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Race for Wandell is this Saturday

John Thompson • Sep 13, 2016 at 9:49 PM

ELIZABETHTON — After months of organization and several weeks of recruiting the area’s runners and walkers, the 4th Annual Race for Wandell will take place this Saturday, with a small army of athletes and supporters participating in the biggest annual running event in Carter County.

The race is for the benefit of Josh Wandell, a former educator and principal at East Side Elementary School, who had to retire after he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Prior to his illness, Wandell had been a competitive runner and former collegiate football player. With the help of his many friends, he has participated in races after his diagnosis. Many supporters in the community have placed yard signs announcing “faith over fear” in Wandell’s struggle.

All of the money raised from the 2016 Race for Wandell will go directly to Josh and his ongoing medical costs.

In addition to being an enjoyable way to support Wandell’s struggle, the race is the only certified 3-K race in Tennessee. There should be many state records set since there will be many different age groups for the event.

The competitive race will start at 10 a.m., followed by the fun run/walk at 10:30 a.m. Appropriately, the race starts at East Side Elementary School, where Wandell served as principal, even after he came down with the disease. The race will go through downtown Elizabethton and return to East Side.

Wandell was diagnosed with ALS in June 2013. The original diagnosis came with a life expectancy of two to five years. Wandell, his wife, Tabitha, and their children, Jayla, Taylor and JT, passed the three-year anniversary of his diagnosis in June and remain steadfast and determined. 

Participants can register for the race at the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce.

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