The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 31, 2012

The numbers continue to go up for running

By Peter Asciutto For the SNAP
The Stanly News & Press

Monday, December 31, 2012 — Organizing a race is no easy task.  For a race to continue to be successful it’s focus should be on the runners and the sponsors.  

If you make the runners and sponsors happy, everything else falls into place.  

Stanly County is blessed with quality races that attract runners from throughout the region.

There were at least 16 races in 2012 within our borders.  The top six races had 1,691 participants.  Approximately 35 percent of those participants were from outside Stanly County.  

The two oldest and most prestigious local races are the Run the Valley 5K, 10K and the half-marathon, as well as the Beach Blast 5K, both organized by the Uwharrie Running Club.

Run the Valley started 15 years ago with approximately 40 runners. In September they had 389 total finishers in the three races. Participation in the 10K topped the century mark for the first time with 129 finishers.

Looking ahead to 2013, there is a possibility that the Run the Valley 10K will be the Road Runners Club of America North Carolina State Championship 10K Race  in conjunction with the Best of Badin Festival and the Badin Centennial.

The Beach Blast 5K is always on Mother’s Day weekend. This year saw 420 runners crossing the finish line. The Beach Blast has a great course, top-notch goody bags, awesome post-race snacks and a fun-filled family atmosphere.  

A wicked August thunderstorm quickly rolled through Albemarle two hours before the Tour de Elvis 5K, leaving clear skies for the race. After the race, runners ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches as Elvis music blasted away from the intercom at Don Montgomery Park. On Saturday morning, 115 cyclists, most of which came from throughout the region, took bike rides of 25, 45 & 65 miles around Stanly County.

The Tour de Elvis 5K kicked off the Vac & Dash Trifecta Challenge. Runners that participated in the Tour de Elvis, Y 8K Race and Run the Valley 10K earned long sleeve T-shirts and competed for awards.  Denton’s Jerry Loflin and Albemarle’s Michelle Boone were the victors in the Inaugural Trifecta Challenge.

The Vac & Dash April Fool’s Day 500,000 Centimeter 5K Run keeps the runners guessing. In addition to avoiding water balloons, squirt guns and running through people’s backyard, the 2012 winners were awarded hockey trophies for their efforts.  The 2013 race will be a Monday night 5K with more surprises in store for the runners.

Two new races with a twist, were huge successes this year. The Vac & Dash Moonlight Half-Marathon and Movie was a night race that started and finished at the Badin Drive-In. The United Way fund raiser is adding a 5K Race and Double Feature Run to the 2013 race. The Double Feature Run is for those that want to run both the 5K and half-marathon.

Stanly Regional’s Healthwave 5K allowed participants to designate the charity to which their entire entry fee would go to. With 240 registered runners, it was one of the largest first time races in the history of Stanly County races. The race will return in October. Stanly Regional has added a school edition of the Healthwave 5K for March 9.

Finally, the Uwharrie Running Club’s Running 101 Spring edition begins on Mar. 5.  Classes will be on Monday nights at 6:15 pm at Vac & Dash. Cost is $35 and includes entry into the Beach Blast 5K.