Raven 100k November Challenge On! Sign up through Nov 15

A November adventure awaits! The Raven 100k Challenge

Runners have started their Raven 100k Challengebut there is plenty of time to register and join in before November 15th. Sign up by then and you can add your already-run November mileage to your entry. 

What is the Raven 100k Challenge?

The Raven 100k Challenge is simple: first, register for the challenge.

Then run, hike, or walk 100k during the month of November 2020. This works out to an average of around 3k per day or 25k (15 miles) per week.

Each day or every few days, report your mileage on your profile at http://runsignup.com under “Raven 100k Challenge” or visit https://runsignup.com/ravenrocks/results and enter your distance there.

The Raven 100k Challenge, like the Raven Rocks Run, will support the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization based at the Trailside Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

Visit SundayRuns.org to get running with a dedicated group of runners. Join the Raven 100k Challenge group on Strava.

Note: You can register as late as November 15 and enter your mileage to date when you register.

When you sign up, we will send you a Raven Challenge Gift. If you complete the challenge, you will receive a custom wooden finisher medallion. (prototype shown below with a few bonus badges included)

Bonus achievements

Image: custom finisher lasercut prototype with distance total and sample “achievement unlocked” badges on the bottom

In addition to running, walking, or hiking 100k during November, there are several bonus achievement badges you can unlock if you are able:

– Run 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (raven badge)
– Run 5x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (ultra raven badge)
– Run 10x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (full flock badge)
– Take a selfie at the Raven Rocks Overlook and send it in (photographer badge)
– Take a selfie at any Raven related site, store, zoo, etc. and send it in (traveler badge)
– Submit a photo of yourself on a run with your “I Voted” sticker (bald eagle badge) or if you can’t vote in the election, next to someone with an “I Voted” sticker.
– Submit a photo of you running on Thanksgiving (turkey award)
– Photo of a raven anywhere (citizen award)
– Do a run in the dark to Raven Rocks (night owl badge)
– 200k distance in November (snowy owl badge)
– 300k distance in November (white raven badge)
– Read a stanza from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” poem and send us a link. Use SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, or whatever audio service you want. (wise owl badge)

In addition, we will have awards for:

– First 3 men and First 3 women to 100k
– Top 3 men and Top 3 women in total kilometers.

Note: In order to win these awards, distance submissions need to be made via GPX files.

Halfway bonus search

For those in the area near Ward Pound Ridge Reservation we have a special treat in mind. After you pass the 50 kilometer mark on your Raven 100k Challenge, we will send you GPS coordinates to somewhere in the park where we have hidden a small surprise for you to find. The surprise gifts will be obvious once you get there, but not easy to find unless you have the coordinates. Let us know when you find your halfway bonus (or if you can’t find it!).

We hope you can join us virtually in November for the Raven 100k Challenge! It is possible you will see others running the course and at the Rez, possibly even on the original race day Sunday 11/8.

Please let us know any questions you have. ravenrocksrun@gmail.com.

…. Rob Cummings

Raven Rocks Run and Raven 100k Challenge Race Director



PS: Anyone who registered for the Raven Rocks Run can choose from these four paths:

1. Run the Virtual Raven Rocks Run on Nov 5th-9th as outlined as an original option,

2. Refund, no questions asked,

3. Roll over registration to the 2021 Raven Rocks Run race (this is the default option!),

4. Convert registration to the November 2020 Raven 100k Challenge which includes a virtual 2020 Raven Rocks 10k course run option. Details below.

If you have already registered for the Raven Rocks Run, please email us at ravenrocksrun@gmail.com with your choice of virtual 10k, refund, rollover to next year, or conversion of your registration to the Raven 100k Challenge.

If we don’t hear from you by November 15 we will include you in the rollover to the 2021 Raven Rocks Run.

If you haven’t registered yet, it is our hope that many of you sign up for the virtual Raven 100k Challenge.

