Record Breakers: Team Wandell surpasses Guinness World Record

Published 9:28 pm Monday, March 19, 2018


It was nearly impossible to hold back the smiles Sunday morning from Virginia.

Team Wandell made their way to Virginia Beach Sunday morning for the annual Anthem Shamrock marathon and were able to set a Guinness World Record with Jeff Vance pushing Josh Wandell the fastest time on record for a half marathon. Joined by other team members, Vance and Josh Wandell were able to cross the finish line with a time of 1:35.12, surpassing the 1:54.49 currently on the books. According to team members, around seven witnesses were in attendance for the race to ensure authenticity for the Guinness Book of World Records. Team Wandell runners in the race were Jeff Vance, Josh Wandell, TJ Brown, Thomas Proffitt, Michelle McKeelan, Lisa Hazlett, Blaine Beining, Irene Bierie and Ricky Gray.

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Work started on the run after Brooke Vance, Jeff’s wife, officially announced via social media that the team’s application to go after the record had been accepted by Guinness.

Sunday’s race was just another notch in the cap for Josh Wandell, who has continued to spread a message of positivity, hope, and the love of racing, since his ALS diagnosis in 2013.

But instead of wavering, the former Elizabethton school official has continued being an active part in the community, encouraging individuals across the region to follow their dreams and to encourage others going through tough times.

Prior to the diagnosis, Josh Wandell stayed active with running. The love never dipped off for runner and the crew with Team Wandell have made the rounds across the region, and out of the state, competing in races while Wandell would participate by being pushed in a wheelchair.

The love of racing even created the annual “Race for Wandell” 3K race at East Side Elementary – where Wandell previously served as principal. Elizabethton’s race, which has gone on for over five years, is recognized as the first-ever 3K race certified in the state.

Individuals can to view a blog that is maintained by Team Wandell that documents different events by the group and helps spread awareness for ALS in the region.

An update from Jeff Vance will appear in a future edition of the Elizabethton Star.