On May 6, runners and hikers will be lacing up their shoes to take on the fifth annual Rock The Ridge (RTR), a 50-mile endurance challenge at Mohonk Preserve. And there’s still time for you to join in on the “fun.”
“It’s a beautiful 50-miler,” assures Yorktown Heights resident Hendrik Hamann, who was the top Hudson Valley finisher last year, earning seventh place with a time of 8 hours, 9 minutes. “It’s manageable even if you’re a beginner.” Hamann uses RTR as training for his (gasp!) 100-mile runs.
Runners and hikers have 24 hours from the 6 a.m. start time to complete the course (flashlights or headlamps are required gear), which means even the most novice among us shouldn’t be afraid to participate. There’s strength in numbers, so gather your friends and make it a team effort as a group or in a two- or four-person relay.
“The relay aspect makes it available to people who have never done it before,” says Gretchen Reed, Director of Marketing & Communications for Mohonk Preserve, who is part of a relay team herself this year.
Mohonk’s wide carriage roads make up the bulk of the race, which help give seasoned athletes the chance to mark personal running records, but be warned that hills are scattered throughout the route.
Besides a test of physical endurance, the May 6 race is also a fundraiser for the nonprofit Mohonk Preserve: Since its 2013 inception, RTR has raised nearly $700,000.