Sponsors announced for Joe English Challenge

AMHERST – The Amherst Land Trust announced a record number of sponsors for its fifth annual Joe English Challenge on Sept. 22, an annual fundraiser for land conservation in Amherst and surrounding communities. Eleven businesses have stepped up to support the annual event, founded in 2013.

Sponsors include Countryside Storage, Northern Lights Landscape Catholic Medical Center, Visual Persuasion, Carson City Tire, Ciardelli Fuel, MartyCo Dumpsters, Riverwalk Café, Papergraphics, Apex PT and PJ Currier.

The Joe English Challenge is a run/hike with 5-, 12.5-, 25-, and 30-kilometer courses. Proceeds support the Amherst Land Trust’s mission of protecting land for open space, scenic character, and recreation. The initial event was underwritten by the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation.

“We once again thank the many businesses who are showing support for protecting rural, scenic, and recreational lands in Amherst and surrounding communities,” said Sally Wilkins, Amherst Land Trust president. “The Joe English Challenge provides money for surveys, appraisal, and legal fees, vital to save land for future generations.”

Monies from the challenge event have in the past funded development work for projects like Amherst’s new Joshua’s Park and Playground, Mont Vernon’s Wah Lum Preserve, and Grater Woods, an undeveloped backcountry reserve on Amherst’s border with Merrimack.

The Joe English Challenge takes place at Freestyle Farm, a 300-acre equestrian center in Amherst, thanks to the generosity of farm owner Ariel Taylor. Much of the route then crosses conserved lands on the 560-acre Joe English Reservation.

Trail-running and speed-hiking enthusiasts are encouraged to register for the event at joe-english.org. Estimated time for running the 25-kilometer course is three to five hours, for the 12.5-kilometer, 1.5 to 2 hours, and for the 5-kilometer course, up to one hour. Each course features food and aid stations at regular intervals.

The Amherst Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization that runs both spring and fall Joe English events. The fall dusk-to-dark Twilight Challenge features both solo and team-relay races of varying lengths on September 22. To register or learn more, visit joe-english.org.