DOBSON — When hundreds of runners compete for awards and bragging rights during Saturday’s seventh-annual Running the Vines 5K and 10K at Shelton Vineyards, they also will be aiding a greater cause.
The proceeds from the event go to the Reeves Community Center Foundation in Mount Airy and Surry County Parks and Recreation, to support programs such as Special Olympics and provide recreation scholarships to underprivileged youths, among other beneficiaries.
Along with the opportunity to boost health and wellness programs of the city and county, the Running the Vines event offers a unique course for runners who might be more accustomed to races held on city streets.
It literally includes a trek through grapevines, with Hampton Inn and Suites at Shelton Vineyards at 150 Charlestowne Drive forming the starting line and the finish line to be at Shelton Vineyards at 286 Cabernet Lane just outside Dobson.
The 10K race begins Saturday at 8 a.m. and the 5K at 8:10 a.m. A kids’ half-mile fun run is set for 9:30 a.m.
Overall, similar to fine wine, the Shelton Vineyards event has proven to offer a tasty experience for runners.
“We have about 525 registered so far,” Mount Airy Assistant Recreation Director Darren Lewis said Monday afternoon.
More are expected to sign up between now and the race day, which can be done on paper at Reeves Community Center or online at sheltonvineyards5kand10k.itsyourrace.com.
“We’re expecting around 600 runners,” Lewis said.
The adult registration cost from now until Saturday for the 5K race is $35, and $40 for the 10K. For those under 18, the sum is $25 for both races, with 5K Team Challenge registration costing $35. There is no charge for the kids’ fun run.
Overall male/female finishers — first, second and third place — will receive awards in the 5K and 10K runs, along with the top three in age divisions for both categories. These include 13 and under, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and over.
A trophy goes to the 5K Team Challenge winner.
All participants 21 and older will receive two free entries to concerts billed as “afternoon cool-down” events from the runs. Mediocre Bad Guys will provide live music from noon to 2 p.m. and The Breakfast Club is to play from 6 to 9 p.m.
Aids many causes
Lewis said the Running the Vines event raises about $10,000 each year which is shared between the city and county recreation departments.
Daniel White, Surry’s recreation director, said the Special Olympics program is one of the beneficiaries in the county.
“We’re able to invest in the program and help it grow, and hopefully this year one of the things we’re looking to do with the funds is to try to improve uniforms,” White said Monday.
“And it also helps to support the Senior Games by buying medals.”
The funding additionally enables local winners of competitions, such as those of Special Olympics, to compete on the national level through the providing of transportation costs. White mentioning as an example one golfer who will be heading to Washington state.
“It also goes toward helping to construct different facilities at Fisher River Park,” he said of how Running the Vines proceeds benefit parks and recreation. It collectively “just adds to the overall experience of the community,” White added.
Mount Airy uses its funding to provide accessibility to recreation programs which some local residents otherwise would not have, Lewis said.
“The city’s dollars go to the Reeves Community Center Foundation, which goes to support scholarships for underprivileged youths, disabled adults and health and wellness projects,” he said.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.