Raven Rocks Run

at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY

Category: News

2018 Recap

On Sunday morning November 11, 250 runners met up and competed in the fourth annual Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

2018 Race results are here •  2018 Race photos are here.

The weather was chilly at the start, with temperatures at 32 degrees. However, the crowd was in a cheerful mood since the sun was shining and they would soon be warmed up by their race effort. At the finish, the temperature had risen to a much more hospitable 45 degrees. Runners were also welcomed back – after they caught their breath — with hot coffee, hot chocolate, bagels, bananas, and s’mores over a hot fire.

Rob Kehoe won the men’s 2018 race, repeating his 2016 performance.

Rob Kehoe, originally from Katonah and a John Jay graduate, came in first in the men’s division with a time of 46:52. Rob also won the race in 2016 and said he’d definitely be back for more. Justin Lubely (48:08) of Darien was second and Chris Sina-Jessiman (48:18) of Brooklyn was third.

Lindsey Felling won the 2018 race and also clinched her 2018 Trail Mix Series victory with the win.

Lindsay Felling of Larchmont finished first overall in the women’s division with a time of 52:12. Louise Mullan (53:18) of Hastings was second and Emily Bocklet (1:00:58) of Katonah came in third.

Youngest Runner Rita Haitoff runs with her mom Karen in the 2018 Raven Rocks 10k run.

Rita Haitoff of Katonah was the youngest runner at 9 years old, finishing in 1:44:57. James McGough (1:32:35) of Mahopac — and a regular runner at the Reservation — was the oldest finisher on the day at 72 years young. Some other notable top local finishers include Sydney Bieber (1:10:45) of Bedford who won the 14-18 year old age group as well as Bill Bradsell (53:41) and Gregory Fleming (53:49), both of Bedford, who finished eight seconds apart to take first and second in the men’s 50-59 category.

Official starter Tom Curley on the course in 2018.

Awards for the overall winners and age group winners are a range of pies from local farmer’s market favorite Dutch Desserts. In addition this year the first place age group winners got custom Raven Rocks ultimate frisbee discs. The race was started this year by South Salem resident Tom Curley who launched one of the Raven prize discs downfield in front of the starting line to kick off the race.

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 over 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 fire tower. Runners 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 — plus this year added some wet spots where prior years have been dry. The course has over 1,000 feet of elevation gain and features a cliffside run, miles of single-track trails, a rock scramble, and 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. Forty-seven runners joined as members raising over $3,800.00 for the Museum. 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 2019. Membership information for joining the Friends of Trailside is here: friendsoftrailside.org.

A team of volunteers known as the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Runners help put on 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.

In addition, The Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation led by Jeff Main at the park and helped by Mike, Chase, Kevin, 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. Thankfully there were just minor bumps and bruises this year. Proceeds from the race go to Friends of Trailside, LVAC, and other local not-for-profits.

2018 Photos

We have posted photos from our fantastic team of volunteer photographers here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2018

Thanks to photographers Ciorsdan ConranCarol GordonDiane BradsellLee WillettJohn Cummings (my dad!), and Rob Cummings.

Mike Lubchekno was also out there. Mike is a freelance professional — not affiliated with the race in any way. He has some great shots of runners and the day.

Big thanks to a few of our runners and other volunteers who uploaded photos so far. There’s plenty of room for more photos if you want to share yours at our runner upload gallery here:  https://bit.ly/2JLh09C

 

2018 Results Posted

We have posted the 2018 results here: http://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2018-results/.

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

We are putting together a recap of the day and getting photos organized and uploaded. Check back at this page later tonight. Our photographers are the best and they do a great job! Thanks Diane, Ciorsdan, Carol, and Sawyer for taking photos, — plus thanks to all of the runners who submit photos and share them online.

Raven Rocks 2018 Set for Tomorrow!

The Raven Rocks Run is set to go tomorrow at 9am. See our Logistics Note for advice on getting to the park and getting oriented once you arrive.

NOTE: Course is wet (lots of rain this Fall)! Bring a change of shoes for the ride home! 

Race organizers are at the park today doing the final prep work and fine tuning the course for our Sunday morning start.

There is Last Minute Online Registration available until 6pm if you are deciding late to run – sign up now and make tomorrow morning easier for yourselves and us! 😉 If you want to sign up for the race on race day, we open same day registration at 7:15am.

Note if you are running tomorrow and want to have an extra layer for the start but then want to peel it off (after that first big hill!), we will have volunteers at Michigan Road (1 mile into the course) who can collect your outer layers and will return them to the finish line area under the tent for you to pick up after you finish.

This year the Raven Rocks Run will feature two slight course changes — First change is an extended tour of the Raven Rocks overlook with the newest trail in the Rez which opened in early 2018. The new trail — I have given it the name “Raven Cliff Trail” — follows the Raven rocks outcropping down through new single track trail. If this trail had existed in 2015 when we set the course it definitely would have been part of the race — and now it is! More rocks and more ravens! (There is actually a pair of ravens that live just south of Raven Rocks, they must be able to read…)

Second change is a re-routing of the Blue trail at around mile 4.75 done by the park. This change is around 1/2 mile after the fire tower water stop. The new trail cut avoids some of the most eroded parts of the blue trail downhill and is generally super smooth with good footing.

