ERIE 80 AND THE WILL OF ORANGE
We here at DPJ were out on the Watershed Trails with a couple of local organizers, Jimmy Hendry (The Will of Orange) and Dejay Birtch (Eire 80), getting some footage of people using the newly cut trails that will host the upcoming races in October. Jimmy and Dejay were kind enough to answer a few questions for us as well. Enjoy!
Port Jervis is hosting a pair of first-time events in October that will take place on the recently completed Watershed Trails which snake through over 1800 acres of virtually untouched forest on protected municipal lands. The events are a step in the right direction of attracting outdoor enthusiasts to the greater Port Jervis area. The Watershed Trails and Recreational Area will soon contain more than 30 miles of hike-able and ride-able trails.
The first event, on Saturday October 22nd, is a trail race called The Will of Orange which will feature 10k, 25k and 50k races. Jimmy Hendry, the event coordinator, is a local judge and attorney who recently founded the Outdoor Club of Port Jervis, a group of outdoor-minded citizens that have formed the club in the hopes of maintaining and expanding the newly created recreation area.
The second event, on Saturday October 29th, the Erie 80, is being hosted by Dejay Birtch who was one of the original visionaries behind the Watershed Trail and Recreation Area. Birtch hopes to create an event and celebration around the race. There are plans for a large vendor area as well as a beer garden and live music. The Historic Erie Underpass will act as both start and finish line for the race.
The Erie 80 offers registrants the option of 20k, 40k and 80k races. The 80k will be composed of two "laps" around the property, which Birtch points out will allow people to try and increase the speed at which they go on the second lap. Despite the newness of the trails, Dejay is eager to share the various terrains and vistas with the biking community, The course will be marked for pre-riding by October 26th.
Birtch continues to help design and maintain the network of trails along with the City of Port Jervis, Outdoor Club of Port Jervis and other volunteers. Both of the events reinforce the city's effort to attract outdoor enthusiasts to the area and it is hoped that increased use of the trails will help create better trail conditions for future hikers and bikers.
Jimmy Hendry: "So, when the city decided to open up the property for recreation, me and a couple other people decided that we really needed some community involvement to do this. It's a massive undertaking, the property is large. The main parcel of the property is 1800 acres. Myself and a couple other people decided to form the Outdoor Club of Port Jervis. As part of that came this series of events to promote the property and really highlight the natural resources of the community. Coming in October we have The Will of Orange Trail Race. It is a 10k, 25k, and 50k race and then the following weekend we have the Eire 80 mountain bike race."
Dejay Birtch: "Yeah, so what we have going on in October, we have a running event and a cycling event. I am kind of heading up the cycling event. We have a 20, a 40 and an 80k so that people that just want to spend more time in the woods or maybe try to go faster on their second lap, sure do the 80. If you just want to test yourself and experience most of what we have to offer here, and the trails that we have most recently built, just do the 40. It just gives people an excuse to come and just give them a guided tour, if you will, of the property and what is going on here. Let's all get together on event day and have fun. Hopefully that grows into them telling their friends and bringing them back next time to experience it when there is not an event going on.