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Tom Cowden 5K remembers a special young man

By David Freeze
For the Salisbury post
Sloan Park was the setting for a 5K race and the celebration of the life of Tom Cowden on Sunday afternoon. Tom lost his life in April after a two year battle with brain cancer. Tom’s dad Nelson, assistant principal at West Rowan High School, was the official starter and then walked the course with his family. ‘Run for the Cause’ is the theme of the event, asking everyone to fight like Tom Cowden did in his own battle. All proceeds from the 2012 event will go to defer some of Tom’s medical expenses. Next year’s Tom Cowden 5K will provide funds for another family in the area that is in need of support.
Josh Readling was the overall winner in 18 minutes and 17 seconds, while Dr. Acquawon Stallworth led the women in 22 minutes and 46 seconds.
Brittany Chester, science teacher and track coach at West Rowan High School, was the race director. She said “I think this was the best run yet. The venue at Sloan Park was great with incorporating family, and that is what this race is so great at doing. The community came out to help a family in need. Families rallied together. That’s the Tom Cowden 5K and that is what Tom was like and what he would have wanted! Thanks to everyone who helped make this event possible, especially the Mt. Ulla Volunteer Fire Department.”
The Apple Baking Company, Rico Tile and Marble, WRHS Baseball, WRHS Cabinetmaking, Todd and Mary Kay Hansen and Hodge Farms were among the many sponsors who supported the event.
Complete results for the event are at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.

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