Mt. Airy’s First Half Marathon is a Success

It was a beautiful morning for a 13.1 mile run. It was probably the most challenging half marathon I have run due to the constant rolling hills. There were several of us who ran most of the way in a pack and the conversation was great.

Dustin Payne had a great time of 1:40

Sandy Davis, Brad Nester and Randy McDaniel all finished about 3 minutes ahead of me with a personal best for Sandy. (it must have been due to the encouragement of the yellow shirt)

Kenneth Dickens beat me in by about a minute (can’t believe he left me out there all alone) we ran most of the way together in conversation.

Steve Martin came in just behind me for his first 13.1 mile race. This was the first time I was able to beat Steve. Way to go.

We can’t wait for the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February.


Staff Report
Published: Saturday, November 1, 2008 9:58 PM EDT
Saturday turned out to be a great day for the Reeves Community Center half-marathon, as the good weather provided perfect running conditions.
Matt Felts of Galax, Va., finished first in the 14-to 19-age group with a time of 1:36:39, followed by Kendall Haynse of Cana, Va., at 1:37:02.
In the team competition, the Pro Health Early Birds finished first with a combined time of 3:23:19, followed by Blue Ridge Orthopedics at 4:02:49 and the First Baptist Church team number one at 4:10:32.

The elder statesman of the run was the Rev. Bob Josey of Mount Airy, who at age 71 completed the 13-mile run in 2:29:32 for a pace of 11:25 per mile.

Amy Bledsoe, who participated with one of the four teams from the Mount Airy First Baptist Church, said she was happy and tired following the run.

“It has been a lot of fun,” she said. “A lot of different ages ran from our church and we had good camaraderie and built each other up.”

Bledsoe said while she exercises regularly, the course had its moments of strain.

“I run regularly, but this is as probably as far as I go,” she said of her 6-mile leg. “At the bottom of the Worth Street hill that was pretty tough. You’re running into the sun, straight up hill. But I got through it and I am proud of our whole team.”

Mount Airy Patrol Officer Chris Kennedy, who ran as a member of the Mount Airy Police Department team, said the team run was a good way to enjoy time with co-workers outside of work.

“We all got together and decided that we wanted to be part of a team and do something for the city and just get out and enjoy the day’s weather and run a little bit,” Kennedy said. “I was focusing on finishing for fun. Just to get out here and get exercise. Also it gave us an opportunity to not just meet the people we work with in our working environment but to enjoy time off with them as well.”

Chris Aho, who was the captain of the four-team contingent from First Baptist Church, said organizing the teams brought together a wide range of age groups who may not have been in contact if not for the run. He said the course pushed nearly each runner to the edge of their abilities.

“There are several people that run and a lot of people had interest and we have been telling everybody that it was a great chance to do something together that none of us would be able to do on our own,” he said. “Pretty much everybody had to go at the very limit of what they were able to run. So it was helping them get in shape and doing what they like and getting them to hang out with each other.”


Seventy-nine of the 99 original entry’s attempted to tackle the 13-mile course around the town limits, including 11 teams from local businesses, churches and organizations.

From a competitive standpoint, Benji Knox of Pinnacle finished first overall with a time of 1:30:39, a pace of 6:55 per mile over the 13-mile course. Local runners Dr. Jan Kriska, whose son Matus, a sophomore at Mount Airy, participated in the 1-A Cross Country state championships later that afternoon, finished second at 1:31:39, followed closely by Dwight Atkins at 1:32:16 and Steve Garris at 1:33:03.

Lauren Marion finished first in the women’s division, with a time of 1:48:23, a pace of 8:17 per mile. Marion was followed by Sandy Davis with a time of 1:55:52 and Jamie Bryant with a time of 1:55:56.

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