2nd annual Cpl. Cole 5k and half marathon held for charity

Racers crossing the Corporal Eugene Cole Memorial Bridge, in Norridgewock, during the race on Saturday August 19. (photo by Cheyenne Paron, Central Maine Photography Staff)

by Mark Huard

The 2nd annual Corporal Cole 5K and Half-Marathon took place at the Mill Stream Elementary School, in Norridgewock, on August 19, and was a huge success!

Over 700 registered runners took part with 500 in the 5K and 200 in the half marathon, age varied from 1-84!

The event helped raise $25,000 to donate towards the Cpl. Cole Memorial Scholarship.

Event organizer Jessica Gleason said, “We had incredible water stations.” The entire Skowhegan football team, Lawrence football team, Waterville soccer team, Skowhegan cheerleaders, Lawrence and Messalonskee National Honor Society, Lawrence, and Carrabec JMG, Skowhegan Savings Bank, New Balance, and many more! Water stations filled with over 20 people pumped up the runners and kept them going. One station even formed a human tunnel for runners to go through! Three individual moments of silence took place on Sunday, one for Detective Campbell who lost his life doing the right thing. Race director Gleason encouraged the crowd to follow Detective Campbell’s lead and “do the right thing.” The second moment of silence was for Fairfield Captain Jim Lane as his funeral was on Sunday, and their final moment of silence was for fallen hero Cpl. Eugene Cole, with a reminder of his wifes words, ” his shoes may never be filled but his footsteps can always be followed.”

Eli Meader, 9 of, Madison, set a record during the race, going 13.12 miles! Here he is with Sheryl Cole, after the race, when he received his medal. (photo by Missy Brown,
Central Maine Photography staff)

Eli is nine years old. He ran his first 5k at six years old. After a 5k in June he wanted to run a marathon but his mom said he had to run a half marathon first. He didn’t do a lot of training beforehand. Longest run was 8-1/2 miles so she was worried for today’s race. He did great and only walked a little.

Eli went 13.12 miles on Agust 19!

His next goal is to be the youngest kid in the world to run a full marathon. A 14 year old has the record right now.

Sheryl Cole started each race with the air horn following the National Anthem sung by Katie Lee Hill. Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster joined Tom Cole, brother of Corporal Cole, in the 5k walk. All profits from the race go to the Corporal Cole Memorial Scholarship Fund. Between last year and this year they will have donated over $70,000 to the scholarship fund. This race is a success first and foremost because of Corporal Eugene Cole, secondly because Mrs. Cole and the Cole family trust us in honoring his legacy, and finally because of the hundreds of volunteers and unsung heroes behind the scenes. It takes a village to pull off an event this size and our village steps up without hesitation when you mention Corporal Cole. Moving forward we are working on certifying the half marathon with USA Track & Field for 2020 which will be held in August 2020. Race registration will open on November 1, 2019.

This year they held the first kids fun run. Over 20 children participated on an obstacle course run created and managed by Kennebec Valley Community Colleges Physical Therapist Assistant students. Every child received a super hero cape with the numbers 1312 on the back, Corporal Cole’s badge number. Top sponsors included Skowhegan Savings Bank and Redington-Fairview General Hospital, in Skowhegan. Believe you can, dont give up, and you will! This race unites the community, and promotes healthy healing by taking one step forward each and every day. Looking forward to 2020!

Sponsors and volunteers for 2020 are encouraged to contact Jess at corporalcolememorialrun@gmail.com.


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