We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Long Path Race Series! The Long Path is a 358-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 parks and preserves, including the New Jersey Palisades, Harriman State Park, Schunemunk Mountain, the Shawangunks, the Catskills, the Schoharie Valley, and the Helderberg Escarpment. Created and maintained by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Long Path is a labor of love for some 250 volunteers.
The Long Path Race Series is a series of running events that take place at various points along the Long Path. The purpose of the 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 event leaders. Series winners are recognized in four categories: male, male master (40 and over), female, and female master.
We call these winners Disciples in a nod to Raymond Torrey (1880-1938), environmentalist, amateur naturalist, journalist, founder of the Trail Conference, and promoter of both the Appalachian Trail and the Long Path. A memorial plaque on Long Mountain remembers Torrey as a “Great Disciple of the Long Brown Path,” which suggests that notwithstanding his huge contributions to the trail-loving community, he was perceived as humble enough to learn from nature.
DISCIPLE OF THE LONG BROWN PATH — MALE DIVISION: CHRIS REGAN
Chris Regan, 37 of Wappinger Falls, returned to the podium in 2017, having won the male division in 2015 as well. This year he earned 113.5 points by completing five different events, including the SRT Run/Hike 30-mile division, the Catskill Mountain 100-kilometer Road Race, and the Ellenville Mountain Running Festival, among others.
Chris is a prolific runner who’s completed 86 lifetime marathons and 20 ultra-marathons. For 2018, his goals include running a marathon in Alaska in June, which will conclude his quest to have marathoned in each of the 50 states, and possibly to improve upon his personal record marathon time of 3 hours 34 minutes.
Running on the road and treadmill is exercise, running on the Long Path and the trails gives me insight into who I am. I really loved Ellenville Mountain Festival. It was my first year and the course was beautiful and amazing. I think it replaced Schunemunk as my favorite of the race series. As for low points, the 30 mile SRT found me very far in a hole. If it hadn’t been for Ian and Claudia allowing me to stick with them I wouldn’t have finished. The nature of the event, carrying all your own food and water, made it extremely difficult for me but I must say I learned a lot.— Chris Regan
DISCIPLE OF THE LONG BROWN PATH — FEMALE DIVISION: EMILY CLAY
Emily Clay, 28, was the first female in the Catskill Mountain 100-kilometer Road Race with a time of 11 hours 48 minutes, and this victory also won her the division title for the Long Path Race Series.
Nice job, Emily! We hope you’ll come back and try out some of the trails, too.
I made my first trip to upstate NY for the CMRR. The course was beautiful, especially the green and pastoral Frost Valley area. I also greatly enjoyed viewing the course from the summit of Mount Wittenberg the day before, and I hope to travel to the Catskills again to see more of what the Long Path has to offer.
— Emily Clay
DISCIPLES OF THE LONG BROWN PATH — MALE MASTER DIVISION: MARCIN MROWKA
Marcin Mrowka, 47, of New York City is the male master division winner for the second year in a row with 102 points, beating out Bill Hoffman and Jan Peter Brajer who also completed three events. Marcin had a very strong year, coming in 2nd place in the SRT 70-mile division for the second year in a row, but improving his time by over 2 hours to a very impressive 19:09. Marcin also won the 20-mile division of the Great Schunemunk Traverse.
With this kind of momentum, Marcin seems really well positioned to have a great 2018!
It is a big honor for me to be a part of Long Path Race Series and I am happy that I could defend the Master division title this year. The Long Path is my favorite trail in NY state to run. Gunks and Catskills are my beloved parts. I promise myself to explore this year everything in-between I didn’t run yet. Hopefully after that I will be prepared to run or thru hike the whole 358 miles. This is my dream and next big goal to accomplish.
— Marcin Mrowka
DISCIPLE OF THE LONG BROWN PATH — FEMALE MASTER DIVISION: KARINA ALBA
Karina may not have been aware of how high the stakes were, but by winning the Catskill Mountain 100-kilometer Road Race in 12 hours 22 minutes, she also won the female master division for the Long Path Race Series. It was a close victory, however, as 2016 Long Path Race Series female master winner Roni Belcheva was just eleven minutes behind, finishing in 12 hours 33 minutes. Congratulations to Karina for the victory, and also to Roni for improving her time by 25 minutes over the prior year.
We hope you’ll come back next year, Karina, and maybe try one of the trail races!