Raven Rocks Run Cancelled – Raven 100k Challenge Announcement Below

Trail Runners,

We had planned a new type of hybrid race for this November’s Raven Rocks Run. Alas, with the changing pandemic situation, the county declined the final permits required to hold the hybrid race on Sunday, November 8.

Anyone who is currently registered can choose from these four paths:

  1. Run the Virtual Raven Rocks Run on Nov 5th-9th as outlined as an original option,
  2. Refund, no questions asked,
  3. Roll over registration to the 2021 Raven Rocks Run race,
  4. Convert registration to the November 2020 Raven 100k Challenge which includes a virtual 2020 Raven Rocks 10k course run. Details below.

If you have already registered for the Raven Rocks Run, please email us at ravenrocksrun@gmail.com with your choice of virtual 10k, refund, rollover to next year, or conversion of your registration to the Raven 100k Challenge.

It is our hope that many of you pick the virtual Raven 100k Challenge and meet up with many of the veteran runners in the SundayRuns.org group who are very familiar with the Rez and the Raven Rocks course. There are FIVE Sundays in November – plus Thanksgiving! If you run those six days with us that will likely get you at least halfway to the 100k. And some of the chosen Sunday courses might be very similar to the Raven Rocks course…

We tried to work to make this hybrid Raven Rocks race happen — but local circumstances and outlook have made it not possible at this point. We have already invested some $$ in the cancelled race and are moving forward with the extended November Raven 100k Challenge event, but we understand if you can’t do it or are not interested.

We hope you are inspired to take on the Raven 100k Challenge for the month of November. We were inspired to put on this virtual event by the “Run Like a Wolf” 100 mile challenge from the NY Wolf Center in South Salem NY that many of us participated in during this past August.

We have a few bonuses and surprises in store for the Raven 100k Challenge. Read on for more information.

The Raven 100k Challenge

The Raven Challenge is simple: first, register for the challenge. Then run, hike, or walk 100k during the month of November 2020. This works out to an average of around 3k per day or 25k (15 miles) per week.

The Raven 100k Challenge, like the Raven Rocks Run, will support the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization based at the Trailside Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

Note: You can register as late as November 15 and enter your mileage to date when you register.

When you sign up, we will send you your Raven Challenge Gift. If you complete the challenge, you will receive a wooden finisher medallion.

Bonus achievements

In addition to running, walking, or hiking 100k during November, there are several bonus achievement badges you can unlock if you are able:

  • Run 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (raven badge)
  • Run 5x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (ultra raven badge)
  • Run 10x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (full flock badge)
  • Take a selfie at the Raven Rocks Overlook and send it in (photographer badge)
  • Take a selfie at any Raven related site, store, zoo, etc. and send it in (traveler badge)
  • Submit a photo of yourself on a run with your “I Voted” sticker (bald eagle badge) or if you can’t vote in the election, next to someone with an “I Voted” sticker.
  • Submit a photo of you running on Thanksgiving (turkey award)
  • Photo of a raven anywhere (citizen award)
  • Do a run in the dark to Raven Rocks (night owl badge)
  • 200k distance in November (snowy owl badge)
  • 300k distance in November (white raven badge)
  • Read a stanza from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” poem and send us a link. Use soundcloud, youtube, facebook, whatever service you want. (wise owl badge)
  • Any other badge ideas? We are open to suggestions 🙂

In addition, we will have awards for:

  • First 3 men and First 3 women to 100k
  • Top 3 men and Top 3 women in total kilometers.
  • Note: In order to win these awards distance submissions need to be made via GPX files.

Halfway bonus search

For those in the area near Ward Pound Ridge Reservation we have a special treat in mind. After you pass the 50 kilometer mark on your Raven 100k Challenge, we will send you GPS coordinates to somewhere in the park where we have hidden a small surprise for you to find. It will be obvious once you get there, but not easy to find unless you have the coordinates. Let us know when you find your halfway bonus (or if you can’t find it!).

