Race For Wandell preps for sixth year

Published 8:53 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

Shattering records just comes natural for the members of Team Wandell.

Just a few months removed from securing a Guinness World Record, team members are gearing up for the sixth installment of the annual Race For Wandell 3K run/walk, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at East Side Elementary in Elizabethton.

The event, which received unanimous support from City Council Thursday, typically welcomes in thousands from across the region to run to raise awareness for ALS and show support for Josh Wandell, former East Side Elementary principal who has used his bout with Lou Gehrig’s disease as a way to promote a positive message of togetherness and strength through trying times.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Kelly Geagley, Wandell’s uncle and one of the organizers of the event, told the Elizabethton Star that the race is always a fun time for Josh and the rest of Team Wandell, due to the community’s outpouring of support and Josh having the chance to see friends throughout the day.

But much like this year, Team Wandell are no strangers to setting trends and breaking records. In March, Team Wandell was able to etch their name in the record books by earning a Guinness World Record by running the fastest half-marathon time — for pushing someone in a wheelchair — at 1:35.12 at Virginia Beach. Wandell was pushed during the race by Jeff Vance and was accompanied by other team members, including TJ Brown, Thomas Proffitt, Michelle McKeelan, Lisa Hazlett, Blaine Beining, Irene Bierie and Ricky Gray.

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.

Prior to this year’s accomplishment, the race itself proved to be a first for the state. Due to the work of organizers, Race For Wandell was able to become the state’s first certified 3K race just a couple of years ago.

Breaking the mold and setting the standard is part of the goal of Team Wandell. Since 2013, the former East Side principal has taken to social media and various races across the region to share the “Faith > Fear” message and raise awareness for ALS.

It’s a constant message that is looking to pick up steam for this year. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the rest, with proceeds going to assist with expenses for Team Wandell.

To learn more about the event, stay up to date with future editions of the Elizabethton Star or the Team Wandell Facebook page.