Monday, January 18, 2010

Regional stars come out for N.C.'s oldest 8K

As a Road Runners Club of America State Championship race, the annual Winter Flight 8K in Salisbury typically draws some top-notch competition.

Last year, Ryan Woods of Boone (a former All-American runner at N.C. State) won in 25:26, while Molly Nunn of Winston-Salem (a star for Wake Forest during the mid-2000s) was the top female in 29:30.

Who'll vie for top honors when the gun for the 2010 Winter Flight 8K goes off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30? Well, Woods and Nunn are both returning to defend their titles ... but it appears Nunn could have her hands full: Challengers in the women's race include former Demon Decon teammate Caitlin Chrisman and speedy seventh-grader Alana Hadley (at right). Hadley won the Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K this past Thanksgiving, in 29:37; Chrisman and Hadley finished 1-2 last August at the Yiasou Greek Festival 5K.

But to be clear, this race is open to you and me, too; in fact, I'll be there to take part alongside several running friends. So if you've got an opening in your schedule a week from Saturday, you might want to consider the following info about this 27th annual event, which is the oldest 8K race in North Carolina.

THE COURSE -- certified by the USATF -- starts and finishes at Catawba College in Salisbury. Salisbury Rowan Runners president David Freeze says it is flat and fast for the first mile, then rolling for the next three miles, with a mostly downhill final mile. The finish is on the track inside Shuford Stadium.

PARTICIPATION usually is in the mid-200s to low 300s, so if you're a decent runner...

...AGE GROUP AWARDS are there for the taking (commemorative age group awards will go three deep in 13 age groups). There also will be cash awards given to the top male and female finishers, to the first male and female to the one mile mark, to the top male and female Rowan County finishers, and for new course records. In addition, special RRCA State Championship Awards will be presented to the top overall male and female, as well as to the Masters and Grandmasters winners.

ALL PROCEEDS will go to Rowan Helping Ministries, the local homeless shelter.
Canned goods will be collected for RHM and donations will be accepted. Freeze says a donation will also be made to "Kids Run the Nation," RRCA's children's running arm.

COST TO REGISTER for the 8K is $25 in advance and $30 on race day. There's also a half-mile fun run that starts at 9:30 a.m. and will be contained on the track around the Catawba Indian football field. Entry for the fun run is $10, whether you sign up beforehand or day-of. Race registration and awards will be inside Goodman Gymnasium.

a Dri-Fit long-sleeve shirt, and fun runners will get a cotton shirt. All 12-and-under fun run finishers will receive a medal. Freeze says there will be plenty of food and drink, and music will be provided by a DJ. Shoes and other running apparel will be on sale.

For more information, click here or call 704-239-5508.


Chad R. said...

The Winter Flight is a great little race in Salisbury with some surprisingly good runners who show up. It's also family-friendly. I really like the dri-fit shirts more than the old cotton sweatshirts. See you there!

Kelly said...

Is packet pickup only day of the event? I haven't seen anything on their site about it.