Chautauqua Striders, Jamestown Ice Arena, and Lucy Desi Center for Comedy announce inaugural “Lucy Town Half Marathon and 5K”
JAMESTOWN, NY – February 7, 2013 – 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 on October 12-13 (Columbus Day Weekend) 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 October 13th. 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, ” said Art Wingerter, CEO for Univera Healthcare.
Wingerter, who was in attendance at a press conference announcing the marathon held Thursday 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 marathon 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’.”
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,” said Senator Catharine Young. “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,” 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.
About the Race Organizers
Lucy Desi Center for Comedy
Lucy’s hometown of Jamestown, NY has honored the legacy of “The First Couple of Comedy” with its renowned museum attraction since 1996. Tripling in size in 2006, the mission of the museum and center for comedy is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts. The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy produces the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival annually on the first weekend of August, and has featured Ray Romano, Ellen DeGeneres, Lewis Black, Paula Poundstone, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Billy Gardell and more.
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, New York, 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.
Jamestown Savings Bank Arena
The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena opened its doors in 2002 as a centralized community center in downtown Jamestown. The twin pad ice facility had an original focus on ice sports, primarily hockey and figure skating, but has widened its goals to become a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue.
Over the years, the not-for-profit organization has produced a variety of events including family shows, concerts and in 2011, hosted preliminary games for the IIHF World Jr. Hockey Championships. Most recently, JSBA was featured on NBC’s national telecast of the Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular, which was recorded at the Arena last December.
The Jamestown Arena is also home to the Jamestown Ironmen, who compete in the North American Hockey League. JSBA has also broadened its horizons with the addition of turf sports to its programming along with a free outdoor concert series throughout the summer. The Arena seeks to move forward with new ideas, an expanded selection of programming and entertainment, but still prides itself on being a community center for Jamestown’s youth and families alike.