A large pedestrian-worn pathway that has been a popular cross country course for many years will host its first major event on a recently enhanced course. The inaugural Indiana Urban Wilderness Run will be held Saturday, June 13, on the downtown trail with other events throughout the weekend.

The run will travel alongside the White River on a mixture of single-track dirt trails, grass and a limestone path. The course will utilize urban park space that has been created as part of an initiative called the Green Corridor Extension Project.  The trail run is open to the public for all runners and walkers, including a short trail run experience for youth.

The Indiana Urban Wilderness Run will be part of a busy weekend of running events on the urban trail. The Indiana Invaders will host a pair of events as part of their American Milers Club High Performance Series, which attracts some of the nation’s elite middle-distance and distance runners. The two events are on Friday, June 12, and Sunday, June 14, at Michael A. Carroll Stadium at the south end of the river trail corridor on the IUPUI campus. Both days will include youth clinics for cross country and track runners. The June 12 event will also include Indiana Urban Wilderness Run packet pickup.

Earlier this year, the Collegiate Running Association (CRA) announced that their first National Championship event in trail running would be held on the recently upgraded corridor. The CRA championship race is open to all college students.

The race will be a quarter marathon (10.55K) and will award $6,000 in prizes to the top five male and female college students. Eskenazi Health, Indy Parks, White River State Park, Central Indiana Community Foundation and Reconnecting to Our Waterways are founding sponsors for the event. Other supporters include the American Millers Club, Indiana Invaders, Kopetsky TriAx, Blue Marble and People for Urban Progress.

Last year, Eskenazi Health, through Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, received a grant totaling $31,575 from the Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program from Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The funds were used to give the trail a major facelift, which included adding nearly 6,000 linear feet of locally sourced crushed limestone placed along the pathway.

“Founding this annual event with our community partners is a perfect, historic launch of our new initiative to engage elite athlete development into our unique sport role as gatekeepers of valued urban green space” said Coach Greg Harger, director of the Indiana Invaders. “Our ongoing development efforts, in partnership with Indianapolis Parks and the White River State Park, will yield far more than the two cross country courses and the soft surface trail that connects them. Introducing trail running and cross country running as a recreational sport option while maintaining a year round outdoor classroom and improving significant aspects of our city’s livability is an honor.”

Proceeds from participant fees will be directed to annual improvements of gateway spaces to the Urban Wilderness Trail in Graham Martin Park (Indy Parks) and the White River State Park.

To register for the Indiana Urban Wilderness Run, please visit http://activeindytours.com/events/indianaurbanwildernesstrailrun.

To register for the Collegiate Running Association’s Trail Race National Championship, please visit http://www.collegiaterunning.org/#!2015-trail-race/cohs.

For information on the American Milers Club’s races on June 12 and 14, please visit http://www.runnerspace.com/AmericanMilersClub.     

Contact: Todd Harper
Phone: (317) 630-7808
Pager: (317) 310-5972