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Soldiers honored during 42nd annual Cotton Row Run

42nd annual Cotton Row Run
42nd annual Cotton Row Run(Georgia Chambers)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 12:47 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - People gathered from all over the country to compete in Monday’s 42nd annual Cotton Row Run.

To honor the Memorial Day holiday, every runner had a local, fallen soldier represented on their running bib. Race Director Donna Palumbo said that feature is an important part of the race.

“It means a lot for us to be able to celebrate these heroes,” Palumbo said.

This year’s race was a tight one — Shadrack Keter and Gilbert Boit were neck-and-neck, but Boit pulled ahead in the final seconds to win the 42nd annual 10K Cotton Row race — with an impressive 29-minute, 35 second finish.

Crossing the finish line in third place was local runner Josh Whitehead. Whitehead’s 33-minute flat finish was something very special to both himself and his family because a couple of years ago, a finish like this was thought to be nearly impossible.

In 2020, Whitehead was riding his bike when he was involved in a hit-and-run accident. His back was broken in three places, he dislocated his shoulder and he had a partially collapsed lung.

“It was really a miracle for me to even get back to running. A lot of prayer, a lot of support from family and friends. Lean on your family and friends,” Whitehead said. “They’re your best support. You can get through it. For me to finish third, I can’t process it right now.”

Whitehead’s story is one of resilience, and on Memorial Day, we think of all the resilient soldiers who served and continue to serve our country.

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