LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Willie McCool Memorial Half Marathon kicked off this morning with hundreds of runners.
The event honors the life of Willie McCool who piloted the Space Shuttle Columbia back in 2003.
He graduated from Coronado High School in 1979 and had a love of running.
This morning, his legacy inspired runners both young and old to dedicate this race to his memory.
A scholarship was established to honor students, like Willie, who have shown academic promise and have intentions of majoring in math, science, engineering, computer science or pre-medicine.
The scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior at Coronado High School whom is in the top 25 percent of their senior class and demonstrates outstanding citizenship.
"The scholarship has been given to some great students at Coronado. We've heard some of them doing great things. One recently graduated from the health sciences center with their PhD. Willie loved to run and he also loved working with kids so the combination of the scholarship and running and families out doing things, it's just a great tribute and a memorial to him." Audry McCool said.
Some runners took on the half marathon while others raced to the finish line in a 5k or 10k.