RUNNING: NEO to host 6th annual Empire Challenge Run/Walk |

RUNNING: NEO to host 6th annual Empire Challenge Run/Walk

Submitted to The Union

New Events and Opportunities Youth Center will be hosting the sixth annual NEO Empire Challenge Run and Walk Oct. 12 at Empire Mine State Historic Park. 

The NEO Empire Challenge, which is part of the Gold Country Grand Prix, offers participants the option of a challenging 4-mile running course or a scenic 2-mile walking course, winding through the beautiful pine-studded trails of Empire Mine.

The Challenge is unlike any other run in the area, featuring music, costumes, fun activities and many of our youth volunteers cheering runners on, keeping participants energized all the way to the finish line. As runners and walkers make their way through the course they receive encouragement on High Five Hill or can try to spot Waldo in the Where’s Waldo Woods.

“There is something for everyone,” said NEO co-founder Lynn Skrukrud. “Whether you’re a competitive runner, a casual runner, a walker or a family with kids, you will be sure to have a great time while supporting a great cause.” 

Support Local Journalism

 Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for youth 17 and under. Young kids can accompany their parents on the course for free and strollers are welcomed on the walking course. All ages and skill levels are encouraged to attend. Participants who register by Oct. 1 are guaranteed an event t-shirt.

“The NEO Empire Challenge is an awesome family event,” said committee member Karen Wallack-Eisen. “What better way to start your day than a walk — or a run ­­— on the beautiful Empire Mine trails.”  

 All proceeds from the race go directly to supporting the NEO Youth Center. NEO provides free after-school drop-in hours for middle school, high school, and college aged youth. NEO is a nonprofit organization that has been empowering Nevada County youth to thrive since 2008. NEO strives to help youth make healthy lifestyle choices by providing New Events and Opportunities in a safe environment that encourages youth success and contributes to a healthier community.

“Come on out on Saturday the 12th to Empire Mine State Park and be amazed and energized,” said Wallack-Eisen. “You’ll be glad you did and you’ll be supporting the NEO Youth Center in a big way.” 

For more information or to register visit or call NEO at 530-470-3869.

Onsite registration will be open the morning of the race starting at 7:30 a.m, however pre-registration is highly encouraged. The race starts at 8:30 p.m.

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.