We hope you can join us virtually in November for the Raven 100k Challenge! It is possible you will see others running the course and at the Rez, possibly on the original sunday.

Please let us know any questions you have. ravenrocksrun@gmail.com.

Rob Cummings

Raven Rocks Run and Raven 100k Challenge Race Director

Raven Rocks 2020

We are planning for a different Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run this coming November.

The event will – as always – be supporting the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation as well as the years-long effort restore the Fire Tower back at its former spot atop the Cross River Mountain.

The race plan is to have a mix of in-person and virtual combined into one event.

For runners comfortable with an in-person race, we will hold timed starts for groups of up to 25 runners every 15 minutes starting at 8 a.m. on Sunday November 8th and running through 10-10:30 a.m. depending on the number registered.

Runners already registered will get first dibs on the regular 9 a.m. start.

Runners who register from this point forward will get a choice of which starting time to sign up for. Or runners can sign up for the virtual option.

The course will be set and marked from Thursday, November 5th through Monday, November 9th. Any registered runner can run the course, record it with a GPS app or watch, and submit their results as a virtual competitor.

Important note: the 2020 course will start and end from the Meadow Parking lot field so we can have start and end in the same spot for the rolling starts and continuous finishes. If you run the course on your own be sure to start in the right spot!

Maps will be updated and provided with the virtual race packet.

We are also developing the Raven 100k November Challenge. Many of the local runners participated in the Run Like a Wolf 100 Mile Challenge (including your race director) in August. We had a great time pushing each other and checking the leaderboards.

The format of the Raven 100k November Challenge will be similar — but the Raven Challenge will include 200k, and 300k tiers in addition to the 100k month goal. This is because everyone likes to run far! More details and twists to follow…

Thanks & see you on the trails!

….Rob Cummings, Raven Rocks Race director

2020 Friends of Trailside Museum Membership

Join Friends of Trailside

Trail Runners:

The Trailside Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is one of the jewels of the park. You can support its educational mission, exhibits, and programming by joining as a Friend of the Trailside Museum.

Fifty-eight Raven Rocks runners who ran Raven Rocks Run in 2019 have joined already.

If you haven’t yet joined for 2020, now is a perfect time to become a new member or renew your membership — and Friends of Trailside membership also makes a perfect gift!

Sign up for 2020 Membership online here
https://runsignup.com/ravenrocks/donate.

Your membership donation gets sent directly to the Friends of Trailside and can be made in your name or in the name of a person you designate. The Friends organization is a 501(c)3 charity and contributions are tax deductible.

You can join at any contribution level and get membership benefits including the quarterly newsletter and notification of programs during the year. Joining at the $100 membership level (aka “Wood Turtle”) or above gets you a parking pass for Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for the year.

We support the Trailside Museum and the Friends of Trailside and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. We hope you will support them as well.

See you on the trails,
Rob Cummings, Raven Rocks Run race director

2019 Recap

2019 Raven Rocks Run start

On Sunday morning November 10, 2019, nearly 250 runners ran the fifth annual Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

The weather was a bit cold at the start, with temperatures in the high 30’s. However, the sun was out and the crowd was feeling the warmth.

Runners who had done Raven Rocks before knew they would soon be warmed up by their race effort, especially the early climb. Finishing runners were welcomed back at the tent with hot coffee, hot chocolate, bagels, bananas, and s’mores over a hot fire.

Overall men’s winner Justin Lubeley at around the 4 mile mark climbing up the fire tower hill.

Justin Lubeley of Darien, CT came in first in the men’s division with a time of 46:21. Justin came in 2nd in the 2018 Raven Rocks Run and improved his time by around 1:40. Chris Sina-Jessiman (46:48) of Brooklyn was second after coming in 3rd in 2018. and Christopher Irwin (47:20) of Cortlandt Manor was third.

Overall women’s winner Lindsey Felling just before crossing the finish line at Raven Rocks 2019.

