Gotta’ Run: A new kid on the block — Shanna Matlock

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

Local runners and walkers have noticed a rapidly improving runner the last few months. At 60 years of age, Shanna Matlock was already good when she started racing, but she’s knocked almost three minutes off her 5K time since March. Her sizzling time of 22 minutes and 58 seconds grabbed the first overall female win this past Friday evening at the TWAM 5K.

In high school, Shanna didn’t try out for any sports because she thought she wasn’t good enough. She said, “I started dating this boy who ran some and I ran with him in his neighborhood occasionally. He would run a 5K and periodically I would go with him and try to run but I wasn’t committed. I never placed in any races because of that lack of commitment.”

The last 15 years were different. Shanna started walking and then gradually became a very fast walker. People saw her walking and thought she was jogging. Her pace was that fast!

At the beach, not on sand but on the road, she walks 10-12 miles a day. Shanna said, “I love walking and could walk all day. Now I walk one mile to get my legs warmed up and then run 5-7 miles and end it by walking one more mile. That is my routine at home or at the beach.”

Last September was Shanna’s first 5K since high school. She said, “Much older, I ran the Run for the Word 5K in Landis for three reasons. The money being raised benefited a great cause, it was right in my hometown, and I wanted to see how fast I could run a 5K at my age. Able to run the complete distance, I was surprised at my finish time of 25:53. I accomplished what I set out to do and had fun achieving that goal! Since then, I have continued my walking/running 5K races and having fun. I run because it is fun!”

Shanna counts running as a fun way to exercise and meet new friends while listening to their running stories. She often runs new routes with steep hills for practice, but again just for fun! Shanna added, “When I run the 5K races, my friends want to know my time. I just tell them I don’t know because I don’t look at my finish time. I just want to finish and have fun!”

Always a Rowan resident, Shanna grew up in China Grove and lives in Landis with her husband Randy and son Spencer. She is a program leader for Discovering Yourself through Barnyard Adventures at Happy’s Farm, as well as a volunteer with other programs there.

March 23 was Shanna’s favorite moment in running. She said, “I ran the Mt. Hope Run for Missions 5K at Salisbury Community Park and invited my brothers and sisters, their children and grandchildren to come take part in this race. I wanted them to do it in memory of our dad because that day was his birthday and also in memory of our mom and dad’s anniversary on March 20. My mom was a strong supporter of missions at South China Grove Baptist Church up to the day that God took her home. My three brothers and their wives came out and took part. They walked or ran the 5K or cheered those of us on that were walking and running. My two sisters were not able to make it because of prior plans. My best friend, Rhonda Roseman, also walked and was a proud sponsor of the 5K. She had a secret surprise printed on the back of the shirts in honor of my birthday. That day was extra special because my family took part in that 5K with me! I just love the fellowship and camaraderie of family and running friends!”

Shanna’s running goals are to have more fun running, make it across each finish line and to run a 10K race soon.

Look for upcoming events including the Ed Dupree 5K on May 18 at East Rowan High School. Most likely, you’ll see Shanna too!