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Santa Barbara Man Takes on Death Race for American Heart Association

A local “Average Joe” is doing his part to increase awareness of heart disease and stroke while raising support for the American Heart Association by throwing his name in the hat to take part in the 2013 Spartan Death Race.

Will Bowden saw an opportunity to get involved with the American Heart Association last year when he found out he had high blood pressure during an AHA function. Even though Bowden maintains an aggressive exercise routine and healthy diet, his family history caught up with him. After dealing with the initial shock of being diagnosed with a chronic condition, he decided to take an active role in helping others to understand the importance of health education.

“Make a choice, while the choice is still yours to make,” Bowden said.

The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the nation’s No.1 and No. 4 killers, claim more than 813,804 American lives a year.

Bowden submitted his application to take part in the Spartan Death Race and was recently accepted. He is going to share how he prepares for the challenge on a Facebook charity site he started last year, Bowden Brothers — Giving Back. Bowden started the site last year when he took on solo hiking the entire John Muir Trail in eight days with no support.

“The site was a perfect means to rally support for the AHA, promote health education and share how I was preparing for the colossal hike,” Bowden said.

He did it successfully in 7½ days, starting in Yosemite and ending on the top of Mount Whitney.

Bowden is a Santa Barbara resident who was born and raised in Santa Cruz. He has moved around the country with the military and his civilian career, proudly serving the country and pursuing a rewarding career while leading people to success. Bowden lives a very active lifestyle and is single.

“I am still patiently waiting to meet my best friend and partner in life,” he said. “Oh, and it would be great if she can deal with my crazy adventures, too.”

The Spartan Death Race is held once a year in Pittsfield, Vt. Perspective entrants must apply and be accepted to join arguably the toughest mental and physical challenge they will ever endure. After being accepted, there is only a date, time and location sent to the participants. Everything else is unknown except that you will be cold, wet and tired.

Most people quit. Many are disqualified. Few finish. Everyone finds reward.

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