South Charlotte

One Step Race raises $12,000 for homeless

Members of the Health Max Center team, along with Richard Cooney, in white, begin the race
Members of the Health Max Center team, along with Richard Cooney, in white, begin the race COURTESY OF LEAH KNIBBEL

The third annual One Step Race for the Homeless, on May 16 at Calvary Church in south Charlotte, raised more than $12,000.

Sponsored by Urban Outreach, the focus of the race was to raise funds and awareness of homeless ministries such as Hoskins Park Ministries, a group of homes for men in northwest Charlotte.

A 5K race may not sound like a big challenge to seasoned runners but throw in a few obstacles and the picture changes. These runners were challenged to carry heavy water buckets, run down a see-saw, throw a football through a hula hoop, and cross a balance beam – all while trying to make their best time. They had to roll a large tractor tire about 25 yards, complete a soccer drill and drag a 25-pound block up a steep hill. The runners faced over 20 obstacles and challenges while running on grass, through woods, and over pavement on the Calvary Church property.

“It made for an exciting race,” said Paige Vestal, Administrative Director of Urban Outreach.

“We chose Calvary as our venue because it was an enclosed course off public roads with a variety of terrain on a very large property.”

The 6 p.m. 5K race had 170 runners registered. There was also a 1-mile fun run at 7 p.m.

Richard Cooney came in with the best overall time of 20:11. Cooney is not new to this race. In fact, he has been the best overall runner in the One Step Race for the Homeless all three years.

Brooke Ward was the fastest overall woman running a time of 26:41. The first place high school boy was Kyran McClure, a senior at Charlotte United Christian Academy. He ran the race in 21:30. The first place high school girl was Brittani Malone with a time of 28:58. Malone is a sophomore at Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill.

Prizes were awarded to the top two runners, male and female overall, and to the fastest male and female runners in ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades, and 10-year age brackets up to 70.

Three high schools were represented – Nation Ford in Fort Mill, Olympic High School in Charlotte, and Charlotte United Christian Academy.

Runners and fans were entertained by a DJ with music and bubbles while they ran or cheered. Treats from Starbucks, pizza, fruit and crackers were available.

Several Hoskins Park Ministry residents came out to volunteer and cheer on the runners.

“We are hoping that with time our race will move to the forefront of fun, adventure 5Ks in the area, raising funds and awareness of this special call – the homeless living around us,” said Vestal. “Our plans are to have another race soon, possibly in the fall of 2017 but plans are still in the making.”

June Noe is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for June? Email her at