These two changes actually slightly shorten the course.

Because of the rainfall in the week leading up to the race (and the generally wet fall weather), the Michigan Road swamp trail cut-through is flooded with standing water. We will route through the main Michigan Rd access trail instead. This change adds back in about 0.1 mile to the course.

So in all a net shortening of the course – but not by much. I expect everyone’s times to be faster! 

See you on the trails!

2018 Logistics Note

To: Everyone who is registered for the 2018 Raven Rocks Run:

Thanks for signing up to run the fourth annual Raven Rocks Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation on November 11th, 2018. Race director Rob Cummings, his lovely wife Ciorsdan along with many dedicated volunteers have been working hard to set up this year’s event.

Registration link is here if you have any more folks to sign up: https://runsignup.com/RavenRocks

Not sure if you registered or want to check if a friend is registered? Click here:
https://runsignup.com/Race/RegistrationLookup/?raceId=25402

Here are some tips that will help you on race morning:

Traffic backing up at the entrance near race time - arrive early to avoid the crush.

Traffic backing up at the entrance near race time – arrive early to avoid a jam.

1.) ARRIVE EARLY! The race is set to start at 9am. Please plan to arrive at the park by 8:15am — or even earlier if you can swing it. The regular $10 parking fee is already factored into the Raven Rocks entry fee so there is no need to stop and pay at the entry booth. This speeds up park entry. Park employees will direct you on parking as you arrive.

If the main meadow lot should fill up, we may need to use our backup lot near the entrance to the park. This would mean about 1/4 mile walk for runners arriving late. Another good reason to be early!

2.) DRIVE SLOWLY in the Park! Pay close attention to the staff and volunteers who are directing the parking. Car pool if you can – this helps the environment – and it makes the race more fun! For a helpful overview of the race location (parking, start, bib pickup), check the logistics page of the website here.

3.) LISTEN ATTENTIVELY TO PRE-RACE ANNOUNCEMENTS! Your Race Director will have important information about the course and safety. You will be instructed about potential hazards on the course and current course conditions.

4.) LISTEN FOR THE START! Following the instructions, we will have two special guests as our official starters. Then we will start the runners.

WPR_RavenRocksRun_10k-adjusted-map5.) STAY ON COURSE IF YOU CAN’T CONTINUE! There will be a number of “sweeps” running the course following the slower runners. If for any reason you can’t continue, wait for them to get to you to assess your needs. The park is over 4,300 acres so don’t leave the course unless you know exactly where you are going.

6.) ALL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED! If the dogs are running Raven Rocks they MUST START NEAR THE BACK with their humans and wait til the start line clears! If you are running with your dog, you must hold back at the start and be certain that your dog or its leash does not interfere with or impede any of the other runners. The county park law requires dogs be leashed at all times while in the park. This is for the safety of your dogs, other park patrons, and other dogs visiting.

7.) SAME DAY REGISTRATION – We will likely have same day registration available from 7:15-8:45am. Earlier is better. Online registration is even better! 😉 Cash or check only on race day please. Day of race registration is $45.

8.) RESULTS: Printed lists of finishers with time and place will be available soon after the finish at the registration area and by later in the afternoon on the Raven Rocks Run website. Check it out at http://www.ravenrocksrun.org/results.

9.) THANK A VOLUNTEER! A tremendous amount of volunteer effort goes into making Raven Rocks a special event. T-shirt designers, registration volunteers, carpool helpers, pie buyers, course setters, trail wardens, box lifters, water servers, bagel cutters, coffee brewers, parking coordinators, photographers, videographers, course sweeps, and the clean-up crew—not to mention the Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, and Westchester County Police officers and the dedicated members of the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps!

We are grateful that we have such a wonderful group of trail running enthusiasts (YOU!) to share this run with. We are also thankful that we have the thousands of acres of parkland at the Rez to enjoy!

Many runners have become members of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation group during registration – We thank you for joining! Volunteers from the Friends group will be there race morning to help cheer on runners, support the race, and have information about joining the Friends of Trailside Museum group.

Remember, leave only footprints, take only pictures, and please send us your photos via upload!

Expect more news shared on Facebook, Twitter, and our website as the event nears…. See you on the 11th!

Good luck and have fun,

….Rob, Ciorsdan, and the rest of the Raven Rocks Run Volunteers!


PS: Some useful links…

• Map and Directions to the Reservation
• Map of the Raven Rocks Run course
• Follow Raven Rocks on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ravenrocksrun
• Searchable list of registered runners
Run on the trails on Sundays all year round!

• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


The Raven Rocks Run is the last race in a series of trail races called The Trail Mix. Check current year standings in the series here.

