Good cause elicits effect

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 15, 2007

LAUREL, Miss. &045; Drew Cargile ran over rough terrain. He ran through mud, on a trail riddled with roots and loose rock, up hills and down ravines. He ran 50 miles on an unforgiving course as his body begged him to quit.

But Cargile didn’t quit. He ran 50 miles in the Carl Touchtone 50 Mile trail race in DeSoto State Park in Laurel, Miss., and placed 28 out of a field of 64 in 10 hours and 15 minutes. He did all this never having run a mile over 35 miles at one time before the race began.

Though Cargile prepared for the event he knew in the beginning it would be a daunting task and decided he might need more motivation than just his mind to drive him across the finish line. Enter Evan Spence.

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Demopolis High School student Spence was born with a rare liver disease called Crigler-Nijjar Syndrome, which is an inability for the body to excrete bilirubin, and had a liver transplant in June to remedy the problem. Since receiving the liver Spence has found out that the liver he received carried the cytomegalovirus, for which he must now undergo a strong antibiotic treatment.

The doctors that specialize in the rare diseases, which Spence has been forced to deal with, are in Pittsbhurg and he has made numerous visits there to seek treatment. In doing so, he has incurred quite a myriad of medical expenses.

Cargile said he knew of Spence’s condition and thought if he incorporated his desire to help he would be more likely to succeed in his endeavor. Cargile began asking for sponsorships for his race, with the contributions going toward Spence’s treatment costs.

Cargile implement a grueling workout regiment to train for the event, running between 35 and 40 miles a week. He trained differently each week, doing several short four to five mile runs a week and a long 10 to 15 mile run to cap it off at the end of the week.

The day of the race, which consisted of four 12-mile loops in the state park, Cargile was accompanied by Spence and his family for support. Cargile gritted his teeth and set a new bar for himself, setting good time in his first showing in a 50-mile event.

You can contact Cargile by phone at 289-1075, cell phone at 334-216-7469, e-mail at or by mail at Andrew Cargile, 1302 Spencer Ave., Demopolis, AL, 36732.