‘Empire State Trail Challenge’ gives runners race experience virtually

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A new partnership between the Empire State Trail and the Boilermaker race has formed to create the “Empire State Trail Challenge.”

The challenge is a 4-month virtual race where participants can register and log their miles to reach milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail.

The 750-mile Empire State Trail was completed in December. It’s now the nation’s longest multi-use state trail. It follows New York’s historic canal systems and rail trails spanning from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo. The Empire State Trail is designed to be used by bicyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers year-round as a safe, scenic pathway.

“The Empire State Trail Challenge brings together two giants of outdoor recreation in New York State – our new 750-mile Empire State Trail and Utica’s classic Boilermaker race,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “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 Boilermaker has held a 15-kilometer running race in Utica since 1978 and has grown into one of the largest 15K races in the country. Each year, it attracts 10,000 to 15,000 participants. The 2020 Boilermaker was held virtually due to COVID-19.

With many in-person races postponed, this virtual Empire State Trail Challenge initiative gives runners the race experience throughout the spring season. The challenge begins April 9 and runs through July 31.

For more information or to register, visit the race’s website.

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