GRASS VALLEY, Calif. September 27, 2018 – NEO will be hosting their 5th Annual NEO Empire Challenge – Run & Walk at Empire Mine State Historic Park on Saturday, October 13, 2017 at 8:30am.  The NEO Empire Challenge, which is part of the Gold Country Grand Prix, features a challenging 4 mile running course or a scenic 2 mile walking course.  The course winds through the beautiful pine studded trails of Empire Mine.

The NEO Empire Challenge is one of the fastest growing runs in the area and puts a unique spin on tradition runs and walks by incorporating young volunteers and fun activities. As you make your way through the course you will receive encouragement on High 5 Hill or you can try to spot Waldo in the Where’s Waldo Woods, you might even encounter superheroes along the way.  “There is something for everyone,” explains NEO Co-Founder & Director of Programs, Halli Ellis-Edwards, “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.” The race awards are even one-of-a-kind engraved medallions sliced from a local Madrone tree.

Registration is $25 for adult runners and walkers and $15 for youth 18 and under. Young kids can accompany their parents on the course for free and strollers are welcomed on the walker course.  All ages and skill levels are encouraged to attend. Committee member, Karen Wallack-Eisen explains, “The NEO Empire Challenge is an awesome family event.  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 to 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,” encourages Wallack-Eisen, “On Saturday the 13th to Empire Mine State Park and be amazed and energized!  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 7:30am, however pre-registration is highly encouraged.


What: NEO Empire Challenge – Run & Walk

When: Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 8:30am

Where: Empire Mine State Historic Park, 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley

Cost: $25 for adults, $15 for youth – includes a race shirt