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The Madison Record
More than 2,200 runners took to the course of the Bill Penney Toyota Cotton Row Run moved to Labor Day from its usual Memorial Day date. The 41st annual race featured some outstanding performances from participants calling Madison home. Photo- Ashleigh Cox

Cotton Row Run 2021- Different Date- Same Great Race

HUNTSVILLE- A glorious Monday morning on Labor Day greeted the more than 2,200 runners who chose to take part in what is usually a Memorial Day tradition of the annual Bill Penney Toyota Cotton Row Run. Moved to the September date due to the COVID-19 pandemic and completely cancelled in 2020, the event held in downtown Huntsville was certainly a site for sore eyes.

The 41st running of the 10K, 5K and 1-mile fun run was indeed a welcomed event for the North Alabama community as runners from all over the country arrived to the Tennessee Valley for their chance to take part in what is considered one of the best 10K events in the Southeast. The male division winner was from Colorado Springs, Co. as Dominic Korir, 28, posted a winning time of 29 minutes, 23 seconds to earn the Cotton Row Run title 30 seconds ahead of runner-up John Elimlim, 30, of Lansing Mich. In the female race, another Lansing, Mich. resident, Mary Munanu, 26, took top honors with a time of 33:34. Second place went to Iveen Chepkemoi of Colorado Springs, Co. who posted a time of 33:44.

Not only was Brandon York the top finisher from Madison, but was also the fastest finisher from the immediate area taking sixth place with a time of 31:16.

In the 10K race, 165 Madison residents completed the trek through downtown Huntsville on the crisp Labor Day morning. In the male division, the top two Madison finishers are both long time successful race figures with York edging Josh Whitehead, 42, who had race time of 33:10. Whitehead was also runner-up in the Male Masters division. On the female side, 39-year old Caitlin Thorn was the top finisher from Madison with a time of 47:53.  Mallory Ray, 29, was second on the Madison list with a finish time of 48:56.

Age division winners included: Male 14-16- 1. John Murray, 16, Harvest, 41:25; Female 20-24- 1. Natalie Fogle, 22, Harvest, 48:03; Female 35-39- 1. Caitlin Thorn, 39, Madison, 47:49; Female 45-49- 1. Christy Ruble, 45, Madison, 51:28.

In the 5K race, two local residents took the overall race titles with Adam Miller, 38, of Harvest with the top time in the male division at 17:14. Tabytha Hartland, a 13-year old from Madison was the female winner with a time of 21:41. There were 138 participants from Madison in the 5K race.

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