STATE ROAD — On a sunny day with the temperature easing into the 50s, about 150 runners and walkers turned out for the first Family Fun Run at picturesque Mountain Park Elementary School.
“It’s exciting,” school Principal Cathy Hull before the start of the event. “We wanted to come up with a new initiative. We usually sell Krispy Kreme donuts.”
Hull said the school kept three things in mind when they came up with the fun run: that it was healthy, family-oriented, and fun.
There was much more fun than serious racing Saturday. Many stayed to let their children play on the playground or pitch horseshoes. Many more renewed acquaintances while they caught their breath.
Acquaintances weren’t all that were renewed. A rivalry was renewed when sisters Shannon (Holder) Norris and Ashley (Holder) Riedel ran the four-plus laps that made up the two-mile run. “It was the first time she ever beat me,” Shannon said after the run.
The sisters competed in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track at Surry Central under Coach Rex Mitchell. “They were both great runners,” Mitchell said, adding that he had not seen Ashley beat Shannon before. “There was never any question,” he said. “Never ever until today.”
Mitchell was busy starting the race at the starting line and then calling out the times of finishers at the finish line. “It’s a beautiful day,” Mitchell said. “It’s fun coming to see people crossing the finish line with smiles on their faces.
“This is a great turnout. This is a special community.”
Kayla Norman of Dobson and her sister-in-law, Lillie Norman of Mountain Park, were two of many who walked the course. Norman pushed a friend’s child, 1-year-old Allie Sutphin, in a stroller. Kayla did not attend Mountain Park, but her husband and Lillie both did.
“It’s a great way to support the school,” Kayla said. “I appreciate the school and the community interest.”
Kayla, a teacher at Rockford Elementary School in Dobson, learned of the event through her mother-in-law, Robin Norman. Robin is involved with the Mountain Park PTA.
Race organizer and Mountain Park teacher Blair Lambert said the event “was a real team effort. Everybody just pulled together. It was a definite success.”
The event raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500, Lambert said. She said she would have been happy with $1,000. Last year, selling Krispy Kreme donuts raised $700, she said.
“We think we’ll have more people next year,” Lambert said. “The bottom line: people had a good time today.”
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.