Lindsey Felling of Larchmont repeated as first overall in the women’s division with a time of 51:36. Christina Thomson (55:50) of New Canaan was second and Phillippa Keast (56:06) of Tuckahoe came in third.

Youngest male runner Kase Atkinson keeping warm before the start.

Kase Atkinson of Cross River was the youngest male runner at 9 years old.

Youngest female runner Rita Haitoff – for the second year in a row!

Rita Haitoff of Katonah was the youngest female runner at 10 years old, finishing in 1:37:07 lopping nearly 8 minutes off her time from last year. 1:44:57.

Ed Moore (1:14:37) of Cos Cob was the oldest finisher on the day at 69 years young.

A trio of ladies including Heidi Johnston, Trish Gallagher, and Amy Marrazzo tied for the most experienced female runner recognition. Heidi won the F50 age category too!

Some other notable top local finishers include the Randolph twins, Helena and Julia (1:10:27 and 1:22:25) of Mt. Kisco who took first and third in the 14-18 year old age group. Bill Bradsell (52:27) of Bedford beat Todd Henrich (52:57) of South Salem in the men’s 50-59 category and kept his 3 year Raven Rocks M50 win streak intact.

Three pie winners after the finish.

Prizes for the overall winners and age group winners are a range of tart-style pies from local farmer’s market favorite Dutch Desserts (Key information: Dutch Desserts is a vendor at the Pleasantville farmer’s market on Saturdays!)

Lee Willett picking up his Bib #1 for the 2019 race.

The race was started this year by South Salem resident and Sunday Runs Chief navigator Lee Willett who was awarded Bib #1 for his tireless work on behalf of the area trail running community.

The 2019 edition of the Cobweb Crew™ – making courses safe and correct for 3 years running!

Lee also checked the course with the rest of the Cobweb Crew early race morning to make sure the pink course markings were still up and leading the runners to the right places. Many of these cobweb crew runners also ran the race – making their day a 20k!

Coming off of the covered bridge at mile 0.3 on the course.

The course – which is run entirely on the trails of the reservation — starts in the large meadow about a quarter-mile into the park. It follows trails up through the covered bridge to the Michigan Road campground where it delves deep into the 4,300 acres of the park. The halfway point is the east-facing Raven Rocks overlook, where the race got its name.

Runners descend again before climbing back up to the highest point in the park, the location of the former (and future!) fire tower.

Chris Cassone put the Rock in the Raven at the 2019 race!

Awaiting runners at the top of the climb was our very own Raven Rocker Chris Cassone jamming on the six-string. We hope it made your climb more enjoyable. Chris had a blast! You can view yourself and other runners on GoPro video with Chris’ soundtrack in the background.

Runners then head back down on the blue trail to the sledding spot on Pell Hill. The final half-mile is along the Cross River back to the Meadow finish line.

Many runners have called it one of hardest 10k races out there because of the hilly terrain and the narrow trails. The course has over 1,000 feet of elevation gain and features a cliffside run, miles of single-track trails, a rock scramble, plus beautiful meadow runs.

Raven Rocks is part of a series of local trail races called the Trail Mix Series.

Some of the other races in the series are the Leatherman’s Loop (Cross River), Run The Farm (Katonah), the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack (North Salem), Where the Pavement Ends (Ridgefield), A Mild Sprain (Yonkers), and Paine to Pain (New Rochelle). The Trail Mix Series website has more information: trailmixseries.org.

In addition to running a race, runners were also able to join the Friends of Trailside when they signed up.

Fifty-seven runners to date joined as members raising over $4,100.00 for the Museum in the form of memberships. The most popular membership level runners picked to join at was the $100 Wood Turtle level, which comes with a parking pass for entry into the park for all of 2020.

You can still join the Friends of Trailside and Ward Pound Ridge for 2020 through the Raven Rocks race website which will be processing memberships through January! (click here!). Your membership $ goes directly to the Friends group and is a 501(c)3 non-profit.

A team of runners known as the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Runners are key volunteers at the race.

