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Additional race information can be found at http://www.laurel-run.com.
The Laurel Memorial Run/Walk is a two-day event that takes place the third weekend in July each year. Day One consists of a 30-mile relay run, as well as The Laurel-thon" for people who want to cover the entire relay route themselves. Day Two typically features walking and running events in Silver Creek, NY. While we intend to hold the relay run and Laurel-thon on Friday, July 17, we have canceled this year's Silver Creek events because of restrictions against large gatherings of people. So, in order to let people take part in the 24th annual Laurel Memorial Run/Walk while staying safe, the Silver Creek events will be converted into a VIRTUAL Run or Walk that people can do on their own. Happily, that will give even more people the opportunity to show their support for those with disabilities, by completing an 8-kilometer run or a 5K walk in their honor.
BACKGROUND - The Laurel Memorial Run/Walk was created by Wayne and Elaine Hotelling in honor of their oldest daughter, Laurel, who had Down syndrome. For the inaugural event in 1997, Wayne set out to run more than 400 miles across New York State to spread the message that people with disabilities can accomplish great things, if they're given the chance to prove themselves. After covering more than 100 miles in the first five days, Wayne developed an injury that sidelined him for a while. After recuperating, he borrowed a bicycle and picked up where he lift off, finishing his cross-state trek on time. Wayne's determination inspired people across the state, and he and Elaine decided to turn Laurel Run into an annual event in their hometown of Silver Creek, NY.
For many years Laurel was the Grand Marshal of the event. Sadly, she passed away in 2017 at the age of 54. But her spirit lives on, and each year hundreds of people with disabilities turn out to support the event The Laurel Memorial Run/Walk is organized each year by the Hotellings; The Resource Center, which supports people with disabilities in Western New York State; Filling the Gap, Inc., which supports The Resource Center; and a dedicated group of volunteers. Money raised through the event enhances employment and work training opportunities for adults with disabilities. Laurel herself had a job at The Resource Center's manufacturing facility for more than 30 years, and she was proud of her weekly paycheck.
EVENT DETAILS - For this year's Virtual Laurel Memorial Run/Walk, people are invited to complete an 8K Run or 5K Walk on their own. (You also can choose to walk or run a different distance, or you can choose another type of activity, such as bicycling, kayaking or swimming.) We're encouraging people to complete their Virtual Run or Walk by Saturday, July 18, which would have been the date of this year's Laurel Run/Walk events in Silver Creek. We will not be giving age-group prizes this year for the 8K Run and 5K Walk, but people are invited to upload their times. Instructions on how to do that can be found during the online registration process. There are three registration options:
* If you pay the $20 registration fee, you will receive a 2020 Laurel Memorial Run/Walk T-shirt and a commemorative medal. (TIP - When registering online, there is a $2.50 processing fee per registration transaction. So, you can save money by registering several people at one time, rather than registering individually.)
* People are encouraged to create a personal fund-raising page to collect donations from family and friends. If you do that and you raise $50 or more, we will waive the $20 registration fee. You will receive the shirt and medal for free.
* If you're not interested in receiving a shirt and medal, you can register for free.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE - There is no deadline, but if you want to receive your shirt by the traditional Laurel Memorial Run/Walk weekend (July 17-18), you will need to register by 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 7. You will have the option to pick up your shirt and medal, or you can pay a $6 domestic shipping fee.
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