The Fit 4 Race Series finished up its 2021–2022 edition with a cold running of the Frosty Fifty on January 8.
The race weekend kicked off with a Friday night 5K on January 7, with 28 runners showing up for an out-and-back evening run. Taking top honors in the 5K were Eric Villeneuve of Durham, overall male winner, and Heather Hugosson of Winston-Salem, overall female winner.
January 8 dawned at a brisk 19 degrees (trying to beat 2018’s chilliest ever race but not quite making it!) with more than 450 runners registered.
The 25K brought an exciting “photo finish” tie for first place, with Winston-Salem’s Donnie Cowart and Jamestown’s Brandon Hudgins finishing 35-hundredths of a second apart in just under 1:25:52, a course record.
Not to be outdone, Andie Cozzarelli from Raleigh won top honors and set a new women’s course record at 1:36:57.
In the Gwen’s Grace Relay, Team Buffalo Creek Run Club (Keith Gruchacz, Tyler Robakiewicz, Harrison Brown, Michael Koballa) finished their 50K race in 2:59:31.
The 50K top male and female finishers – Winston-Salem’s Jeremy Bush and Durham’s Ariana Bevilacqua – crossed the line at 3:47:01 and 4:12:46, respectively.
This year’s relay, the Gwyn’s Grace Relay, was especially meaningful. The race was dedicated to the memory of Gwyn Gibbs Corum, sister of Race Director Bill Gibbs, who lost her battle with breast cancer on January 17, 2021. This event – and the entire Fit 4 Race Series – raised money for special needs children, Gwyn’s passion. The event featured a section for Family, Friends and Survivors, and participants in the relay wore special shirts honoring Gwyn.
Awards for this race were created by Monarch, a not-for-profit organization that provides support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance abuse disorders. Monarch’s Studio 651 day program artist Tim Manning designed the finisher medals, and fellow day program attendee Arnae Bacon helped create the handmade coaster awards that were given to overall winners in each race.
The charity partners for the series were the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Winston-Salem and the Winston-Salem Street School. Donations runners made when they registered raised more than $3,000 for the two organizations – $1,656.72 for the Down Syndrome Association and $1,429.20 for the Street School.
The race organizers look forward to making the 2022–2023 Fit 4 Race Series and 2023 Frosty Fifty bigger and better!