Three set to tackle 30-mile `Laurel-thon’
Keith and Rose pose before setting off on the 2016 Laurel-thon.
By Mark Stevens
As part of the Laurel Run, Keith Gregoire of Amherst is set to take part in the 30-mile ‘Laurel-thon’ from Jamestown to Dunkirk on Friday the 14th. It will be his fifth consecutive Laurel-thon.
“It was my friend Paul Gavin’s idea, and I was excited to do it with him. I’m not a great runner, but I’m proud to boast that I’m the only person to have run every Laurel-thon,” said Keith, who with Paul first approached Laurel Run organizers about running the entire 30-mile flag relay route. The pair completed the first Laurel-thon in 2013.
As if jogging 30 miles wasn’t enough, Keith may also take part in Saturday’s 8-kilometer run as well. He said he enjoys ultra-running and that the unique event helps bring attention to a good cause.
“I always say it would be fun to do the Laurel-thon and Laurel Run in two consecutive days. My kids have always had baseball games on the day of the Laurel Run, but so far this year they don’t have games scheduled for July 15, so I think I will try to do the back-to-back runs,” said Keith.
Lacing up her sneakers and joining Keith for the second consecutive year will be Rose Carr of Cassadaga. Rose grew up in Falconer, and she works for Brocton Central School and Jamestown Community College. She’s an English teacher, adviser to the Brocton Review and president of the Western New York Student Press Association.
Rose said being the first female to attempt and complete the 30-mile course initially enticed her to take part, but that the cause is equally as important.
“I am running the Laurel-thon again to raise funds for The Resource Center because of all the important support the center provides for many members of our community,” said Rose. “My mother, Sue Overend, worked as a registered nurse for The Resource Center for many years, so I know how great TRC is.”
Both Rose and Greg have trained extensively for this journey and really seem to enjoy doing so. In fact, several years ago Rose made it a goal to eventually run a marathon in all 50 states, and to date has done so in 19.
“I run marathons and ultras regularly,” said Rose. “It’s been a very fun experience, and often my family travels with me.”
“I just do some long training runs. I don’t run a lot of miles because of my busy schedule, but I do enough to maintain the ability to do marathons,” said Keith.
Both said they like being part of an event that plays an important role in the community.
“I don’t want to break my streak. And, I’ve really enjoyed meeting great and interesting people who benefit from The Resource Center and the Laurel Run,” said Keith.
“In all the races I’ve run, the finish line of the Laurel-thon is the most magical I’ve ever experienced,” said Rose. “I do this to raise money for TRC, but I also do it for the hugs, cheers and the big smiles at the finish line.”
One of Rose’s running partners, Lisa Glasier, looks to share that end-of-race thrill as well. She will be putting her best foot forward as well and join Rose and Keith on their 30-mile trek.
“I want to be a part of something so amazing as this,” said Lisa. “It’s very exciting. I look forward to the challenge of a brand new course, a fantastic cause and beautiful people.”
Like her running colleagues, Lisa trains extensively. She runs daily and completes quite a few races yearly.
“I swim, bike and lift weights,” said Lisa. “At 52, I take seriously my health.”
They also invite others to put their best foot forward and join them.
“It’s a fun, relaxing run. We don’t worry about time. As a matter of fact, I love that it’s on a weekday, so I don’t have to rush home to get to baseball games or other family activities,” said Keith.
Rose and Lisa have created an online fund-raising page in support of their Laurel-thon endeavor. Click here is you’d like to make a donation.