A personal best and a course record propelled Winston-Salem's Donnie Cowart to victory at the Tobacco Road Marathon this morning in Cary.
Cowart, averaging 5:15 per mile, finished in two hours, 17 minutes and 37 seconds, a cushion of more than three minutes over runner-up Bashash Walio of Gunnison, Colo. Cowart earned NCAA All-America in the steeplechase at VMI in 2009 and narrowly missed making the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, finishing one spot out in fourth place at the U.S. trials. (Photo use is courtesy of the marathon's Facebook page).
Martha Akeno, a native of the running hot spot of Eldoret, Kenya, set a course record to win the women's division in 2:45:33.
Reidsville's Esayas Nida finished seventh in 2:36:54, and his brother, Gebre Nida of Greensboro, was 13th in 2:48:19 and earned the top position for masters runners.
Burlington's Donna Mills-Honarvar claimed second place for masters women in 3:11:49.
Other sub-three-hour men's finishers from the Triad:
Keith Gruchacz, Greensboro, 2:57:12 (25th place).
Nolan Carter, Greensboro, 2:57:29 (27th place).
Matthew Lehman, Greensboro, 2:59:09 (29th place).
The half-marathon will be held Sunday morning. The event, held most recently in 2019, has raised more than $1 million for charity, with primary beneficiaries JDRF, American Red Cross, Hope For The Warriors, and Triangle Rails To Trails Conservancy, according to the race web site.