The Blazing Trails race will take place on a USATF-sanctioned course, on the rolling hills and scenic vistas of the beautiful Great Neck South campus and nearby areas of picturesque Lake Success. For those who don’t want to try the 4-mile distance, a 1.5-mile Fun Walk will be available. Proceeds will benefit Eden II’s Genesis Programs for children and adults with autism.
“I am very proud to chair the Genesis School’s ninth annual Blazing Trails Run/Walk again this year,” said Event Chair LouAnne Haley, a major sponsor in 2016. “We reintroduced this event in 2016 after a two-year hiatus and the turnout far exceeded our expectations. The runners and walkers really enjoyed participating in this event and we’re excited that we brought the race course back to Great Neck South High School. It is my hope that this year’s event is even more successful. It is our goal with a community event like this to continue our mission to create awareness of our autism programs, while also raising the necessary funds to maintain the standard of teaching, learning and outreach the Genesis School is well-known for throughout Long Island.”
Eden II Programs’ Associate Executive Director, Dr. Mary McDonald, added, “We are excited to be having our ninth Blazing Trails Run/Walk. It is a great day out for runners and walkers alike for a wonderful cause. The course in Great Neck is always a favorite and we are looking forward to a day of autism awareness.”
The race will start and finish at Great Neck South High School, rain or shine. Registration will take place from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m. and costs $30. Preregistration is available through Nov. 16 for $25 for the public and $22 for Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) members at www.runsignup.com/Race/NY/GreatNeckBlazingTrail4MileRunWalkforAutism or by calling 516-349-7646. Both the 4-mile run and 1.5-mile walk will begin promptly at 9 a.m.
Participants will receive a commemorative hooded sweatshirt and are invited to enjoy an after-race picnic. Snacks will be provided to race participants. Local radio stations WALK-FM, WKJY-FM and SHARK 94.3 FM will be playing fantastic music, and vendors have a few surprises in store for participants.
Awards will be presented to the overall male and female winners; age-category winners; the top three Clydesdale and Athena finishers in each of two weight divisions; and the top three wheelchair finishers. Blazing Trails will present lots of great bib prizes, along with one lucky winner walking away with the grand prize, a Road Bicycle with accessories donated by Brickwell Cycling and Multisports, owned by Andrew Motola, who will be honored at the awards ceremony, along with special-needs athlete Ben Beavers.
Key event sponsors are the EJ Foundation, Anton Media Group, Tekniverse, Medtrack, Trader Joe’s, Best Market, Panera, The Haley Family, Genesis PTO, My Three Sons Bagel Cafe–Williston Park, Independent Oasis LLC, All Round Foods, Connoisseur Media, the Great Neck Rotary, Joan & Fitz Read, Air Design, Inc., and Planet Fitness.
Organizers are extremely grateful for the help of the Great Neck Public School District, the Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Teresa Prendergast, Director of Athletics David Zawatson and Director of Facilities Alfred Cavallaro.