The group of volunteers who worked the annual Ellerbe Marathon in April have called for a make-up run, so all those who helped during the first event or couldn’t make it, can get their hands on a shiny new medal.
“It’s a much bigger and more detailed medal than usual,” said runner and volunteer Jerry Lindstrand, of Rockingham. “The make-up run was just going to be a little get-together but has now turned into a much bigger event.”
Soldiers overseas are going to be doing a run of their own during Memorial Weekend, along with the runners here.
Chris Knodel, of Sanford, is a member of the Mangum Track Club that formed in the ’80s. His wife, Christine, is stationed in Kuwait. When Christine learned that Chris was taking part in the “re-run,” she decided to form her own Ellerbe Marathon make-up run for soldiers who can’t participate here. Missy Rice, of Carthage, will be heading up a run for soldiers in Afghanistan.
“I shipped over 100 medals overseas, for soldiers who want to participate,” said Mark Long, of Hamlet. “I kept 40 medals for participants here. I have about six slots left for runners.”
The “re-run” will be this Saturday, and local runners will trek the same 15-mile route traveled by the founders of the Mangum Track Club.
Legend has it that in the ’80s the five founding members of the club had T-shirts made for themselves. A wife of one of the members said she wanted one too, but she was told she’d “have to earn it.”
Since then, the run/walk from Mangum to Ellerbe has exploded in popularity as the Mangum Track Club has grown.
“We have over 550 members in the club now,” said Lindstrand. “Everyone who does the Ellerbe Marathon gets an ugly T-shirt and is a member for life.”
Membership spans eight countries, 16 states and includes 15 canines.
“I don’t really know how they are going to time the run overseas, to accommodate for time zone differences,” said Long. “But I do know that the military participants will be running a full marathon — 26.2 miles.”
The Mangum Track Club hosts several events each year.
“Our next run will be in September, it’s the 24-hour Hinson Lake run,” said Long, who joined the Mangum Track Club about a year after its formation.
“It seems that the running community is really growing, in Richmond County and all over the U.S.,” he added. “Our club runs keep increasing in size and almost all of them fill up to capacity.”
To learn more about the Mangum Track Club, visit the website www.etinternet.net/~runrbike/, check out the Facebook page Mangum Track Club or call Mark Long at 910-582-6747.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.