Bright and early on the Sunday morning of Father’s Day weekend, the New Paltz Challenge Half Marathon & Family 5K is set to make its 10th annual running this year along the city streets and rail trails that lie just outside this small town in southern New York state.
Fast and flat and run on a combination of paved surfaces and gravel and packed dirt trails, most of the race takes place along the former railroad corridor now known as the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, a 23.7-mile trail that extends south from the village of Gardiner at its southernmost point all the way north through New Paltz to the town of Rosendale.
|Male||1:11:02||Vasquez, Galo||23||New Paltz NY|
|2nd Male||1:11:33||Lindenauer, Jon||31||Albany NY|
|3rd Male||1:17:00||Vondracek, Jesse||37||Tucson AZ|
|4th Male||1:20:50||Daucher, Carl||43||New Paltz NY|
|Female||1:31:11||Gregory, Kristen||38||New York NY|
|2nd Female||1:34:08||flores reininger, clara||19||Woodstock NY|
|3rd Female||1:34:20||Fernaays, Christina||26||Schenectady NY|
|4th Female||1:36:04||Elkins, Kristen||34||Highland Mills NY|
|M 40-49||1:20:50||Daucher, Carl||43||New Paltz NY|
Now part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail system, the trail takes runners, walkers, bikers, joggers and cyclists passes through tree-shaded forests and wide-open farm fields, and features views of the Wallkill River up close and the hills of the Shawangunk Ridge off in the distance.
Runners will start the half marathon and family 5K races in New Paltz at the corner of Main Street and Huguenot Street. From there, the 13.1-mile race route follows a few twists and turns through town, as runners head north along the river on Huguenot Street to the turn and a brief stretch along Mulberry Street, before turning left just a few hundred feet down the road onto the Wallkill Valley trail.
Once on the rail trail, runners then proceed north, heading along the trail’s gravel and packed dirt surfaces as it winds through the countryside, crossing over the river between the mile 2 and 3 markers.
Runners will remain on the trail all the way south, hitting the turnaround between the mile 8 and 9 markers. Then they’ll retrace their steps all the way back along the trail back into New Paltz, where they’ll cross the finish line near where they started at the Gilded Otter Brewing Company on Main Street.
Nestled among the hills of southern New York state, just over 80 miles north of New York City, New Paltz typically sees mild to moderately warm and sometimes rainy weather in June, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 33 degrees (in 2001) and as high as 94 degrees (in 1999).
On race day (June 16), the average low is 55ºF and the average high is 79ºF.