That's a picture I took of my brothers and I hanging out in the woods in upstate New York in 1999. We were building a fort. You can see Duncan with the shovel in the background being impressed by Sam's jumping skills. Legend has it Sam is still hovering around those woods somewhere.
This photo also captures the formation of a critical part of my personality. Building forts, exploring, and watching the turn of the seasons are what first made me feel connected to nature. Those early days in the woods are largely responsible for my current work in environmental protection and for my decision to study climate policy in grad school. Ever since then I've felt a hunger to continue experiencing the beauty of nature and to dedicate my life to protecting it.
So it was also natural for me to get into trail running. Moving fast and light through a landscape makes me feel part of it. And it's essential to experience and enjoy the places we are working so hard to preserve.
I've run in Cuba, Guatemala, and Costa, Rica; in Madrid, Mexico City, and London. But it's really a privilege to return to the woods and meadows of the Hudson Valley for the Rock the Ridge 50 Mile in May. I've never run 50 miles before but I'm excited for the challenge.
Each race participant is raising $300 for Mohonk Preserve, the park where the race takes place. Even if I weren't running the race I would want to raise money for Mohonk Preserve. They have an excellent reputation and do top-notch work protecting the land and making it accessible to the public.
Please consider donating any amount to help me reach my fundraising goal of $300. 100% of your donation goes to the Preserve and is tax deductible.
Quick facts about the race:
Date: May 2nd, 2020
Length: 50 miles
Elevation gain: 5000 feet
A goal: 7 hours and 45 minutes
B goal: 8 hours and 45 minutes
Funds raised by Rock the Ridge to protect the Mohonk Preserve since the inaugural race in 2013: $1,800,000
Rock The Ridge is a 50-mile endurance challenge...
Set in the natural beauty of the Shawangunk Mountains of New York’s Hudson Valley, an area described as “one of Earth’s last great places,” the goal is to run or hike a 50-mile course within 18 hours. What better way to spend a day than winding along well-maintained carriage roads, through lush forests and over ridgelines with magnificent vistas.
Rock The Ridge supports a great cause...
This event supports Mohonk Preserve’s mission to protect the Shawangunk Mountains region and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world. With over 8,000 acres of mountain ridges, forests, fields, streams, ponds, and other unique and beautiful places, Mohonk Preserve is the largest member and visitor-supported nature preserve in New York State.
We salute all Ridge Rockers, who since 2013 have collectively raised over $1,800,000 to support Mohonk Preserve’s award-winning conservation science, environmental education, land protection, and stewardship programs.
Rock The Ridge is a major achievement...
The 18-hour time limit accommodates people with a range of abilities, including hikers, joggers, runners, and ultramarathoners. We’ve hosted elite athletes alongside first-time 50-milers and relay teams that walked the entire distance. Any distance can be a struggle if you don’t prepare properly, but with a good training program, 50 miles is an achievable goal! And, for those who aren’t ready for 50-miles, the Relay division allows Ridge Rockers to complete the course in two-or four-member teams.