Despite previous reports, the overall winner of the seventh annual Habitat Hammer Saturday was 16-year-old Charles Walker, a sophomore at Elkin High School.
With a time of 18:17:299, Walker was a full two and a half minutes faster than Antonio Luna, who was previously reported as the winner. “Charles was really burning up the course,” declared Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Claire Sellars.
Walker had not been a runner until his freshman year. According to his mother Crystal, Charles is the youngest of three boys who have always been involved with baseball with Charles starting at the age of 5. “I guess he was ready for something different,” stated his mother, of why Charles changed sports.
“My freshman year I decided that I didn’t really enjoy baseball that much and wanted to try something different, so I decided to do track,” explained Charles Walker, who qualified for state regionals for the two-mile run last year and cross country this year.
“Track and cross country are different in that track includes events of various distances up to 3,200 meters along with some relays and all events are run on the track. Cross country is a 5K run on various surfaces,” clarified Walker. “I prefer running cross country because I enjoy the longer distances.”
“He periodically runs 5Ks for fun,” said Crystal.
Charles had not previously run the Habitat Hammer. “I started running in March 2016,” stated Walker. “I ran my first 5K in June of 2016. I thought [the Habitat Hammer] was a good opportunity to compete and support a good cause.”
Walker said he is eager to give praise to those who helped him with this accomplishment.
“Jonathan [Anderson] and I have been training with Coach Dan Merritt since June 2016. He has helped me tremendously,” maintained Walker. “I was very happy when I won and I was also happy that my friend and training partner Jonathan Anderson placed third.”
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.