The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, the Chautauqua Striders and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy are partnering to present the inaugural Lucy Town Half-Marathon and 5K.
Runners of all abilities will come to the Jamestown area on Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 12-13) for a weekend of events, including a 5-kilometer run, a sports expo, and a "Night of Comedy.'' The festivities will culminate with a 13.1-mile run on Oct. 13. The goal of the weekend is to promote a healthy lifestyle and the area of Jamestown. Race registration is available at LucyRace.com. The early registration cost is $55 for half-marathon participants, and $20 for 5K participants. Univera Healthcare members will receive a $5 discount to register for the half-marathon participants, and a $2 discount for 5K participants.
The USATF-certified course, which begins and ends in Jamestown, runs through the neighboring towns of Lakewood and Celoron. The course travels near the childhood home of Jamestown's own Lucille Ball and the Lucille Ball Memorial Park.
Jamestown Savings Bank Arena executive director and chief executive officer?Kurt Silcott, right, answers a question during a press conference Thursday to announce the inaugural Lucy Town Half-Marathon and 5K, which will be held Oct. 12-13. Looking on are Art Wingerter, president of Univera Healthcare; Deb Kathman, executive director of the Chautauqua Striders; and Journey Gunderson executive director for the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy.
P-J?photo by Scott Kindberg
Univera Healthcare will be the title sponsor for the weekend's events.
"Univera Healthcare is proud to partner with the Jamestown area to help promote healthier living and we look forward to working with the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Chautauqua Striders and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy to present a great weekend of events, " said Art Wingerter, president for Univera Healthcare.
Wingerter, who was in attendance at a Thursday afternoon press conference announcing the marathon at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, was impressed by the collaborative efforts between the three local not-for-profits, and noted how he anticipates the event to be a success for years to come.
Journey Gunderson, executive director for the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy, also mentioned how the recent success of the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy made it an easy decision to become involved with an event that promotes living a healthy, happy lifestyle.
"After our festival, we went around to the local businesses in Jamestown and got their feedback," Gunderson said. "One of the main comments we heard was 'Wow, this was a fantastic weekend, it's a big money maker for us; if only there were more of these weekends throughout the year.'"
Celoron mayor John Keeney noted how happy he was to have Lucille Ball involved with promoting the area. Other area dignitaries shared the same sentiments.
''This is a great package of events that brings together many of the aspects that make the city of Jamestown a great place to have fun,'' said Jamestown mayor Sam Teresi in a statement. ''I want to thank the Striders organization, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy, and Univera for their collaboration on what will certainly be an action-packed weekend here in Jamestown. This is a creative endeavor that serves as a model for what we can accomplish when we work together.''
Noted State Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean: "Lucy brought big smiles and laughter into people's lives, and combining humor with fitness is a terrific way to get more people focused on healthier living. Our small businesses truly will benefit from drawing so many visitors to our region, so this event will give our local economy a shot in the arm. Organizers are to be congratulated for their creativity and innovation."
Andrew Nixon, executive director for the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, said he is looking forward to promoting the races.
"The half-marathon especially should draw hundreds of visitors to the area, exposing them to the wonderful experiences available in the Jamestown area and Chautauqua County.''
Nixon will be participating in the half-marathon, although he admits a little extra training will be required.
"It's great to see three great organizations come together to promote our area," said Bill Daly, administrative director for County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency. "The fact that they are all involved with an event of this nature is a sign of a vibrant community. Hopefully, it will draw a large number of participants and spectators, and become an annual event."
For additional information on the Lucy Town Half-Marathon and 5K, contact Phil Genco at 716-484-2624 or visit LucyRace.com. Information on how to become a race volunteer is also available by visiting LucyRace.com.