Hundreds of runners take part in Thanksgiving 5K

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 27, 2022

SALISBURY — If race organizers could have placed an order for perfect fall racing weather, nothing would have been better than the day they got. Clear, still and appropriately cool for Thanksgiving morning, 302 runners and walkers used the weather as a boost for fast times. The Butterball 5K is the place to be for runners and walkers for burning some calories ahead of replacing them later in the day. In addition to North Carolina, participants came from Virginia, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Washington, Idaho, the District of Columbia and Germany.

Molly Nunn, who posted the winning time for the females and seventh overall of 18 minutes and 52 seconds, enjoyed her early morning drive from Winston-Salem for the race. She said, “The first thing I loved was the drive down Highway 601, intentionally letting other drivers pass me for the beauty of the morning drive. I had no idea what to expect as far as the course goes, but there’s no better way to kick off the holidays than with a race! There was a small mountain to run up after mile 2! I love the cause to help the Terrie Hess House; such special work to help others. I am grateful to have been a part of the race.”

The Butterball 5K continues to grow each year, and the cooperation of the City of Salisbury’s Police Department and Street Maintenance Division kept runners safe on the course that uses South Main Street, Airport Road, Airport Loop Road, and Red Acres Road. Additional parking was provided by Destiny City Church and Coffey Automotive. Runners were treated to a secure course, commemorative shirts and refreshments before the event-ending awards ceremony.

Overall winner of the Butterball 5K was China Grove’s Matthew Martin with a sizzling time of 15 minutes and 49 seconds. Second and third were Ethan Wilson in 17:41 and Jack Sutton in 17:44. Following Nunn for the females were Katie Efird in 20:14 and Adalie Harrison at 21:54.

Martin said, “The race was great as always. I had no time expectations or anything. I really just wanted to go out and have fun with it. It’s always nice coming back home and racing in Rowan County.”

Leading the event as she has for each of the Butterball 5K’s, The Forum General Manager and Race Director Rayna Gardner said, “What a great turnout we had today!! Between that and the awesome weather, I couldn’t have asked for a better event! The way this community rallies around events benefiting causes that care for our people is truly heartwarming and I’m so glad to be a part of it! Our proceeds benefit The Terrie Hess Child Advocacy House. They care for children who have been abused and their non-offending family members here in Rowan County.”

Co-owner of The Forum, Matt Marsh said, “Today on Thanksgiving, we are incredibly thankful to our community for supporting this fantastic race. This is our 15th year hosting the race and we’ve raised over $150,000 for The Terrie Hess Children Advocacy House. We can’t thank all the participants, volunteers and the staff at The Forum enough for their overwhelming support. We look forward to next year!”

Complete results can be found at