Friday, July 16, 2021

In 1999, Laurel Run covered all of New York State. Relay runners set out from eight different parts of the State, and some six weeks later the eight relay legs came together in Albany for a grand finale. Laurel Run had passed through every county in the State, and more than 20,000 people participated.

Laurel Run has retained the essence of that 1999 State-wide relay. Each year, relay runners transport a Laurel Run flag from Jamestown to Dunkirk to officially kick off Laurel Run weekend. We encourage students from area school districts to participate in the relay, in order to fulfill the desire of Laurel Run co-founders Wayne and Elaine Hotelling that children develop an appreciation and respect for people with disabilities that will remain with them throughout their lives.

Whether you want to run a leg of the relay or just want to be part of the festivities, we invite you to join us. On Friday, the day before the main Laurel Run events, we’ll gather at McCrea Point Park (The Boat Landing) on Jones & Gifford Avenue in Jamestown for opening ceremonies from 8:00 to 8:30. Following speeches from dignitaries, we proceed as a group along the sidewalk to Eighth Street, where the first set of relay runners begins the trek to Dunkirk.

The various legs of the Laurel Run flay relay are typically 1 to 3 miles in length, and many people opt to run more than one leg. In Fredonia, employees of the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility join the relay, and they lead the runners to the finish while jogging in cadence.

The relay will end at our facility at 186 Lake Shore Drive West in Dunkirk, where the City will host a Victory Celebration from 1:00 to 2:00. As the last relay runners arrive, they’ll be greeted by cheers from individuals with disabilities and their support staff from The Resource Center.