Throughout its history, the race has been a fundraiser and faith raiser for the many supporters of Josh Wandell, a popular principal at East Side Elementary, who was forced into early retirement by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since the start of his struggle with the disease, Wandell has emphasized “faith over fear.”
The road race seemed like a good fit for Wandell.
He was a collegiate football player who remained active in the early stages of the disease and continued to run in the first races. He now participates in a sports wheel chair.
Kelly Geagley, Wandell’s uncle and one of his many supporters, said the race provides an important financial help to Wandell’s family. “Every year, his medical costs and home health care costs just keep going up, but the race has really helped,” Geagley said.
The race will use the same 3K certified course, which takes runners from a start at East Side Elementary School, 800 Siam Road, to downtown Elizabethton, through the Covered Bridge and back to East Side.
Signup for the race can be done online at https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=37174&eventId=338814. Signup can also be done at the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce on U.S. Highway 19E. Purchases of race t-shirts can also be made at the Chamber.
Competitive race packets can be picked up on Friday, Sept 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. at East Side Elementary.
The competitive 3K race will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at East Side. The registration is $25 and the cost will go up after Sept. 21.
The noncompetitive 3K run/walk will start at 10:15 a.m. Registration is $20.
Geagley said there will be lots of other family fun activities, such as inflatable rides.
He said the race continues to enjoy strong support in the community and there are a great number of sponsors for the event.