ROCK THE RIDGE April 30, 2016
Now in its third year, Rock The Ridge, a 50-mile endurance challenge, was held at Mohonk Preserve on Saturday, May 3, 2015. Over 300 runners, walkers and hikers registered to traverse a course across carriage roads and trails along the Shawangunk Ridge and raised funds to support the Preserve’s Environmental Education programs, Parkinson’s research, veterans, and youth running programs.
The 50-mile format of Rock The Ridge is based on the “Kennedy Challenge” issued in 1962 when President Kennedy challenged the U.S. Marines to cover 50 miles in 20 hours. The event’s 24-hour time limit allows walkers and hikers, as well as runners, to complete the event.
For the third year, noted ultramarathoner Ben Nephew was the first finisher, breaking his own course record with at time of 5:56:15. The first female finisher was Laura Koogan with a time of 7:13:49. All of the participants finished in under 20 hours, meeting the Kennedy Challenge.
“The Preserve thanks the participants who went above and beyond to raise funds to protect this special place,” said Mohonk Preserve Director of Development Joe Alfano, who also hiked the entire course. “We are grateful to the Preserve Board and staff, volunteers, and race organizers whose team effort made this event such a success.”
Rock The Ridge directly benefits Mohonk Preserve's award-winning Environmental Education programs. For over 25 years, the Preserve has been providing innovative education programs that have gotten over 100,000 children into nature, offering something for everyone from recreationists to naturalists-at-heart, supporting lifelong learning and strengthening connections to the land.
Mohonk Preserve also teamed with charitable partners from the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Team Fox, who raised funds for Parkinson’s research; Team Red, White & Blue, who raised funds for military veterans; and New York Road Runners’ Team for Kids, who raised funds for NYRR's Youth and Community Services programs.
Check out this other great Preserve running events: