Over 160 to run in Race For Wandell

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018

Spots still remain for a yearly tradition at East Side Elementary School.

Volunteers with Team Wandell are putting on the final touches for the sixth annual Race For Wandell, scheduled to take place Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. on the school’s campus in Elizabethton to raise awareness for ALS and benefit former East Side Principal Josh Wandell.

Since 2013, the “Faith over Fear” motto has grown from the city to a nation level following Wandell’s ALS diagnosis. This year’s event had even reached a global level with Abraham Kiplagat Kibware of Kenya participating in the race.

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Not letting ALS dictate his life, Wandell continued to run in races with Team Wandell members pushing him in a specialized wheelchair. The races and notoriety grew with several friends and family members racing with Wandell in competitions across the region. The work was recognized this year with Team Wandell and Josh now the proud holders of a Guinness World Record for the fastest time for someone being pushed in a wheelchair. The accomplishment was achieved months back at Virginia.

Along with his moments on the race track, Wandell has spent time sharing his story of dedication and preservation in the face of ALS.

And the public has responded back in a big way. Currently, there are 169 racers signed up for the race, which was the first-ever certified 3K race in the state. There is also a fun walk/run at 10:30 a.m. following the competitive portion.

Kelly Geagley, Wandell’s uncle and Team Wandell member, has hit the ground running in putting the final pieces in place for the event. Throughout the work in the community, Geagley had one thing to say about the feedback.

“It has been amazing,” he explained. “I feel like I say it every time, but the numbers were record-breaking sponsor numbers and the community always does their part to support Josh. We greatly appreciate it. “

Geagley added there were 48 paid sponsors for the 2018 race while another 22 in-kind sponsors assisted with the endeavor.

Race participants can register either by visiting https://runsignup.com/Race/TN/Elizabethton/RaceforWandell or by visiting the Chamber office during regular business hours. There will also be a day-of race registration prior to 10 a.m.

The cost for the race is $30 while the fun run/walk is $25. Geagley added there will be an auction on site, too.

All proceeds raised during the event go to support the Wandell family’s medical expenses.