Laurel Run enjoys another record year
It was another record year for TRC Foundation’s Laurel Run.
A record 161 people participated in the 8-kilometer run Saturday, July 21, in Silver Creek, with another 150 taking part in the 5k walk. Despite a summer that has featured hot and humid weather, walkers and runners were treated to relatively cool conditions Saturday.
In the 8k run, Chad Byler and Kim Vona enjoyed comfortable victories, with Kim claiming the woman’s title for the third straight year. Chad’s time of 27 minutes 47 second was 47 seconds better than the time posted by Raymond Graf. Justin Niebel was third in 28:57. Among women, Kim’s time of 31:21 was 1:03 better than that of Kimberly Turner. Kylee Witchey was third in 33:15.
Laurel Run awards prize money to the top three finishers in the 8k – $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third. For the third consecutive tear, Kim donated her first-place prize money back to Laurel Run. Ray donated his prize money back to Laurel Run, as he did two years ago when he took third place. Thanks, Kim and Ray, for your generosity!
Click here for the 8k results as compiled by our timing and results partner, Western New York Finish Line Services.
Determining results for the 5k walk was more difficult, as there were several challenges filed over whether people had walked the entire way or if they had jogged a portion of the course. In the end, first place was awarded to Ann Dolce with a time of 33:11 and Jake Proper with a time of 35:02.
Click here for the 5k results as compiled by Western New York Finish Line Services.
In the team results, Tri-State Runners took first place in the 8k, followed by Niebel Realty, the Shiny Knights and the Rusty Knights. In the 5k, Team Proper took first place, followed by Jim White’s Truck & Auto Center and All Nerved Up.
The festivities for the 16th annual Laurel Run began with John Graham, who receives supports from The Resource Center, singing the national anthem across the street from the Village Square, where most of the Laurel Run activities took place. Before, during and after the races, there was a party featuring free food; live music, first from Tony Pearl, “The Great Lakes Drifter”, and then by Adam McKillip, a finalist in this year’s Chautauqua Lake Idol Contest; face painting; massages; and raffle and auction tables.
After the 8k run, 5k walk and 1k fun walk concluded, children age 7 and younger gathered for the Fun Runs. After that, “Laurel’s Lap” was held, in which anyone with a disability was invited to take a lap around the track surrounding the ball field in downtown Silver Creek. Spectators applauded loudly as dozens of individuals with disabilities – some on their own, some with assistance from others – made their way around the track.
Following Laurel’s Lap, it was time for the awards presentation. First to be recognized was Adrianna Fish, the Southwestern High School student who created the winning design in this year’s Laurel Run logo contest. Adrianna and her family members generously volunteered their time at Laurel Run.
Next, the 2012 Laurel Run Spirit Award was presented to Thomas Proper. Tom, who is employed alongside event namesake Laurel Hotelling at The Resource Center’s Work Center on East Chestnut Street in Dunkirk, was selected for the award because he serves on the Laurel Run Planning Committee, participates in the 5k walk each year (he took third place in his age group this year) and makes it possible for a friend to participate in Laurel’s Lap by pushing her wheelchair around the track.
As a side note, this year Tom had a friendly wager with Russ Beyer, the Production Coordinator at the Dunkirk Work Center, to see which of them would cross the finish line first. Russ, perhaps intimidated by Tom’s confident trash talking in the weeks leading up to the walk, arrived at the starting line late, enabling Tom to cruise to an easy victory. The two turned their competition into a fund-raiser for Laurel Run, generating $635.
For the awards presentation, the top three finishers in each age group in the 8k run and the 5k walk were given medals made by participants in the Future Strivers Group at The Resource Center’s “Alternatives” Day Habilitation Program in Jamestown. A number of persons with disabilities helped hand out the awards.
As the crowd began to disperse following the awards presentation, some 50 people prepared to set out on the fifth annual Motorcycle Dice Run. The route included stops at the Cassadaga Legion, the Ellery Center VFW, the War Vets Club near Jamestown, and the Westfield Legion before returning to Silver Creek. At each stop, participants were given a roll of the dice. Re-rolls cost $1, and people could re-roll as often as they liked.
Dice Run participants returned to Silver Creek for a post-ride barbecue. There also were prize drawings and a demonstration of a protective motorcycle bag made by Support Enterprises, which gave away one of the bags. After the barbecue, several Dice Run participants helped put away tables and chairs, and then the 2012 Laurel Run was over.
All Laurel Run participants were given T-shirts made by Support Enterprises, as well as goody bags that were made by individuals at TRC’s Jamestown Work Center and that were filled with goodies by individuals at TRC’s Work Center on Lake Shore Drive in Dunkirk.
Event co-founders Wayne and Elaine Hotelling were pleased with how the 16th annual Laurel Run turned out.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone who was in attendance at Laurel Run this past weekend!” Wayne said. “There was a continual round of applause for the people who took part in Laurel’s Lap this year. I was out along the track where all the participants were, and the smiles and the determination that was mirrored on their faces was so inspiring that I almost missed the noise from the finish line. It seemed to go on forever. This is truly what Laurel Run is all about – the crowd’s response to those individuals showing their abilities to complete Laurel’s Lap.
“Thanks to all – volunteers, staff, runners, walkers, sponsors, and those who were not able to attend but donated in some way to support the 16th annual Laurel Run.
“See you July 20th next year.”
Money raised through Laurel Run supports disability awareness and prevention initiatives, which are important because about 50 percent of disabilities are preventable. A portion of the Laurel Run proceeds are used to provide employment and work training opportunities for adults with disabilities, like Laurel.
Click here to make a donation in support of Laurel Run.