We are incredibly proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Long Path Race Series! We call these winners “Disciples of the Long Brown Path,” in a nod to the memorial plaque for Raymond Torrey, one of the Trail Conference’s founders and an early promoter of both the Appalachian Trail and the Long Path.
Created and maintained by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Long Path is an incredible 350-mile hiking trail that reaches from New York City to the outskirts of Albany, along the way traversing some of New York’s most beautiful natural parks and preserves, including the New Jersey Palisades, Harriman State Park, Schunemunk Mountain, the Shawangunk Mountains, the Catskills, and the Helderberg Escarpment.
The purpose of the Long Path Race Series is to build awareness for the Long Path and the work of the Trail Conference and its volunteers and to get more people running and hiking on New York’s beautiful trails. Points are accrued for the distance of each event and the finishing time relative to the first male/female. The Long Path Race Series is organized by Shawangunk Adventures LLC, which is also race manager for some (but not all) of the races included in the series. Stay tuned announcements about the 2016 series!
Thank you to our sponsor Kenco Outfitters for providing prizes to series winners and registered participants! Conveniently located at the gateway to the Catskills on route 28 just minutes from the Thruway, Kenco is a great place to stop by for running, hiking, and outdoors gear on your way to your next Catskills adventure! Make sure to check out their website www.kencooutfitters.com for upcoming events and special promotions.
Disciple of the Long Brown Path — Female Division: Jordan Grande, 24, East Longmeadow, MA
Jordan clinched the female Long Path Race Series division with the first place female finish and #4 overall at the Catskill Mountain Road Race, a 100k (62-mile) race that overlaps with the Long Path in the town of Phoenicia and takes runners past the base of Slide and Peekamoose Mountains, which are both on the Long Path. She returned to the series to take on the daunting 74-mile SRT and discovered that this trail is tougher than it might appear. Nonetheless, as a young runner, Jordan has a very bright future, and the betting is on her to return to SRT next year and turn in a stellar performance.
Running in the Hudson Valley has presented me with the opportunity to challenge myself on some of the most beautiful roads and trails that I will ever have the pleasure of crossing. We learn much about ourselves as runners and as human beings when we have the rare experience of success, as I did at the CMRR 100k. We learn even more when we face failure, as I did at the SRT 74 miler. There is something truly amazing and powerful about running in the mountains when the sun comes up; it is a feeling that every runner -fast, slow, or mid-pack -knows. Running in the Hudson Valley, I have seen some magical sunrises, made friends who I hope to see again for many years to come, and felt the entire spectrum of human emotion that we experience when we run ultras. I have loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to come back for more! I have some unfinished business on the SRT.
— Jordan Grande
Disciple of the Long Brown Path — Male division: Christopher Regan, 35, Wappinger Falls, New York
Christopher Regan is a prolific runner, having at last count completed more than 50 marathons, and he participated in three different Long Path Race Series events: the Catskill Mountain Road Race, the Hambletonian Marathon, and the Assault on Schunemunk. By his own admission, Chris prefers roads to trails, but he took on and overcame the challenging “puddingstone” conglomerate rock surfaces of Schunemunk Mountain, which helped him edge out Jason Berry, first place finisher in the 74-mile SRT, to win the series male division.
I’ve lived in the Hudson Valley for my whole life but only recently took up running in the past few years. I’ve always enjoyed hiking here and when I picked up running I realized there were some amazing races in the area as well. The Long Path Race Series shows off amazing runs on both trail and roads. Tough, technical, hilly, and maybe a little crazy? I think that’s what makes them so great. The scenery along these courses can’t be beat. You get to become one with nature and see what you’re made of. These are the kinds of races you get to find out who you really are. While I’ve run many races throughout the country the Hudson Valley will always be where my heart lies and I can’t wait to explore more wonderful places through running.
— Christopher Regan
Disciples of the Long Brown Path — Male Master division: Bernard Pesjak, 46, Annandale, VA, and Dave Herring, 44, Linden, VA
Bernard and Dave came in just minutes behind SRT 74-mile winner Jason Berry (all three of them broke the previous course record), and this performance was good enough to win them the male master division of the Long Path Race Series. We’re delighted to have folks from Virginia visiting the Hudson Valley and experiencing our special trails, and these two seem to have taken on the adventurous, unsupported format for the SRT with gusto. The Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) stretches from an intersection with the Appalachian Trail at High Point State Park, New Jersey, all the way along the ridgeline of the Shawangunk Mountains to end on a railway trestle above the Rondout Creek in Rosendale, New York and is co-aligned with the Long Path for about 30 miles of this route.
Coming to SRT was especially exciting. Absence of aid stations gives special allure to the race. Starting in the evening is another factor that adds to the overall uniqueness of the race. The run was tough and demanding but extremely beautiful. You run on flats and you climb rock walls, you jump over rocks and enjoy soft grassy fields, you are on single trails and on paved roads, there is everything and more you can wish in a race. I ran the entire race with my buddy Dave, which made the run very pleasant and in a way a little easier. We supported and encouraged each other through highs and lows and helped with directions when we got lost. Thus kudos to overall winner Jason Berry, who really did a solo run and all other solo finishers. And big thanks to organizers and all volunteers for a great race. From meeting before the bus ride to the start line to post race party and in between they did outstanding job
— Bernard Pesjak
Being from Virginia and having never run in the Hudson Valley I was blown away by our adventure. Everything was amazing from the pre-race time spent in Rosendale to running thru the night on some amazing trails, and then capping it off with amazing views running thru the Shawangunk Mountains. Never before have I experienced such diversity of terrain and scenery as running in the Hudson Valley. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity. I highly recommend spending time in these mountains whether you are a hiker, runner, or climber. It’s some of the best outdoors time you will ever spend. Big thanks to the race organizers for making this adventure possible. Also thanks to my good friend Bernard for sharing this adventure with me. It would not have been the same without Bernard. There is something special about the SRT Run/Hike and I think you have to take a leap of faith and experience it for yourself!
— Dave Herring
Disciple of the Long Brown Path — Female Master division: Anna Pettersson, 47, New York, NY
Anna dominated the female master division, earning more than three times as many points as the next female competitor, and she did so largely by winning the female division of the SRT. No surprise here, as Anna had spent all summer training for the event, and she attacked it with a strong attitude and steady spirits. Additionally, Anna completed the Ellenville Mountain Running Festival 1/2 marathon, which like the SRT event is an adventurous unsupported format, and the Hambletonian Marathon, a road race in the Wallkill Valley that includes about 7 miles of the Long Path.
Regarding hiking in the Hudson Valley, it was really my dog Linnea who got me hooked. Now, after gradually exploring the various incredible hiking opportunities in the area, I’ve come to cherish and count on my days on the trails – hiking or running – for the opportunity they give me to connect with nature while staying in shape, for the mental focus they inspire, and for introducing me to all manner of great likeminded people. I still can’t get over that all this is accessible to me just an hour or so outside NYC!— Anna Pettersson