Next year’s Trail Mix races will include:

In addition, we support and attend many other local trail (and a few road) races, including but not limited to:

(Note: this went out as an email to all registered runners for the 2018 Raven Rocks Run. If you did not receive it via email and you are registered, you may want to check your spam folder and set up ravenrocksrun@gmail.com on your address book/white list.)

Raven Rocks Course Check – Oct 28

If you want to refresh your memory of the course before race day – or if you want to check the course out for the first time before seeing it on race day – you should come to the Raven Rocks group run course check on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 8am.

The idea is to run the course with a group of fellow trail runners who know the course well. The course will not be marked and will not be timed. We will break up into pace groups during the run to check the course and make sure no one gets left behind.

Meet at the Meadow Parking lot of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

Details on the course check – plus information about our group trail runs every sunday of the year – are at SundayRuns.org. 

And of course, if you want to register for the race on November 11, 2018, click below:

Register

Raven Rocks 2018

Runners:

The Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run is set for its 4th running on Sunday, November 11, 2018 starting at 9am. We hope you can join us for this challenging race on the trails of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

Click here — Registration is open now if you would like to sign up

This year will feature two slight course changes — First change is an extended tour of the Raven Rocks overlook with the newest trail in the Rez which opened in early 2018. The new trail — I have given it the name “Raven Cliff Trail”  follows the rock outcropping down through new single track trail. If this trail had existed in 2015 when we set the course it definitely would have been part of the race — and now it is! More rocks and more ravens!

Second change is a re-routing of the Blue trail around mile 4.75 around 1/2 mile after the fire tower water stop. The new trail cut avoids some of the worst eroded parts of the blue trail downhill and is super smooth with good footing. The two changes actually slightly shorten the course from the original 6.3-6.4 mile (depending on whose GPS watch used) range.

Depending on the rainfall in the week leading up to the race, the Michigan Road swamp trail cut-through may have to route through the main Michigan Rd access trail. This change, if needed, adds back in about 0.1 mile to the course.

More information about the race is here: http://ravenrocksrun.org

Our best advertisements are you — the runners! Please pass this website page on to a friend who might like to know about the race (and the Trail Mix Series).

Hope to see you on the trails!

-Rob Cummings, Raven Rocks Race Director.

Start Line Announcements 2017

Today was pretty chilly at the start so our pre-race announcements were shortened considerably. As promised, here are the prepared remarks in full:

“Thank you for coming to the 3rd annual Raven Rocks Run! Before we get going onto the course, I have a few items to cover briefly. [race results here]

Happy Birthday to 3 runners: Kevin Lewis, Timothy Dixon, and Christine Ippolito!

40 of you joined Friends of Trailside Museum as members for calendar year 2018 – over $2,600.00 raised for the Museum.

You can sign up as Friends of Trailside members through Dec 31st at the race website’s Trailside Museum membership link.

I wanted to mention a new trail race – Next Saturday Nov 18, Conquer the Forest 5 miler at Clearpool in Carmel, NY. Clearpool is part of Green Chimneys. Green Chimneys is recognized as a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs. The course is hilly and challenging – a true trail run. I am registered and will be there next week. Hope to see some of you there!

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 and returning them to the finish area for you to pick up at the end of your race.

The course carries hazards. The leaves can be slick in spots. We did some course “grooming” over the past few weeks, but leaves and 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 yellow caution tape to keep you going on the right trail. The course was pre-run by Joe, Lee, Peeter, and Jeff. I am quite sure they scared the bear away that was seen checking the course yesterday near the fire tower.

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 start:

  • Ciorsdan — thank you for helping with the whole event. She had BIB #1 last year and is always #1 in my heart. I love you!
  • Shout out to Tony and Judy Godino – I feel like I have attended graduate school at the Godino Institute for Trail Race Studies. Still working on my thesis topic. Possibly a comparison of high and low course markings and runner attention.
  • Lee Willett – Leads the Sunday Run group of Leatherman Harriers 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
  • Trail Mix race directors: Tony, Lee, Barry, Mark, David, Brant, Geoff. (Almost all races in series represented here?) Fourth year of the Series. Each year it keeps getting better. After today over 100 Runners are in line for the well deserved automatic selection in the Loop Lottery 2018! if you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out trailmixseries.org and take a trail mix card from the registration table. If you don’t know what the Leatherman’s Loop is, ask the person next to you!
  • Shout out to Charlie Vaccaro who is the only runner to finish all Trail Mix races to date (19! over 4 years – this will be #20). Eric Foxhall and Jerre Skeats have done 17 & 16 each!
  • 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!
  • Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps (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.
  • Race volunteers – BLACK t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!

Introduce My parents: John and Pat Cummings, our official starters for today’s race:
-Bib #1 for each!
-They came to my little league games and come to my kids games. They still love coming to see all of their 7 kids and 14 grandkids compete & perform. Don’t forget your thank you pie!

OK, now for the start!” (hand mic to Dad).

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