JAMESTOWN - The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Chautauqua Striders and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy are proud to join in partnership to present the Inaugural Lucy Town Half Marathon and 5k.
Runners of all abilities will come to the Jamestown area over Columbus Day Weekend Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13 for a weekend of events including a 5k run, a sports expo and a "Night of Comedy." The festivities will culminate with a 13.1-mile half marathon 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 to enter the half marathon 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.
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, " CEO for Univera Healthcare Art Wingerter said.
Wingerter, who was in attendance at a press conference announcing the marathon recently at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, was impressed by the collaborative efforts among 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 a marathon promoting 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.'"
Jack Keeney, mayor of Celeron, noted how happy he was, along with many local dignitaries, to have Lucille Ball involved with promoting the area.
"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," Senator Catharine Young said. "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."
"Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau is looking forward to promoting these races," said Andrew Nixon, executive director for the CCVB. "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," administrative director for County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency Bill Daly said. "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 484-2624 or visit LucyRace.com. Information on how to become a race volunteer is also available by visiting LucyRace.com.
Originally founded in 1979 as a local track club, Chautauqua Striders has since developed into a multi-faceted community organization, proudly offering diversified programs that incorporate its mission to "mentor and guide youth through education, advocacy and athletics." The not-for-profit agency based in Jamestown provides tutoring, mentoring, outreach and athletic programs to more than 2,000 Chautauqua County youth annually. The goal of Chautauqua Striders is to help youth graduate high school inspired with the knowledge, skills, and confidence required for successful college and career experiences.