The first two races of the spring season are expected to take place as the local racing scene returns to normal after reduced events over the past two years. The first is the Mt. Hope 5K on March 26 at Salisbury Community Park. Race Director Belinda Wyatt said, “The seventh annual event started when Pastor Johnny Boggs wanted to hold a fundraiser to raise money for missions. I’m not a runner, but thank God my daughter Miranda was and still is. Prayers and good advice have brought us here.
Dedicated volunteers and sponsors run all races. Belinda added, “Both bands bless us all. Our runners come from all over the state, some of them come back every year. And our church uses the event as a team-building exercise, with many members returning each year to do the same work.
The profits all go to the missions. Mt. Hope has a few missionaries serving overseas, one starting churches in Africa and one working with children in Romania. The rest of the money raised is invested in Rowan County. Local projects include feeding the homeless several times a year, providing back-to-school supplies to local schools, and purchasing tents for some of the homeless population as well as hats, gloves, and socks every winter. Mt. Hope and a partner organize a Christmas festival where gifts are distributed to low-income children. Last year the church bought Christmas gifts for some local children from another nearby church.
Belinda says it’s a pleasure to hear from participating runners about her race. Once the race is over, she begins to plan what can be improved for the following year. Belinda emails the results and hopes to get a response.
Then, on April 2, we’re kicking off a brand new event, the West Rowan Bible Teachers Association 5K. Deb Gussler, a school system worker and WRBTA 5K race director, said, “To show our support for our West Rowan Bible teachers, we are creating fundraisers that pay for them. Our most recent fundraiser is a 5k run in the city of Cleveland. This idea gained momentum shortly after the construction of the new West Rowan Elementary School.
With the new school hosting the event and one of the flattest courses around, as well as the beautiful historic city of Cleveland, runners and walkers will enjoy the scenery. This race is special as the West Rowan community comes together to show their support. Students from West Rowan High School, the City of Cleveland, local firefighters and the police department will all have a part to play in making this race fun and successful.
Although this is the first official 5K event for the West Rowan Bible Teachers Association, organizers hope to make it an annual event. Deb said: “We are blessed to have Bible history lessons in our West Rowan area schools. All proceeds will go to support the West Rowan Bible Teaching Association. The WRBTA is a 100% community-based non-profit organization. Bible teachers in the North Carolina school system need funding for their position and their benefits must be provided by outside sources.
The Mt. Hope and West Rowan races have shirts and refreshments for all participants, as well as numerous global and age group rewards. Walkers are invited to attend.
The South Rowan Bible Teachers Association has scheduled its first 5K for September 10 in Landis.
The Beginner Runners Spring Class will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22 at Salisbury Police Department. The class is sponsored by SRR, Salisbury Parks and Recreation and Novant Health. The weekly meetings continue for eight weeks and will start with classroom sessions before hitting the streets around the PD eventually reaching the distance of 5 km (3.1 miles). The first night’s run/walk is only half a mile. Topics covered in class include footwear and equipment, stretching and strengthening, running form, injury prevention, nutrition and safety.
Information on all of these events is available at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.