Third Annual SRT Run/Hike Set for Sept. 16-17
Organizers for the SRT Run/Hike are gearing up for the third anniversary of this race along the 70-mile Shawangunk Ridge Trail, which will take place on Sept. 16-17. The race was created to bring awareness to the Gunks Greenway, an important conservation corridor which protects the entire Shawagunk mountain range, identified by the Nature Conservancy as "one of Earth's last great places." The race offers four divisions: the full 70-mile SRT, 50 miles, 30 miles, or 1/2 marathon, with time limits that accommodate seasoned trail runners and fit thru-hikers.
New for this year, the Trail Conference is spearheading a major renovation of the 1.7-mile path between Sam's Point Preserve and the Verkeerderkill Falls, a 180-foot waterfall and one of the most scenic spots in the Shawangunk Mountains. This work will involve the Long Path Committee, the Long Distance Trails Crew, the Hudson Nor’westers, and other volunteers, plus Sam’s Point Preserve staff. The purpose is to improve drainage and reposition some of the sharp conglomerate rocks that litter the trail, making it easier to walk or run on—a huge benefit for the racers as they cross through this area during the morning of Sept. 17.
Nonetheless, even with this improvement, racers will still need to overcome plenty of challenges along this daunting course, including navigating rock scrambles and squeezes, surmounting well over 10,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain, and passing through the Bashakill wetlands during the middle of the night—before they reach the restored railway trestle high above Rondout Creek in Rosendale, N.Y.
In its first two years, the race won accolades from national trail running magazines and local press, and succeeded in attracting participants from all over the country. Last year, Virginia native Jason Berry not only won the event, but also set a new course record of just over 22 hours, beating the former record of 24 hours set by race director and Trail Conference Board Member Ken Posner. A huge question for 2016: Can a New Yorker recover the record for New York's most beautiful and adventurous trail?
Registration is now open at www.srtrunhike.com.