April 1, 2014

Another Kinston Race in the Record Books

A soft rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the runners who showed up Mar. 29 in downtown Kinston for the 2014 version of Kinston’s Run for the River.

Powered by more than 100 volunteers and 42 contributors, three races – a 5K, an 8K and a One Mile Fun Run – went off without a hitch to the delight of runners and fans. The City of Kinston, especially Parks and Recreation and Public Safety, provided the infrastructure for the event.

Two new 8K course records were set, one by the man who made race history in 2013: Kiprono Kurgat of Chapel Hill ran the 4.97 miles in an amazing 23:31, besting his 2013 speed of 23:42.


Speedy man Kiprono Kurgat of Chapel Hill receives his trophy and checks from Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy Mar. 29 after winning the 8K Run for the River race in dramatic fashion, a record-setting 23:31. In the foreground is Kevin Zoltek member of Pride’s Outdoor Events Team which produces the races who emceed the awards ceremony.


The top female runner in the 8K race also surpassed a 2013 record: Susan Jerotich also of Chapel Hill ran the course in 27: 13. The 2013 record was set by a Charlotte competitor at 27:45. Both Kurgat and Jerotich—who share a coach—took home the $500.00 first place purse plus an extra $100.00 for breaking previous records and especially designed trophies given by Lenox China.

In the 5K competition, a former 3rd place runner in an earlier 8K race—Mosa Gwanzura of Roanoke Rapids—won the top prize of $200.00 plus another especially designed trophy created by Lenox. Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy helped distribute the winners’ awards.


The 5K winning runner Mosa Gwanzura of Roanoke Rapids receives his awards from Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy at the conclusion of the Mar. 29 Run for the River. Gwanzura race the 3 mile race in 16:44. He was a third place runner in a previous 8K race sponsored by Pride of Kinston.


And the One Mile Fun Run was won by new Kinston resident Killen Harper who ran the course in 8:05. Her brother Charles also competed with 25 others in the Fun Run. The Harpers moved to Kinston from Durham just last week with parents Ben and Katherine Harper.



Killen Harper, 9, (no. 1466) poses with Mom Katherine and brother Charles after winning the One Mile Fun Run Mar. 29 during the 2014 Run for the River. Charles who also ran in the race shows off his medal.


Other winners were:
8K second place: Paul Springer of Durham and
8K third place: Kenton Kozel of Greenville.

5K runners-up were:
Second place Mason Zeagler of Deep Run and t
Third place Andrew Cody of Beaufort.

The March 29 race marked the 9th anniversary of the downtown event sponsored by Pride of Kinston. Pride’s main partner this year was the little bank, with a team headed by Jeremy Jones chair of Pride’s Outdoor Events Team.

“This race and the previous eight races have been successful in attracting well over 1,600 athletes from all over North Carolina and beyond to our great downtown: the primary reason for Pride’s sponsorship of the event,” according to Adrian King, executive director.

The help provided by more than 100 volunteers – organized by Ashley Chadwick of the Self Help Credit Union – and contributions by more than 40 businesses and individuals “made this and all the other races possible,” King added. “We can’t say enough about these folks.”

Kinston Police Commander Rick Harrell and Parks Superintendent Tim Knobeloch were both instrumental in making the races a great success.

Enticing new investors

317 - 321 N. Queen StreetPride of Kinston is ramping up its efforts to attract new investors to the downtown business district.

A growing campaign to highlight properties available for lease or purchase details information about each under the Invest in Downtown site on Pride’s website.

A project of Pride’s Economic and Property Development committee headed by Stuart Lindley, buildings deemed to be in good condition and available for immediate use are candidates for the enlarged promotional effort.

The current listing includes:
121 S. Queen Street
127 N. Queen Street
215 N. Queen Street
311 N. Queen Street
317 – 321 N. Queen Street
106 W. Gordon Street


"The vision of Pride of Kinston, Inc. is a downtown on the banks of the Neuse River that serves as the gateway to Eastern North Carolina. Our appreciation of history guides our future and promotes the magic to grow business, recreation, and the arts."

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What Is Pride of Kinston?

The mission of Pride of Kinston, Inc., established in 1984, is to lead downtown revitalization in Kinston using the Main Street approach developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which promotes economic development within the context of historic preservation.

Pride of Kinston is one of 57 Main Street communities in North Carolina in a program coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance. (www.nccommerce.com). For more information about Pride of Kinston, see About Pride.

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Pride of Kinston • 327 North Queen Street • Kinston, NC 28501• (252) 522-4676
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Artist Bruce D. Ziegler has generously made available to Pride his portrait of
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