The Laurel-thon is held in conjunction with the annual flag relay, in which volunteers take turns running from Jamestown to Dunkirk. The relay legs are anywhere from 1 to 3 miles in length. But for the Laurel-thon, people attempt to run the entire 30 miles.
Paul Gavin of Dunkirk and Keith Gregoire of Williamsville completed the inaugural Laurel-thon in 2013 and did it again in 2014. In 2015, they were joined by Hans Cuypers of Belgium, Last year, Keith and Chautauqua County native Rose Carr conquered the Laurel-thon, with Paul driving a support vehicle.
The runners will begin their trek in front of The Resource Center’s facility at 75 Jones & Gifford Avenue in Jamestown at about 6:00 a.m. If all goes well, they’ll arrive shortly after noon at Washington Park in Dunkirk, where a victory celebration will be held to congratulate them and the relay runners.
Anyone is welcome to tackle the Laurel-thon. If you’d like to undertake the Laurel-thon this year, please complete the form below. We also invite you to create your own fund-raising page to collect donations from family members, friends and co-workers in support of your effort.
* Exit The Resource Center’s building at 75 Jones & Gifford Avenue, Jamestown, and turn right onto Jones & Gifford Avenue. After about 1/8 of a mile, take your first LEFT turn onto Eighth Street.
* Go to the second traffic light and turn LEFT onto Main Street (Route 60).
* Continue along Route 60 until you come to a blinking traffic light at a 4-way stop in Gerry (Country Fair gas station will be on your right) and turn LEFT to stay on Route 60. (Note: About 4 miles after you have turned onto Main Street from Eighth Street, you will encounter the steepest incline on the route.)
* Once you have made the left turn in Gerry, continue to follow Route 60 for a number of miles, passing through Cassadaga and then descending a lengthy hill. A few miles after you’ve reached the bottom of the hill, you will see a small sign indicating to turn left to go to Fredonia. Turn LEFT at that sign onto Porter Road.
* Continue to follow that road until it ends (about 2 miles). Along the way, if you become confused about which is the correct road, keep following the road that bears left.
* Once you reach the end of the road, turn RIGHT onto Water Street. (Note: In a parking lot across the street, you may notice a number of people in black. They are employees of the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Facility, and they jog the last few miles of the relay route.)
* At your third traffic light, bear RIGHT onto Central Avenue.
* Continue to follow that road into Dunkirk until you get to Sixth Street, then turn RIGHT.
* Go one block and you arrive at the end of the route at Washington Park.