Around 184 local athletes opened their Saturday morning running in the annual United Fund “Downtown Rocks and Runs” 5K event at the Mount Airy City Municipal Hall. Participants had the opportunity to present their runners’ “bibs” at Old North State Winery that night and “rock” to the music of the band Hot Sauce.
The winners of the first corporate challenge for the race was Carolina Carports, who also took corporate participation honors. According to preliminary results, Ron Walters won top overall honors with a time of 18:39.073.
“Carolina Carports served as the lead sponsor this year, their first year of competition and brought a team to contend with in their white jerseys,” said Fund Executive Director Beth Pequeno. “We are so grateful for the support of AES, who supplied our medals and Tarheel Converter and Core for sponsoring our kids fun run for the last three years.” Other sponsors included Leonard Building, G & B Energies, O2 Energies, Renfro Corporation, Surrey Bank and Trust, Workforce Carolina and Surry Yadkin EMC.
“This kicks off the annual campaign for the United Fund (of Surry),” said Pequeno. “We help 26 local agencies ranging from food pantries and the American Red Cross to five rescue squads. Every one of us is helped and benefit from these agencies. Our fundraising is so they can concentrate more on helping people and less on raising money.”
Another first for the Rocks and Runs this year was a downtown scavenger hunt which received major support from merchants, many serving as the authors of at least one of 45 questions with riddle-like clues for participants. This is the seventh time for the annual event.
“We were looking for something for participants to do after the awards and presentations for the morning run and before the evening activities,” said Main street Program Coordinator Lizzie Morrison. “The businesses had a lot of fun with it at the Harley Owner’s Group convention we held in 2013. Our grand prizes are two git baskets with items from downtown merchants and a large basket of peaches donated by Miss Angels.”
The race course began on Cherry Street in Mount Airy near the Century Link building, then downtown and along the Greenway and end in front of the municipal building. Pequeno said the course has been certified by U.S. Track and Field, and for the second year in a row will feature chip timing. Chip timing was chosen to benefit runners who participate want to run bigger races and need certified qualifying times.
The fitness challenge asked companies put together a team of at least 10 runners or walkers with each team member putting an additional $5 in the contest “pot” along with the registration fee for a total of $190 going to Carolina Carports.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on Twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.