Chamber of Commerce’s 21-day Wellness Challenge and Father’s Day Challenge run put the spotlight on health

Pictured are participants in last year's New Paltz Challenge Father's Day Run. This year's half marathon and 5K will take place in New Paltz on Sunday, June 19.

Pictured are participants in last year’s New Paltz Challenge Father’s Day Run. This year’s half marathon and 5K will take place in New Paltz on Sunday, June 19.

The New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce is focusing on fitness this month. The 21-day Wisdom of Women Wellness Challenge begins this Saturday, June 4, with all proceeds going toward the purchase of life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for the town’s Rescue Squad. Come Father’s Day, the seventh annual New Paltz Challenge Run will be held on Sunday, June 19, with participants having their choice of completing a half marathon, a Family 5K run or, new this year, a kids’ one-mile run.

Get moving, get healthy

The Wisdom of Women (WOW) group within the Chamber is made up of members who call upon each other to use “the wisdom within themselves” to inspire and support the community. Their 21-day Wisdom of Women Wellness Challenge beginning Saturday, June 4 is meant to bring the community together in a healthy way while also raising funds to purchase defibrillators for the town.


Registration for the Wellness Challenge is done online at The cost is $25. Registrants are assigned to one of two teams — Team Fire or Team Ice — with the goal to accumulate as many points as possible using the lifestyle and activity point menus found on the Chamber’s website and dedicated Wellness Challenge Facebook page.

Lifestyle points in the friendly competition are accumulated by healthy behaviors that include drinking eight glasses of water per day, meditating, getting enough sleep or taking time for oneself through things like massage or family fun. Activity points are earned by walking, biking, running, dancing, yoga or other forms of physical fitness. There’s also a community bonus card with opportunities to earn an additional ten points through attending various free classes and workshops or a hands-only CPR training session. The bonus card also offers discounts or freebies from participating businesses and additional surprise activities.

Points are reported online to a team captain, who is available to assist or answer questions. Each team will also have their own Facebook group to provide motivation and support.

A kick-off event for the Wellness Challenge will be held on Saturday, June 4 at 9 a.m. on the Walkway Over the Hudson. Local residents who wish to contribute to the fund to purchase the AEDs for the town — a project done in conjunction with the New Paltz Rescue Squad — may do so through the Chamber website without participating in the Challenge.

New Paltz Rescue Squad teaches and certifies community members in hands-only CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use as part of their 2016 “1,000 Hands Across New Paltz” campaign to make the community a safer place. CPR classes are offered on the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m. in the Rescue Squad’s training center located upstairs at 74 North Putt Corners Rd. First aid classes are offered there on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. More information is available by calling (845) 255-1719 or visit

Race to the finish on Dad’s day

The New Paltz Chamber of Commerce’s seventh annual New Paltz Challenge Run will be held on Father’s Day this year, with participants on Sunday, June 19 having their choice of a half marathon, a Family 5K run or, new this year, a kids’ one-mile run.

The half marathon out-and-back course is primarily flat running on unpaved surfaces. Runners traverse the scenic Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, enjoying the bucolic landscape along the way, with views of the Shawangunk Ridge, the Wallkill River and Historic Huguenot Street.

The half marathon and the 5K both offer participants chip timing, water stops, first place prizes by age group and post-race refreshments. All who finish the half marathon will receive medals. The half marathon is timed in five-year age groups; pre-registration is necessary as the race is capped. Register by Wednesday, June 15. Starting time for the half marathon is 7:30 a.m. Runners meet at the Gilded Otter parking lot.

The Family 5K run begins at 8:30 a.m. Runners are timed in ten-year age brackets. The kids’ one-mile run is for children ages five to 13; they’ll race out and back on the Rail Trail at 8 a.m. before the 5K begins. Registration for the 5K and the kids’ run is at the Otter from noon to 4 p.m. the day prior (Saturday, June 18) and on race day from 6 a.m. on. The course will close at 10:30 a.m.

Cost is $50 to run the half marathon, all ages; $25 for the 5K, all ages; and $10 for the kids’ one-mile run. Proceeds benefit the Chamber and its projects. Every year, people come without proper gear, don’t be one of them this year, at the very least do a little window shopping at sites like GearHungry, they can redefine what you think is indispensable.

More information is available at or call (845) 255-0243.