Some ran in tutus, some ran in tartan plaid, some ran in Santa hats and some ran in their jammie pants. But this year they all ran in the snow.
The ninth-annual Rosy Cheeks 5K, a charity run to benefit the Mount Airy Police Department’s Christmas toy drive, has been run in all kinds of conditions in prior years.
“We’ve had it in rain, we’ve had it in sun. It’s been 12 degrees and it’s been 8 degrees, but it has never snowed,” said Catrina Alexander, director of parks and recreation for the city.
“It’s like Norman Rockwell, sort of,” added Alexander as a gentle snow continued to fall on runners dressed as Santas and reindeer and toy soldiers and tutu-clad princesses and numerous variations thereof, while runners of all ages stretched and warmed up in preparation for the race.
There is no fee to run in the Rosy Cheeks 5K, but all entrants are asked to bring a gift to contribute to Mount Airy Police Department’s annual Christmas toy drive.
“It felt like it was necessary for us to go through with it. It’s for charity for Christmas,” said Alexander. There was no time to re-schedule the event before Christmas. “We’re asking that people be careful. We’re asking they be mindful. We want everybody to get back safe and sound.”
More than 300 participants pre-registered for the event, with a total of 375 participants registered by the start of the race. As participants lined up at the start, Mount Airy Commissioner Steve Yokeley — appropriate to both theme and weather conditions in a furry-lined ushanka hat — welcomed everyone to the event and commended their dedication, saying, “I’m not that dedicated. I’ll be out on the greenway later.”
Medals were awarded to the 156 finishers by age and gender and also to overall winners. Overall male winners were Samuel Haynes (18), 1st place time 17:58.5; William Barrett (20), 2nd place time 18:06.9; Wyatt Kirk (17), 3rd place time 20:02.2. Haynes, from Cana, Virginia, was a conference cross country champion for Carroll County High School a year ago.
Overall female winners were Martina Banas (12), 1st place time 22:32.0; Alma Rodriguez (17), 2nd place time 24:32.2; Amber Horton (33) 3rd place time 25:02.4.
Jessi Delacruz (10) placed first in females under 10 at 29:22.5 and Joshua Gilley (9) placed first in males under 10.
Dot Brockwell (81) placed first for females over 70 and Mario Barros (71) placed first in males over 70.
Anyone who was prevented by weather conditions from attending the Rosy Cheeks 5K may still drop off their toys at Reeves Community Center. Full race results in all age and gender categories are available at rosycheeks5k.itsyourrace.com.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.