Hundreds already registered for Saturday’s Race for Wandell

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Photo Courtesy Team Wandell Landry, left, and Will Buckles don their Race for Wandell t-shirts outside East Side Elementary School.

Photo Courtesy Team Wandell
Landry, left, and Will Buckles don their Race for Wandell t-shirts outside East Side Elementary School.

Becoming an annual tradition in Elizabethton, the fourth annual Race for Wandell is preparing to be one for the ages.
Used as an event to honor former East Side Elementary principal Dr. Josh Wandell, Saturday’s event is already seeing an overwhelming amount of support from the area, according to Kelly Geagley, Josh’s uncle and organizer of the event with Team Wandell.
“I’d say we’ve had over 150 people register online so far,” Geagley said on Tuesday. “I’d say we’re right on pace on where we need to be. It is very exciting.”
The Race for Wandell is the only certified 3K in the state of Tennessee. As multiple records look to be set, participants will be able to compete in a normal race or a fun walk. Participants looking to compete will depart 10 a.m. while the fun run/walk is set for 10:30 a.m. The competitive race will be professionally timed by RunCorps and Geagley added that proper signage will be placed to help competitors navigate through the course on race day.
Activity for the race begins at Sunset and Walker Streets and moves through Central Avenue, Riverside Drive, East Side School and East Side Free Will Baptist. After passing near the historic Covered Bridge and Elk Avenue Bridge, competitors will then make their way back to East Side Elementary to conclude the event.
Dr. Wandell continues to be an inspirational force across the area as he continues his bout with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). While going through his battles, Josh still stays active with the community, visiting his former school and faculty friends and sharing his story to the area.
“He’s such a great person,” Geagley said. “Josh loves the children and still wants to be involved as much as he can.”
And the reflection of his personality and drive is shown throughout the community, as various businesses and organizations are coming together to assist the cause.
“We were able to secure our sponsors,” Geagley added. “We’ve got 50 sponsors this year and we appreciate everything they’ve done to help make this event possible.”
Geagley also thanked the volunteers that are offering their time to help out with Saturday’s event..
“I’d say we have about 60 volunteers,” Geagley said. “It may be more than we need, but we appreciate everyone that is taking the time out to help with the race.”
Another fun addition to the race is the ‘Race for Wandell’ t-shirts, which proved to be a big draw, Geagley added. This year’s design, which features a smiling cartoon design of Wandell, has already drawn sellout numbers.
“We sold out of shirts,” Geagley said. “We’re expecting to get some more in time for the race.”
Former coworker and friend TJ Brown recently told the Elizabethton Star that the shirt was designed locally. And for this year, Brown added that the design captured the true essence of his friend.
If individuals aren’t looking to race, there are other activities available, including inflatables and different vendors scattered around throughout the area in East Side.
But as the racers prepare for Saturday, Geagley said it will be an event for the ages.
“The weather is looking perfect,” he added. “I just encourage everyone to make it out if they can. It should be a great day of fun and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Interested competitors can sign up for the race by visiting or online. Registration will also available the day of the race, ending at 8 a.m. Registration for the race is $20 and that includes a t-shirt. Anyone looking to just purchase a shirt and not run can do so for $20.

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