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Not Even Rain Can Dampen Laurel Run Festivities

Wayne Hotelling celebrates the Laurel Memorial Run and Walk over the weekend. Submitted photo

Though the weather for Saturday’s proceedings of the Laurel Memorial Run and Walk looked bleak initially, the events went off without a hitch. Both Steve Waterson of the Resource Center and Wayne Hotelling, Laurel’s father, feared the potential rain might either delay or cancel the event entirely, but in Silver Creek, the weather cleared up right as the event was beginning.

“Saturday went surprisingly well,” Waterson said. “Based on the weather, we were apprehensive we would even get the events in. It rained for a while before the event started but by the time the 5K began at 8:30, it was a light drizzle. The rest of the morning was either like that or had no rain at all.”

The turnout for the event was also relatively solid, especially when it came to the participating runners. Though the number of walkers was down from a normal year, most likely due to the weather, Waterson said that the runners total was actually up.

“We had more runners than we had in 2019, but the runners go out in any weather,” Waterson said. “The number of walkers was down. Especially if you weren’t coming from Silver Creek and it was pouring where you were, that was probably a deterrent.”

The one major factor both Hotelling and Waterson tried to consider was any possible delays due to lightning. The events are doable in the rain, but lightning would have caused a delay, and Hotelling even thought about cancelling the events entirely had there been lightning.

Laurel Memorial Run and Walk supporters dodged the raindrops over the weekend.

“Off and on, Steve and I were just looking at each other and saying it is what it is,” Hotelling said. “If there was lightning, I figured we’d just call it off, but it started to let up about quarter to eight and it dwindled down. We had the opening ceremonies, and the walkers were ready to go. We also had excellent security from the fire department and police in Silver Creek.”

Concerns about lightning and possible flooding were abated as all the runners and walkers were able to finish, leading up to the main event on Saturday, known as Laurel’s Legacy Lap, where anyone with a disability does a lap around the track.

“That’s the event that yields the lump in your throat, and tugs at your heart strings,” Waterson said. “We held the event in Jamestown this year. It can be difficult to get staff from the homes in Jamestown out to Silver Creek in the morning on Saturday, so we held it in Jamestown too.”

Between the Friday and Saturday events for the 2021 Laurel Walk/Run, both Waterson and Hotelling reported a good amount of success for the annual event. Especially coming off the pandemic, the success was welcome to the competitors and organizers alike.

“We had a great time, and the people there had a great time,” Hotelling said. “Everybody got their medals and of course we had a good Laurel’s Legacy Lap. It was a very successful event.

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