Greg Bassett: Tim Kennard Race is an outstanding community event

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I’m a terrible runner.

Slow. Plodding. Really slow. It’s all a struggle.

I’m the tortoise that under no circumstances would ever beat the hare.

But the way I run matches my personality. It’s often said that a person’s golf game tell all about their character and personality. My experience tells me that’s true, but watch somebody when they’re running and you’ll see everything you’ll ever need know.

I bring all of this up because one of Salisbury’s truly great annual events will be held this weekend — the Tim Kennard 10-Mile River Run and 5K Run-Walk.

Held in the first week of March, it’s always dicey weather. Some years it’s been 70 degrees; last year it snowed. Most events seem to be held under sunny skies and 40-degree temperatures, which happens to be this Sunday’s forecast.

The Tim Kennard is held for lots of great reasons. It’s a significant fundraising event, netting thousands of dollars for various local charities. It salutes the memory of a man who was felled by kidney cancer at age 48 — a guy everyone liked so much that the event named for him has been held each year for the past 13 years.

That’s all terrific. What I really love about the Tim Kennard event, however, is the social camaraderie that goes on and the way the event shows off Salisbury, its neighborhoods and its incredible people.

The 3-mile version of the race winds through the neighborhoods just west of Salisbury University, the location of the starting and finishing lines.

The 10-mile version of the race is a beautiful tour of Salisbury — the sort of route you might follow if you wanted to show visitors around town. It takes in the same Riverside Drive neighborhoods, but also heads Downtown to cover parts of the Downtown Plaza area and even Newtown, before climbing the hill up Riverside Drive and back to the university.

Spectators line all of the routes for both races. The runners are truly inspired by the crowds’ encouragement.

This year, proceeds will go to Coastal Hospice, for pediatric cases and programs for grieving children who have lost a sibling or a parent to cancer.

Also benefitting will be Salisbury Horizons Student Enrichment Program, which provides support, education and hope to children from economically disadvantaged families; Coalition of Caring, for animals in need; and VSCOA PAWS, a program to train disabled, homeless veterans to train homeless rescue dogs to become service dogs.

The opening ceremony will be at 8:30 a.m. and the 10-Mile River Run, 10-Mile Relay and 5K will begin at 9.

At 9:05 a.m., the 5K Non-Competitive Walk will start. It will allow baby joggers and well-behaved canines and begin five minutes after the competitive events.

This is a community event worth attending, either as a runner or a spectator. If you’re someone interested in becoming a runner, try walking it this year and train toward running it next year.

It’s incredibly fun.

Though your body might experience some pain, when the endorphins kick in and are mixed in with the emotion of community spirit and the positive support for good causes, you’ll feel an elation that’s truly remarkable.

 

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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