On the run: second Race for Wandell on the horizon
The Race for Wandell continues.
On Sept. 20, the annual race, a 3K walk/run, will be held starting at East Side Elementary to benefit East Side Elementary Principal Josh Wandell as a fundraiser and to raise awareness about ALS disease.
Wandell was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in June 2013. Since then, the community has rallied around Wandell and his family, beginning with the inaugural Race for Wandell last September.
Kelly Geagley, Wandell’s uncle and one of the race organizers, said the support they received during the first race was far more than they had expected.
“No one had ever organized a race before,” Geagley said. “We didn’t know what to expect. It was absolutely amazing. It was overwhelming in a great way. It was the best problem we could have ever had.”
Geagley said the planners had expected around 500 people to take part in last year’s race, but close to 1,500 participants registered and additional spectators came out for the race. He said registrations for this year’s race seem to be on pace for the same number of participants this year.
Anyone interested in participating in the Race for Wandell can register online at www.teamwandell.com until Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. Registration until that deadline is $20 per person and comes with a Race for Wandell T-shirt.
Geagley said registrations can be submitted in person from Sept. 11 until the race date at the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce. Registration after Sept. 11 will be $25 and will also include the T-shirt. The Chamber of Commerce will be open until 8 p.m. on Sept. 11 and 12 to allow for more registrations to be brought in.
Geagley said all money raised would be placed in a fund for Wandell’s medical expenses and equipment needs.
The race will start and end at East Side Elementary. Geagley said the race path was changed slightly for better crowd control.
The race will start on Walker Street and go on to Riverview Road then to Siam Road. Runners and walkers will go on to the Linear Path and go under U.S. Highway 19, through Cat Island Park, over the Elk Avenue Bridge and then the Covered Bridge before returning back to the school.
Opening ceremonies will start at 9:30 a.m. and the 3K competitive run will begin at 10 a.m. Awards will be given for the run, and then the fun run/walk will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m.
After the race, there will be inflatables for children and a lemonade stand. There will be music by the Team Wandell Band, which is made up of East Side Elementary teachers. Elizabethton
Geagley said that while it was sad circumstances that brought the community out for the Race for Wandell, organizers wanted the event to be fun.
“We want it to be a celebration,” Geagley said. “We want to have the community to come out and be together and enjoy the day.”
More information about the race is available at www.teamwandell.com or at www.facebook.com/RaceForWandell.