Many of these volunteers also meet up to run the trails in northern Westchester year-round. These volunteers set the course, staff the water station, handle registration, pre-run the course, sweep to make sure no injured runners are on the course, and clean up any traces after the run. We could not put on the event without them – THANK YOU!

In addition, The Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation led by Jeff Main at the park and helped by Mike, Chase, Kevin, Bobby and the rest of the crew are essential to the success of the race.

Last but certainly not least, the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps provided a standby team of volunteer EMS personnel and an ambulance just in case they are needed.

In addition the Pound Ridge Volunteer Fire Department had a rescue crew ready to go in case of any trail emergencies. Thankfully there were just minor bumps and bruises this year.

Proceeds go to Friends of Trailside, LVAC, and other local not-for-profits.

2019 Photos

We have posted photos from our fantastic team of volunteer photographers here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2019

Thanks to photographers Carol GordonLee WillettMichael Rodgers, Michelle Blum, Chris Reinke, John Cummings (my dad!), Gene Leeds, Sawyer Cummings, and Rob Cummings.

There’s plenty of room for more photos if you want to share yours at our runner upload gallery here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/upload/c7Rm4X/2019 — Big thanks to our runners and other volunteers who uploaded photos so far.

2019 Start Line Annoucements

In case you missed them or want a recap, these are the starting announcements (as typed) from the 2019 Raven Rocks Run.

Thank you for coming to the 5th annual Raven Rocks Run! Before we get going onto the course, I wanted to say hello – I am your race director Rob Cummings. I have a few items to cover briefly. 

Happy Birthday to Corrie Pikul (44) and Adam Wapniak (41)!

57 of you joined Friends of Trailside Museum as members – over $4,100.00. You can still sign up through January 15, 2020 at the race website’s Trailside Museum link.

Fantastic News! Just last week we got funding commitments from NY State and Westchester County Officials that will officially begin the return of the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower to the Rez. Thank you to Tom Cohn who has been a tireless advocate for bringing back this tower to the park. Thank you all out there for helping with your words and letters of encouragement over the years. It makes a difference for sure.

LAYERS. If you have layers on now and you get to the campground (about 1 mile in) and you want to leave your outer layer, we will have volunteers collecting them in bins and returning them to the finish area for you to pick up at the end of your race.

  • Start taking your layers off at the sand hill. We will be waiting at the bottom of the meadow to collect them.

THE COURSE. The course carries hazards. The leaves can be slick in spots and the wet fall season and especially rain in the last few days have left some wet spots on the trail. 

We did some course “grooming” over the past two weeks (shout out to Paul Woolley who went above and beyond with raking between Raven Rocks and the Fire Tower climb!). Rocks, leaves, and other hazards are a natural part of the trail. Take care and take those rocky downhills slowly. The uphills you can go fast on.

Course markings are pink flags, pink ribbon, and one spot with yellow caution tape (that’s the RAVEN ROCKS OVERLOOK) to keep you going on the right trail. Pre-run by Joe, Lee, Peeter, Jeff, Jacob, Lars, and many others. I am quite sure they scared the bears away.

SWEEPS. Sweeps will be following along behind the runners. If you can’t continue, stay on the course and the sweeps will catch up to you and send for help if you need it. They have cell phones, sweep maps, and LVAC contact info. 

After runners finish we will have awards near the tent. Please stick around — you may go home with a prize! 

THANK YOUS at the start:

“Little things, big impacts”

Wanted to pause for a bit to recognize our friend Mark Vincent who passed away over the summer. Mark was there the second week of the Sunday Runs group in 2010 before it even had a name. At the time I had only started it to be a 9 week training group leading up to the 2010 Leatherman’s Loop

At the last run before the Loop in 2010 Mark pulled me aside and said “Hey are you gonna continue the sunday runs?” It was a small thing at the time and I said I thought that was a great idea. I said I’d keep it up — as long as people kept coming. Here we are TEN years later. Mark was the catalyst – he asked a simple question, and many many races, runs, and good times, were born and continue to emerge from that group and the members’ enthusiasm for trail running: Sarah Bishop, A Mild Sprain, Raven Rocks, Kisco 5k, Running Goddess, and others. The Trail Mix Series itself probably would not exist without that question. 

