Rocking the Ridge at Mohonk

Passion, perseverance and a fighting spirit

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  • Terry Smallin (Photo by Geri Corey)


Goshen Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Terry Smallin is a man of strength. His latest test of strength is running the 50-mile endurance challenge — “Rock the Ridge” — at Mohonk Preserve in Gardiner, NY.

Physically, his strength brought him many rewards, beginning with high school sports, like football, baseball, basketball and track, and then playing semi-professional football, and ultimately, running with the Utica Boilermakers Runners Club.

Running with a passion that led him to participate in over 12 marathon races, including the Boston and New York Marathons, he then upped the challenge to include Ironman races throughout the U.S. He eventually qualified for Ironman Hawaii. By the time he was 40-years-old, Smallin had already participated in 11 Ironman competitions.

But it was Smallin’s strong, focused mental strength that brought him to victory in battling his greatest challenge — a sudden diagnosis of throat cancer at age 41.

At that time, as a result of radiation treatment, he lost 40% of his muscle mass and 43 pounds of weight. Smallin fought hard to recover, and both during and immediately after treatment, although hampered by extreme fatigue and loss of muscle strength, he ran two marathons. He was unable to finish the first, but he completed the second, and he crossed the finish line running backwards.

Smallin went onto more career successes that included building sports facilities throughout the U.S., developing and implementing sports training programs, and retaining the passion to coach and mentor fellow fitness enthusiasts.

His intense level of commitment to professional and personal matters enables him get the job done, whether dealing with Chamber of Commerce matters or reaching his own life goals.

Participating in the “Rock the Ridge” race at Mohonk Preserve is something “that I’ve always wanted to do,” said Smallin. He wants to cross this off his bucket list.

The ultra race, which takes place on Saturday, May 6, is a 50-mile endurance challenge that starts at 6 a.m. and must be completed within a 24-hour period.

Psychologically, it’s nothing short of a day-long mental battle that requires years of experience, conditioning and regimented training that can only be found within those who possess the qualities needed to push beyond their limits.

Besides a test of physical endurance, the race is also a fundraiser for the nonprofit Mohonk Preserve. Since its 2013 inception, “Rock the Ridge” has raised nearly $700,000.

For more information about the race and how to support Smallin at the finish line, please contact the Goshen Chamber of Commerce office at 845-294-7741.

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