Teens With a Mission 5K returns Friday

Published 12:02 am Thursday, April 25, 2024

SALISBURY — Every year, First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury hosts a 5K to raise money and bring awareness to Teens With A Mission.

Each summer, Teens With A Mission, or TWAM, takes a trip to San Antonio Del Mar, Mexico, to build houses for two different families in need. To help with the expenses of this trip, a group of teenagers and youth leaders organize the 5K.

Steve Staley is a runner who first raced in the 5K last year and has decided to travel back this year to support the group once more. He was asked to speak about this race to bring awareness to other runners in the community. 

“As someone who has run and raced around the block a few times, I find myself somewhat qualified to critique races,” Staley said. “In fact, I have run the distance around the world 3.67 times as of this writing. Running, and especially racing, is a major part of my life.”

Staley is now 69, but he never ran a step before the age of 22.

“In 1976, I made my first attempt at running in hopes of losing some weight and stopping smoking,” Staley said. “Little did I know that the life that was in front of me would change me forever and provide me with a lifetime of enjoyment.”

Staley came to his first Teens With a Mission 5K race last year and had not run it before, primarily since he lives near Matthews and with the race being on a Friday night in Salisbury, it could be tough to get there.

“I decided to make the trip last year after a little arm twisting from my very close friend David Freeze from SRR (Salisbury Rowan Runners),” Staley said. “I arrived early to beat the traffic a little and was immediately impressed by how organized the race was, even that early. I was also very impressed with how the race director had complete control of everything going on throughout the event. She was on top of her game for sure and the ability to do that should not go unrecognized nor taken for granted.”

Staley said that he enjoyed everything about the race, and after previously running 934 5Ks, this one is now one of his favorites.

“I also find it very refreshing to see so many teenagers doing something good with their lives,” Staley said. “On my way home from the race last year, I knew that I would be going back to this race and made a point to be the first one to register. I will see you all (most likely a little early to beat the traffic) on Friday, April 26, 2024.”

Due to the constant support of runners like Staley, First Presbyterian Church is able to take this trip each summer to serve the Lord in Mexico. 

Runners kick off at 7 p.m., right after a joyful Kids Fun Run at 6:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury is located at 308 W. Fisher St., Salisbury.