The 2nd Annual Ghost Town Trail Challenge, hosted by the Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority, was held on June 17, 2017, the Saturday before the summer solstice. Nearly 140 participants came out from six different states to participate in the Challenge this year.
The Challenge was a 32-mile long (50k), one-day, sunrise to sunset endurance hike (or run) on nearly the entire Ghost Town Trail from Blairsville, PA to Ebensburg, PA. Unlike a footrace, the “challenge” was not to come in first, but to endure and finish the hike in one day. The Challenge started at Saylor Park in Blairsville, PA and ended, 32 miles later, at the Young People’s Community Center (YPCC) in Ebensburg, PA. There were six different aid/fuel stations, spaced out every 5-6 miles along the trail.
Other distances included the Half Challenge, which was 16 miles (25k) and began near the Wehrum Trailhead in Vitondale. The Friends & Family Challenge was 7.5 miles (12k) and started at the Nanty Glo Trailhead. All events began at 7a.m. and ended at the YPCC in Ebensburg.
A total of 37 people finished the full 32 mile Challenge; 52 people finished the half challenge, and 36 people finished the Friends/Family Challenge. There were a handful of people who participated but were not able to finish the challenge, and that is always expected.
William Huber (Zelienople, PA) finished the Full 32 Mile Challenge in 4 hours 11 minutes and 59 seconds. Meade Bailey (South Fork, PA), at 73 years old, was one of the final finisher of the Full 32 mile Challenge. The oldest participant overall was 78 years old, and the youngest was 12 years old. More results can be found here.
All participants received a GTT Challenge Tech Shirt, along with a commemorative GTT growler and a finisher’s medal. The CCCRA is excited to announce a partnership with Ebensburg’s Country Garden 6 Pack and Levity Brewing Company for the 2017 Ghost Town Trail Challenge. This year, participants took their 32 oz. growler for a complimentary fill-up of locally crafted beer for those 21+ at Country Garden 6 Pack, less than a mile away from the finish line. Local trail beers on tap will be the Rusty Rail Trails End Pale Ale and the Levity Hoodlebug Rails to Trails Brown Ale.
The GTT Challenge would not be possible without the support of community sponsors. Partners and Sponsors included Saint Francis University (Signature Level), ‘Rec the Alleghenies’ (an initiative of Community Foundation for the Alleghenies-Signature Level), Kongsberg Protech Systems USA (Gold Level), Robindale Energy Services, Inc., Up-N-Running Ebensburg (Silver Level), Country Garden 6 Pack (Silver Level), Levity Brewing Co. (Silver Level), First Student (Silver Level), Ebensburg Insurance Agency (Patron Level), Ebensburg Fitness (Patron Level), 1st Summit Bank (Patron Level), The Big Stone Inn (Patron Level), McCall Motors Inc (Patron Level), Applebee’s Ebensburg (Patron Level), McAneny Brothers, Inc. (Patron Level), and Coca-Cola.
A special thank you to Ebensburg Ambulance Service and Blacklick Ambulance, who provided EMS services on their medical ATVs for the entirety of the event from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
All proceeds from the Ghost Town Trail Challenge will benefit the enhancement and expansion of the Cambria County Trails. The 2017 Cambria County Trails Series and the Friends of the Trails program provide sustainable funding for improved trail accessibility, beautification, and extension projects on the Ghost Town Trail, the Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail, and the Path of the Flood Trail.
The Jim Mayer Trail Family Fun Run will be the last race of the Trail Series. The 5k course will be along the original section of the Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail that extends from Riverside (on Michigan Ave) to Bridge Street in Johnstown. The out-and-back course will begin and end at the Riverside Trailhead at 9 am. Kids under the age of 8 years old can participate in the Kids’ Trail Trot at 8:50 a.m. at the 5k start/finish line. All kid participants will receive a handmade medal upon completion. If parents would like to run or walk the 5k, free childcare (including games and activities) will be provided at the 5k start/finish line. See the ‘Child Care’ Section for more details.