouts, will be scheduled on other days of each week.

The fee for the class, individual coaching, a training dri-fit shirt, one free race and a one-year membership in Salisbury Rowan Runners remains at $65, unchanged for at least six years. Graduation will happen after class on Oct. 27, following completion of the final night’s 5K run on the certified Greenway, Bare Bones 5K course, starting and finishing at Knox Middle School. Participants must not miss more than two meeting nights to graduate and receive a diploma.

Registration is available at and or can be done in person just before the first class. This is an adult class but children, 12 and up, can attend when approved on an individual basis ahead of the first class. All participants must be attentive. Please call 704-310-6741 or 704-202-6602 with any questions.

September’s two races are just ahead. The Merrill Family Dentistry Run for the Word 5K/Fun Run will be held in Landis at 9 a.m. on Sept. 10. All proceeds go to the South Rowan Bible Teachers Association to fund Bible teachers at South Rowan and Carson high schools, plus China Grove and Corriher-Lipe middle schools.

The Run to the River 5K/Fun Run, as part of Creek Week, kicks off at 5 p.m. on Sept. 24 from near the Town Hall in Spencer and yes, runs to the Yadkin River. The fun run follows at 6 p.m. and a kayak sunset paddle closes out the day. A bike ride to the river and back is also scheduled. The Town of Spencer and Rowan Moves host the event and Creek Week gets the proceeds.

Fun runs are a half mile and walkers are encouraged to participate in both 5Ks.

Look for these and several returning October races at