White Rose Run, in its 44th year, will experience a changing of the guard in 2021

STAFF REPORT
Runners compete in the White Rose Run in 2019.
  • The White Rose Run will be held in York, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.
  • Longtime race directors Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell are handing over the reins of the event.
  • Karen Lam-Duckett is the new director of the five-mile race.

There will be a changing of the guard at this year’s White Rose Run.

According to a news release, longtime race directors Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell will hand over the reins of the event — in its 44th year — to Karen Lam-Duckett.

The 2021 event is set for 8 a.m. Sept. 25.

Combined, Shaw and Mitchell have managed the five-mile race for more than 30 years. During their latest stint, from 2018 to 2021, they implemented the concept of a race committee with race-course captains.

“That organization, having each person in charge of something important — all runners or former runners — has been such an incredible committee,” Mitchell said.

“We have somebody very competent taking over as race director, surrounded by competent people on the race committee,” Shaw said. “It feels like the right time to turn things over and leave it in good hands.”

Helping charity: Shaw and Mitchell also created a partnership in 2019 with Not One More — York Chapter. Donated proceeds from the White Rose Run go to the nonprofit organization, which creates awareness around addiction and provides support to those with substance use disorder and their families and friends.

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“This was personal for us, because we lost a family member to an opioid addiction,” Mitchell said.

“There are other causes just as noble, but this one hits close to home,” Shaw said. “Opioid addiction is such a cruel thing.”

Lam-Duckett knows the event: Lam-Duckett is no stranger to the event or to the York running community.

“She knows the race well, having served in these race committee positions, so she’s the perfect person to be next year’s race director,” Mitchell said. “She’s also a very accomplished and humble runner. She probably wouldn’t tell anyone — but we can — that one year she won the Harrisburg Marathon.”

Lam-Duckett believes the White Rose Run is unique because of its five-mile distance and the route, which winds through downtown York.

“The character and personality of this race are all about York,” she said. “The route highlights the core business district downtown, where there are microbreweries, the market and boutique shops. But then you pass by Penn Park, York High, the house where Special Olympian Loretta Claiborne grew up, a cool Victorian B&B, Farquhar Park, the Heritage Rail Trail -- the course combines all the historical parts of York. It’s a contrast of red brick and green trees.”

Her hopes for the future of the White Rose Run?

“I hope the WRR continues as a showcase race for runners of all abilities — that race you continue to circle on your calendar every year.”

Event details: This year’s race again includes both a live and virtual race. The virtual component was first offered during last year’s event. The virtual race is anywhere/anytime between now and Sept. 26.

The live race on Sept. 25 runs through York City for more than three miles, crosses George Street onto the new section of the Heritage Rail Trail, runs less than a mile to the turnaround, and finishes on Beaver Street.

A post-race event at the White Rose Bar and Grill includes music, food, and the award of prizes and cash.

Registration for the race closes on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at noon, or when the race is full. The entry price is $35.

Excerpts taken from an article on the York Road Runners website written by Karen Hendricks.