Rock The Ridge, a 50-mile endurance challenge, was held at Mohonk Preserve on Saturday, May 4, 2013. The challenge included 174 runners, walkers, and hikers who completed a 50-mile course across carriage roads and trails along the Shawangunk Ridge. The challenge raised over $100,000 to benefit the Preserve, the highest amount ever for a Preserve athletic event.
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.
Rock The Ridge is also a new angle on conservation, inspired by and launched in connection with the 50th anniversary of Mohonk Preserve. In addition to their entry fees, all challenge participants raised funds to support the Preserve’s mission of preserving the land and inspiring people to experience nature.
Noted ultramarathoner Ben Nephew was the first finisher, clocking in at 6:18:20. The first female finisher was Jacqueline Kehoe with a time of 7:42:39. All of the participants finished in under 20 hours, meeting the Kennedy Challenge. Click here for full race results.
For most of the participants, Rock The Ridge was their first 50-mile event, although one participant was a veteran of 1,000-mile races, and this was his 214th ultramarathon. Another participant started training for Rock The Ridge nine months prior, having never done any previous running or hiking, while a 50-year-old mother decided to run to set an example for her son who had just signed up with the U.S. Army Special Forces.
There were several bear sightings along the course, but fortunately the bears ran away from the Ridge Rockers. And the event ended on an especially happy note for one couple who participated with a marriage proposal – she accepted!
Plans are underway to Rock The Ridge again in 2014. In the meantime, please check out another great Preserve running event – the Pfalz Point Trail Challenge.
2013 Rock The Ridge Sponsors
50th ANNIVERSARY SPONSORS
Plaza Diner, New Paltz NY