The Boilermaker is partnering with the Empire State Trail to create the Empire State Trail Challenge, a four-month virtual race where participants can register and log their miles to reach milestones tied to virtual progress along the trail.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the partnership. It comes after his announcement earlier this year of the completion of the trail, now the nation’s longest multi-use state trail. The trail for bicyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and others a pathway that spans the state from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo.
“As we continue to come back from the COVID-19 health crisis, the challenge is a great way to show how we can have fun and be New York Tough at the same time. I encourage any interested New Yorkers to participate in this exciting event on our incredible new statewide trail,” the governor said.
The Boilermaker, the 15-kilometer running race run in Utica since 1978, attracts 10,000 to 15,000 participants annually. With the Boilermaker and most in-person races postponed due to COVID-19, the virtual Empire State Trail Challenge initiative is meant to engage participants and “provide a unique race experience throughout the spring season.”
“Creating opportunities for healthy activity and lifestyles lies at the core of the Boilermaker mission,” said Boilermaker marketing director Jordan Peters. “So it was a natural fit to work in concert with New York State to provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to get outside and participate in a safe and healthy endeavor while highlighting the features of the Empire State Trail.”
The Boilermaker Empire State Trail Challenge is a four-month virtual race through July 31. Participants can register now and begin logging their miles walking, running or cycling on Friday. Participants would complete the mileage of at least one leg of the Empire State Trail: either the Hudson Valley Trail: 210 miles (New York City to Albany); the Erie Canalway Trail: 350 miles (Albany to Buffalo); or the Champlain Valley: 190 miles (Albany to Canada Border at Rouses Point). Participants can sign up as teams or individuals. For more information or to register, visit runsignup.com/Race/NY/Utica/EmpireStateTrailChallenge.
Although people are encouraged to the explore the actual Empire State Trail, participants can run, walk or ride anywhere, on local trails and running/bicycling routes near where they live.
Each entrant will receive a T-shirt with their $25 entrance fee for a single leg of the trail. If interested, participants can register for additional legs at the time of registration or any time during the race period at $5 per leg. Challenge participants will enter their mileage on an online platform over the duration of the race window, reaching milestones tied to virtual progress along the trail, and have the ability to share their experiences on social media.