Runners raise Alzheimer’s awareness with fun run

Blake Warman, City Editor

People from around the Coles County community attended the third annual Gowin Parc Race to Remember at Fox Ridge State Park Saturday in support of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The race featured runners and walkers of all ages participating in a one-mile fun run, a 5K and a 10K to support the research of Alzheimer’s disease.

All the net profits from the race went to research.

Despite the humid weather and the few curves and hills on the racecourse, many runners believe this year was successful in raising awareness and informing people about Gowin Parc’s mission.

Gowin Parc is a nursing home that provides assistance and independent living for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

These facilities are located in Mattoon, Taylorville, Pana and Paris.

Theresa Gowin, the owner of Gowin Parc, said there was a great turnout this year.

She said the goal of these runs is to raise awareness about the disease first so it can eventually be cured.

Gowin and her sister, Sarah Powers, both ran this year because of the multiple experiences their family has had with Alzheimer’s disease, since

The sisters’ grandmother and two aunts suffered from the disease.

Powers said the race has the same effect on her every year—she begins with a lump in her throat and ends with a smile.

The thought of her family, especially her grandmother, is what keep her and her sister successfully moving along, Powers said.

However, Gowin will not stop with just this one race.

Gowin said she has already spawned an idea for her next event, and she hopes to recruit runners at her upcoming high school reunion as well as the Charleston High School reunion for a Color Run.

Gowin said she thinks this could be a big event because participants can spend time with former classmates, friends and family as well as help to support the research and awareness of an unfortunate disease.

Blake Warman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].