(WATERTOWN, NY) – The Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation is excited to announce the return of the Black River Trail Run, a 5K/10K/15K race on the Black River Trail in Jefferson County.

The event is hosted by Willow Running, an organization based in Baldwinsville that hosts events across the state to raise money for various nonprofit organizations. The mission of their organization – led by Race Director Mike Samoraj – is to offer a high-quality experience that goes beyond the actual race event.


“We were extremely thankful to be chosen by Willow Running last year as the nonprofit to benefit from their event,” said Jeremiah S. Papineau, the Volunteer Transportation Center’s Director of Communications and Foundation Director. “When Mike reached out to see if we’d like to work with them again this year, it was a no-brainer.”

“We’re excited to be back in Jefferson County and working with the Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation,” said Mr. Samoraj. “We had a great event last year and we’re looking forward to hosting another Black River Trail Run where run and fun become one.”

Last year, the Black River Trail Run raised $2,500 to help the support the VTC in its mission to “provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.”

“Our hope is that participation in this year’s event will be even greater this year,” said Mr. Papineau, “not just for the benefit of the VTC but for growing a great event here in our own community.”

The Black River Trail Run will be held May 14 on the Black River Trail, beginning at the trailhead off State Route 3, just outside the village of Black River. It will begin with its 5K and 15K portions beginning at 9 a.m. The event’s 10K will begin at 9:35 a.m. Those wishing to participate in any of the races virtually may do so.

The cost of registration for the in-person races is $42 for the 5K, $47 for the 10K and $52.50 for the 15K. Registration for the virtual races is $42 for the 5K and 10K and $52.50 for the 15K. Sign-up fees apply for all races. Registration for all races is available online at https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Watertown/BlackRiverTrail15K10K5K. The deadline for registration is 11:59 p.m. Thursday, May 12.

Following the races, a post-race celebration will be held at Maggie’s on the River, 500 Newell Street, Watertown. Maggie’s will offer complimentary soups, beer specials and live music starting at 11 a.m. The event is part of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Family Fit Running Series.

New this year, participants in this year’s run are eligible for a discount on lodging at the Fairfield by Marriott Watertown Thousand Islands in Watertown. Participants will be able to reserve a room with (1) king bed or (2) queen beds at a special discounted rate of $109 plus tax — a $50 savings off Fairfield’s regular rate of $159 plus tax. Those interested in booking a room may visit https://bit.ly/Black-River-Trail-Run-Fairfield-Discount or call the hotel at 315-788-2800.

For more information about the Black River Trail Run, contact Mr. Samoraj at 315-663-5539, send an email to willowrunningny@gmail.com, or visit www.willowrunning.com.


Willow Running’s mission is to offer a high quality experience that goes beyond the actual race event. While unique courses, “off the beaten path” locations and runner safety are always a priority, we also offer top notch swag and super fun post-race festivities. It’s that signature blend of run and fun that aims to inspire participants to better health and greater fulfillment.

For more information, visit www.willowrunning.com.


The Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. (VTC), established in 1991, drives thousands of miles each year assisting community members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties and beyond. Over the last 30 years, this essential non-profit organization has provided rides to health care appointments, food sources and other critical needs destinations for residents.

In 2021, VTC volunteer drivers provided 26,711 charitable trips over 1,073,435 miles in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. Of those miles, 470,002 helped those in Jefferson County, 151,954 in Lewis County, and 451,479 in St. Lawrence County. That equated to approximately $477,679 in mileage reimbursement for our volunteers.

The staff, boards of directors and volunteer drivers look forward to a time when transportation to community activities and services is accessible to all North Country residents regardless of economic or specialized needs. But for now the mission drives on — striving to provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.

For more information about how you can help the Volunteer Transportation Center, about its upcoming events, or to become a volunteer driver, contact the agency in Jefferson and Lewis Counties at 315-788-0422, in St. Lawrence County at 315-714-2034, in Oswego County at 315-644-6944, or Western New York at 585-250-5030. Volunteers drive their own cars, set their own hours and receive mileage reimbursement but, more importantly, make a difference in the community.

To learn more, visit www.volunteertransportationcenter.org.