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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Lawson

Running a Great Race!

In the brisk morning air, runners gathered to test their endurance at the Run for Life 5K race on Friday. Organized and planned by Bryan Aalborg, pastor of the Charlotte Sharon church, and Ryan Ashlock, pastor of the Fletcher church, this beloved camp meeting tradition kicked off with a sense of excitement and camaraderie. Bryan Aalborg began the event by thanking participants for their dedication to fitness and offering a brief prayer. As the countdown concluded, the competitors surged forward, initially running as a large group before finding their individual paces and forming smaller clusters.

The race course, set against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Junaluska, provided a scenic route for the participants. Out of 135 participants in the 5K race, Cooper Getchell clinched first place, followed closely by Judah Kim in second place, and Malcolm Smith in third. The beauty of the lake and the challenging yet enjoyable course made the race memorable for everyone involved.

Following the start of the 5K, participants in the one-mile Fun Run lined up. This group embraced a more relaxed vibe, yet the competition was still fierce. Out of 154 participants, Calev Harrold crossed the finish line first, with Matthew Wickham taking second place, and Elliot Whitsett coming in third. Despite the more laid-back atmosphere, the Fun Run participants demonstrated impressive enthusiasm and spirit.

The race, held annually at 7:30 a.m. on Friday of camp meeting week, is a beloved tradition that brings together racers of all ages and abilities. To accommodate this cherished event, even the children’s meetings are delayed on the morning of the race, allowing the young attendees to participate or cheer on the runners. The winners are divided into age categories, ensuring recognition for outstanding performances across different age groups. However, the winners listed here are the overall top finishers.

The Run for Life 5K and Fun Run are more than just races; they are a celebration of community, health, and fellowship. Participants and spectators alike enjoy the lively atmosphere, the beautiful setting, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing the finish line. Perhaps the memories of this race will inspire many to lace up their running shoes and join in the fun next year.

—By Benjamin Lawson

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