Day: November 30, 2019

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.