Cook races in marathon, raises money for St. Jude hospital

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Adam Cook stands outside Cook Tractor Company Tuesday afternoon. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

Adam Cook stands outside Cook Tractor Company Tuesday afternoon. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

People attending the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Saturday might see a large man wearing a hot-pink tutu strutting his stuff among the fellow participants. He isn’t crazy, though some people might think running for fun qualifies as such. No, Adam Cook will be running the marathon in a tutu to help raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Cook, of Cook Tractor Company, was supposed to run the race last year before it was canceled due to bad weather. This year he’s ready to return for a cause he is personally connected to.

“I chose St. Jude as a race out of the blue last year and it ended up being a huge blessing,” he said. “After signing up for the race last year I learned of the story of a friend of mine whose child went to St. Jude diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. His son ultimately lost his battle two years later but all he could do was speak praises of St. Jude. He said his son had a smile on his face until the end because of the way he was treated at St. Jude.”

The race participants known as “St. Jude Heroes” raised more than $8 million for the hospital last year alone. Cook has set his goal at $2,500 and personally matches every donation from his Facebook friends with one of his own. If he reaches his goal, he’ll run the entire race in a pink tutu he’s already ordered online.

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”It sounds silly I know, but if it helps raise money for the children of St. Jude then I’m all in,” Cook said. “I would love to raise about twice that. I hate to put a cap on it because this is such an awesome cause.”

Cook is also using the race as training while he prepares to fulfill his ultimate goal of participating in an Ironman race next year. The Vicksburg native has lost 112 pounds since 2013 and has slowly been preparing his body to compete in the grueling Ironman triathlon ever since.

“I initially got into running when I stepped on the scale and weighed 425 pounds and decided, with the health problems that run in my family, I had to make a change or suffer the life-long consequences,” Cook said. “I started with short distances and eventually worked my way up to one mile and it kind of escalated from there.”

Cook will be raising money after the race until the end of December. To donate to St. Jude through him, visit his website He also accepts check and cash donations via email at or by phone at 601-636-4641.