West Texas Endurance hosted their 6th annual Willie McCool Memorial Half Marathon, 5K & 10K at the Silent Wings Museum Saturday morning.

Money raised from the event will be donated to the Willie McCool Scholarship Fund at Coronado High School.

West Texas Endurance says the scholarship was established to honor students 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, who is in the top 25% of their senior class and demonstrates outstanding citizenship. 

“We are honored to once again produce a race that honors a local hero – Willie McCool. We hope his memory will inspire many in our community to not only start the race, but cross the finish line of all of life’s many endeavors,” West Texas Endurance owner David Nelson said in a news release. 

“Willie always believed – when you are running a race, being fast at the start does not always mean that you will win. It’s being able to finish the race that counts,” Audrey and Barry McCool said in the news release. 

Commander Willie McCool was the pilot of the Space Shuttle Columbia and a graduate of Coronado High School.  

McCool, along with the crew of STS-107, died on February 1, 2003 when the space shuttle disintegrated during re-entry into the atmosphere over Texas. 

Commander McCool, along with the six other crew members, were posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush on February 3, 2004. 

For more information on the annual event, visit the West Texas Endurance website.

Covenant Health and Powerade sponsored the event.