Gotta’ Run: Catching up!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 1, 2024

My column last week updated everyone on the latest from my farm accident. The Gotta’ Run column from last week got lost online somehow, but it can be found now in the Lifestyles section. What you may have missed is my fall from a front-end loader on May 15 that resulted in a broken back. This past week has been a tough one, with not a step of running likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Today’s news is the first follow-up appointment after the accident at Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine in Concord. After two weeks of varying levels of discomfort, I was happy to get to see scans and x-rays of my spine and the areas of concern. I am also glad to move forward and work toward a more comfortable existence that improves most days.

Discomfort has been improving this week, but I still have a serious ache in my left hip and leg. The doctor, a fellow cyclist, told me to keep doing what I am, and they would see me in a month. I have his email and will ask a few questions during the month. Recovery is still a long way off, but we took a giant step forward today as the scans looked good except for one place where the spinal column is slightly pinched. Healing is occurring and I’m praying that the discomfort that keeps me from standing for more than a few minutes will soon subside. Thanks again for the tremendous outpouring of support in texts, emails, calls, cards and prayers. I’ve probably not eaten so well in my life, but calories burned are insignificant, so moderation is the key.

A few weeks back, I wrote about the importance of an accurately measured course for any road race distance. More than 20 years ago, Salisbury had an issue with too many courses that were measured short, especially with any that started at Catawba College and not named Winter Flight. It has been my personal crusade to measure accurately all the courses we use in Salisbury and Rowan County. I mentioned the only accurate way to measure a course is with a solid measuring wheel, and that certainly none of the online measurers like mapmyrun are good enough.

I happened to run into Marcel Renn at Father and Son Produce the following Monday morning after the column ran. Mr. Renn reminded me that a 5K course, the key word being kilometer instead of 3.1 miles, is actually 32 feet longer than a 3.1-mile course. Since most of our courses are called 5 kilometers in distance, remember to add that 32 feet to make it accurate. So 3.1 miles is 16,368 feet and 5 kilometers is 16,400, but 16,404 by another source when using five decimal places. It all starts to make my head hurt.

And finally, one of the county’s best races is set for Friday night, June 7, in China Grove. The 5K race, a half-mile fun run and 200-yard tot-trot are all set for Main Street, hence the name Main Street Challenge 5K. The South Rowan YMCA benefits its scholarship programs with this 9 p.m. race, the only night race remaining in the county.

All the races are straight out and back to the finish near the fire department. Streets will be well lit and expect a party atmosphere through town with residents lining the streets and likely a fire department water truck splashing any runners who need to cool off just before the finish.

The Main Street Challenge is officially the fastest 5K in the state after Donnie Cowart set the super sizzling course record there two years ago of 14 minutes and 6 seconds. Pizza, doughnuts, watermelon and a commemorative T-shirt are included while an abundance of finisher awards go to the overall and age group top participants. China Grove runner Robert Miller broke the long-standing state 5K record for age 50-54 males last year.

Look for more information on this and other upcoming events at