Team Wandell continues work for world record

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Setting records and inspiring others is nothing too uncommon for one former East Side Elementary principal.

A love of running has not been hampered for city native Josh Wandell, even after an ALS diagnosis. While the disease has taken away his ability to walk, friends and family part of “Team Wandell” have taken the mantle by forming running groups with Wandell participating in a wheelchair pushed by the team.

Year after year, Team Wandell continues to make an impact across the state. And if plans go accordingly, that reach can span across the globe.

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During the month of January, resident Brooke Vance announced via social media that Team Wandell’s application to go after a world record had been accepted by Guinness following a 13-week process.

Team Wandell will look at breaking the world record for the fastest half-marathon, while being pushed in a wheelchair is 1:54.49. Less than a month, Wandell and company will compete in the annual Anthem Shamrock half-marathon at Virginia Beach on March 18.

“Jeff Vance, Brooke’s wife, will be pushing 100-percent of the way,” Brown recently told the Elizabethton Star. Other members of Team Wandell will be running alongside, beside and behind Vance and Wandell during the event.

Individuals can purchase a shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie or swag to show support for the initiative. Members of the public can visit and click on the “Shop” icon. The deadline for purchases is Feb. 28 and will be delivered after March 18.

And to prepare for the event, Team Wandell experienced a solid showing this month in a competition in Kingsport.

Keeping the thrill of competitive running has been a constant theme since Wandell’s diagnosis of ALS in 2013.

Since that time, the former East Side principal has traveled across the region and state sharing a story of positivity and hope to encourage others battling through hard times.

Wandell’s love of racing even formed the annual “Race For Wandell,” the first 3K race certified in the state, which has been going for over five years.

To stay up to date with Wandell’s story, visit the Team Wandell Facebook page.