With easily the largest group in the Old First Night Run/Walk this year, the Webb family is clocking in with 25 participants — not all of them human.
The Webb family will make their grand appearance at the OFN Run/Walk, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, August 3 at the Sports Club. First joining the race in 1991, Jo-Ann Webb has attended every year since, involving generations of her family over the years.
“We started coming to Chautauqua when we had a restaurant here; it was probably in the ’60s,” Webb said. “I have four children, nine grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, so about half of the group is here. We pick the time and the kids have started out, the grandkids started out, when they were boys and girls.”
The event draws in Chautauquans from all over, but the Webb family takes the cake every year, adding to the group every season. With family coming from all over the country to participate, they are well-known around the grounds.
“They live anywhere from San Francisco to Charleston, to Washington, D.C. to Bradenton, Florida,” Webb said. “So everybody in the family makes it a point to come, and we stay in two houses so that we have space for everybody to stay.”
This year is no different, with the Webb family having 23 family members participating in the OFN Run/Walk, ranging in age from 1 1/2 years old to 91. Webb said the youngest was born in March 2018. On top of their extended family, the Webbs have decided to bring two dogs along for the walk.
Wes Delancey, Webb’s nephew, has been participating in the walk since the age of 2; he’s now 37. Delancey and Webb both agreed that the OFN Run/Walk is a wonderful family activity that brings them closer together, despite the differences in age.
“It’s just whoever shows up, certainly some years we had as little as six to as many as 20,” Webb said. “And recently, I got the award for being the oldest one to compete for the Spirit Award. So now what I do is I get the shirt, and then I walk as far as I can and come back and greet racers as they show up.”