A press conference gathered at the eastern entrance of the picturesque Walkway State Park in Poughkeepsie last Tuesday, in order to announce the invigorating plans involving the Dutchess and Hudson Valley Rail Trails, and the running-community of New York State. The official date for The first annual Walkway Marathon race series has been set for Saturday June 13th, with nearly 1500 runners set to participate.
The event will include marathon, and half-marathon routes, that start at Marist College, make their way onto the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail that crosses over onto the Walkway Over the Hudson, and ending with a turnaround on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Ulster County.
Roger Robinson, a longtime columnist with Running Times Magazine, embraced the idea of the Walkway Marathon, adding that the event will help solidify the long-term alliance between running and linear parks.
“Runners back in the 1960s were the first in the world to used disused railroads and old canal tow-paths for recreational exercise," said Robinson. "The much bigger sport today continues to be active in the development of linear parks as safe and scenic places to run. With miles of trail, and the unique asset of the Walkway Over the Hudson, this race will be a leader in the ongoing alliance between running and the environment.”
Organizers of the marathon, aspire to pursue a “green certification” for the race, from Athletes for a Fit Planet, making it one of the first green marathons in New York State. Sustainable practices— such as shuttling runners with the Dutchess County Government’s public transit system’s hybrid buses, and providing racing bibs from recycled materials— will be followed wherever possible.
Presented in partnership with Dutchess Country Government, the Walkway Over the Hudson Organization, and Marist College, the race series includes a marathon, half marathon, and the already established Treetops to Rooftops 5K event. The race series is aimed to build upon the well-established Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club Treetops to Rooftops 5K race that has attracted hundreds of runners to the Walkway State Park annually for the last four years.
Interested runners must register for any of the Walkway Marathon races by visiting the Walkway Marathon website at WalkwayMarathon.org. Registration will officially open on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.