Runners go ‘insane’ over Elkin race
by Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter
A run sponsored by the Elkin Running Club and Elkin Valley Trails Association was held on Saturday in downtown Elkin with more than 125 runners pounding the pavement.
The run, called “Insane Terrain,” featured a 5K and 10K distance.
Mayor Lestine Hutchens of Elkin greeted each runner and conducted the ceremonial countdown to begin each race.
“I want to thank each of you for visiting and I especially want to thank all the volunteers who helped put this great event together,” said Mayor Hutchens.
According to runners who participated, the course was a bit insane.
“This was a challenging course because the hills,” said Dusten Wineborger of Greensboro, who was the male winner of the 5K with a time of 21:37. “I thought the course was nicely done. The weather was nice and cool.”
More than a minute later, the second-place runner was Dustin Shaw of Sparta, who checked in with a time of 22:38. Lane Moore of Thurmond followed at 23:07.
Female 5K competitors came down to a closer finish.
Whitney Parks of Jonesville crossed the finish line at 27:05 narrowly faster than Kaitlyn Sullivan of Mount Airy with a time of 27:18. Whitney Sprinkle of Elkin crossed in third place only one second later.
Other honorable mentions in the 5K segment were in the female age 60 - 69 group (no males participated in this age group) and above age 70 category for the males (no females participated in this age group). For the females, Nancy Ball of Elkin finished at 51:16. Susan Wilson of Jonesville followed at 54:58 with Pamela Bauman of State Road checking in at 55:23. For the males, Dennis Bauman of State Road crossed the finish line at 55:13 with Robert Larson of Elkin recording 55:35.
The most competitive portion of the run happened in the 10K challenge.
Two females battled to a finish just seconds apart from one another. Elizabeth Lyons of Winston-Salem crossed the finish line first at 47:03 with Ashley Randleman of Winston-Salem crossing the finish line just three seconds later. Rounding off the top three female athletes was Contessa Gentry of Elkin, who came in with a respectable time of 49:46.
“I’ve been running since I was a kid…and this was a challenging course,” said Lyons. “It’s fun though. It breaks up the run and gives you goals in the middle of the race.”
Lyons revealed that her fastest time in a 10K race was 40 minutes flat. The added seven minutes were very much attributed to the terrain of the course.
The male 10K run saw Nate Ayers of High Point cross the finish line first with a race time of 38:22. Corey Swanson of Hillsville, Va., trailed Ayers heading back onto Main Street and checked in with a time of 39:43. The third-place runner in the division was Calvin Bryant of Jonesville with a race time of 46:22.
The race was a first effort for the Elkin Running Club who organized the venue on behalf of Elkin trailblazers.
“My vision for the future of the Insane Terrain weekend is to have trail races once the bridges are complete,” said race spokesperson Robert Ball. “The trail races may range from a 5K to a full marathon incorporating the new bridges and trails from Elkin through Wilkes County to Stone Mountain State Park. This has huge potential to be a weekend-long event to showcase Elkin, its trails and recreational potential including mountain bike courses, trout fishing, kayaking on the Big Elkin Creek, tubing and canoeing on the Yadkin River, hiking, camping and equestrian trails.”
According to Ball, a committee was formed in April. Several members wanted to have a non-traditional kind of race and thought of all the hills in Elkin and the downtown described as being the bottom of a bowl.
“We went out and searched for some of the most challenging hills in Elkin and created the two courses,” said Ball.
“Whew. That was challenging,” said Nate Ayers after crossing the finish line in the 10K run.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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