After the 2020 Hickory Charity Chase was canceled due to COVID-19, this year’s run marked a welcome return of a signature event for Catawba County. The 15th Charity Chase was held last Saturday, with 31-year-old Josh Stone of Taylorsville winning this year’s half marathon (13.1 miles) and completing the Charity Chase Challenge by running both the 5K and the half marathon in succession, finishing the 5K in 15:53 and the half marathon in 1:18:19.
Barry Thomas, 37, and Derek May, 40, placed second and third, respectively, in the men’s division for the half marathon. Meanwhile, Jose Gamez, 38, and Andrew Dolphens, 29, were the second- and third-place finishers in the men’s division for the 5K.
The winner of the half marathon in the women’s division was Calista Foret, an 18-year old from Concord who posted a time of 1:52.10. Placing second and third in the women’s division for the half marathon were Melanie Butler, 47, and Emily Devivo, 31, while Daniela Gutierrez, 15, Addison Cox, 13, and Devivo took the top three spots, in that order, in the women’s division for the 5K.
CommScope was the leading sponsor for the 2021 Charity Chase, while the Rotary Club of Catawba Valley served as the event’s organizing sponsor. The Charity Chase raises funds through sponsorships and donations that go to multiple nonprofits in Catawba County. The nonprofits provide volunteers for staging the event and proceeds are divided according to the proportion of volunteer hours accrued by each nonprofit.
Despite last year’s cancellation, approximately $20,000 was contributed for distribution, and this year more than $30,000 has been raised.
“We want to thank the runners who returned for these events and make it the competition that it is and the volunteers who make it happen,” Executive Committee Chair Jeff Eudy said. “But we particularly want to thank the businesses and business leaders as well as individuals who have continued to step up to help support key services to the people of this community.”