Gingersnap 5K race draws runners to Waxhaw

Many runners wore costumes.

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Over 1,800 runners participated in the Gingersnap 5K race Saturday, Dec. 2 in downtown Waxhaw. The 5K run started and finished on West North Main in front of Tangles Knit Shop.

The race benefitted Girls on the Run of Union County and the presenting sponsor was Connolly Orthodontics.

Mason Piddock, of Monroe, was the overall winner in a time of 20:39 while Aiden Taylor, of Weddington, and Kirk Walsh, of Waxhaw, finished second and third respectively. Taylor crossed in 20:42 while Walsh finished in 20:59.

Alyson Rankin, of Waxhaw, was the top female finisher in a time of 21:34. Kendall Gallagher, of Waxhaw, was second (21:40) and Charli Montalvo, of Waxhaw, was third (22:10).

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at