Little things can have big impacts. Try to spread good in the world. Do the little things. Be the catalyst.

PAST BIB #1s – ALL HERE!

  • Ciorsdan thank you for helping with the whole event. She was a past BIB #1 recipient and is always #1 in my heart. I love you babe! 
  • Shout out to Tony and Judy Godino (Bib #1s too!) – they will be hiking the course today. Reverse direction? 
  • Shout out to Charlie Vaccaro (Past BIB #1!!!) who is the only runner to finish all Trail Mix races to date (32! over 6 years – this will be #33). 
  • And my parents John and Patricia Cummings – who are our fourth past bib #1. They are always making time for their kids and grandkids events and accomplishments and they are here today!

Lee Willett – #1 BIB for 2019

  • Lee leads the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Runners group on weekly runs, night runs, snow runs, make your own course runs, all over Westchester, and occasionally farther afield.
  • If you have a trail running group, get in touch — we could be convinced to make a field trip to your favorite spot or race! Sundayruns.org
  • Cobweb crew founder – thanks to Lee, Peeter, Joe, Jeff, Lars, Jacob, etc. for making sure the trail is still well marked in the pre-run dawn.

THE Trail Mix race directors: Tony, Lee, Barry, Eric, David, Brant, Megan, and Geoff. (Almost all races in series represented here?) Sixth year of the Series. Each year it keeps getting better. After today nearly 100 Runners are in line for the well deserved automatic selection in the Loop Lottery 2020! If you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out trailmixseries.org. If you don’t know what the Leatherman’s Loop is, ask the person next to you!

Youngest Runners:

  • M – Kase Atkinson (9)
  • F – Rita Haitoff (10)

Oldest Registered Runners:

  • M – Ed Moore ; Tony Godino
  • F – Carrie Barratt ; Judy Godino

5 runners have done 6 RACES TO DATE in the Trail Mix 2019 and all are signed up for Raven Rocks (are you all here?): 

Jacob Benesch, Bryan Wujcik, Gerard Mattia, Andrew Chasen and Charles Vaccaro — who has never missed a Trail Mix race!

Final Thank Yous:

  • Sunday Runners, many are volunteers here. Thanks for keeping the trails well traveled!
  • Parks department – Jeff, Chase, Mike, and the rest of the crew who are so supportive of what we do. 
  • Tom Cohn – past president of the Friends of Trailside and THE driving force behind the newly energized “bring back the fire tower” effort. Big supporter of this race and runners.
  • Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation – Thanks for your support of the Museum and Park!
  • Cecilia Sopranoamichiart.com – designed the t-shirt. And she did last year’s shirt as well as all of the Run the Farm shirts since 2014. 
  • LVAC – Volunteers all of them. What a great group of community members. They will take care of you if you should need it. Hopefully you meet them after you have crossed the finish line and are having a bagel & coffee.
  • PRVFD – All volunteers as well. If you get into trouble on the course they will be there to help.
  • Race volunteers – BLUE t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!

OK, now for the start! 

—LEE is our official starter (hand off mic)

Ready, Set, Go! ………. And they’re off! 

2019 Results Posted

We have posted the 2019 results here: http://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2019-results/.

Thanks runners for making this a great day and thanks to our volunteers for pitching in and making it happen.

We are working on a recap of the day and have started to get photos and video organized and uploaded. Check back at this page later tonight for the recap link and refresh the 2019 photos link to see more as we upload.

Our photographers do a great job! Today Michelle, Chris, Ciorsdan, Carol, Lee, Sawyer, Gene, and Michael, took photos and video — plus thanks to all of the runners who submitted photos and share them online. (upload yours to this album!)