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Burlington Runner overcomes obstacles with running

18-year-old Kile Dowd finished the race in under an hour
Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 11:10 PM CDT
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CORRECTION: According to the NJCAA’s 2019-20 eligibility pamphlet, student-athletes with proper documentation on their IEP can become eligible to compete in NJCAA competitions.

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (KWQC) - Kile Dowd has been running cross country since he was in the 7th grade, after his older brother Collin got him interested in the sport. And with this year’s Bix going virtual, Kile’s mom, Tara, says the race was perfect for Kile.

“The Bix was actually one of his top choices, he liked it because of the mileage,” said Tara Dowd.

“I remember when Kile was little, we’d always say he’d grow up to be a runner just because he’s so high energy all the time,” said Kile’s sister Allison Dowd

Kile Dowd also succeeded in the race as well, finishing with a time of 55:35 which was good enough for 139th place out of over 3000 runners. The success is even more impressive considering Kile’s preparation.

“I think he did that with no training,” Tara Dowd said.

Things haven’t always come easy for Kile though. At the age of four, he was diagnosed with autism.

“Kindergarten when he started saying nouns, by second grade he was doing prepositional phrases and verbs he wasn’t probably fully speaking until fifth grade or so,” said Tara Dowd.

But during cross country or track season, the sport makes him better on the pavement and in the classroom.

“He definitely has more focus in school, and his behavior seems to be a lot better, he loves running and is very focused when he does and so we want to do as much as we can to encourage him to keep doing the running,” said Tara Dowd.

Not only is Kile an active runner, but an active community member as well.

“He sets a lot of goals for himself and he set a goal to make it to allstate speech this year and he did that and he did well science fair this year and he was on student council and so he really participates a lot in school and in the community with 4H and church,” said Tara Dowd, “And even from high school, a goal on his IEP was to say hi to another student, by the end he ended up homecoming king.”

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