Raven Rocks Run

at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY

Tag: recap

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).

2016 Recap

Carol Gordon - pre-race start line photoDear Runners,

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Shirt design for 2016 by Maria Scrivan.

Thanks for coming out for a run on the trails of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation this past Sunday.

The second annual Raven Rocks Run went very well with over 300 runners participating in the 10k trail race. Runners from 5 states were represented – The 4 states nearby (NY, CT, NJ, and MA) plus our overall winner who was the sole representative from Pennsylvania.

If you have any race related feedback, please let us know using the contact form — or send us an email at ravenrocksrun@gmail.com.

Results

Complete race results are posted at http://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2016-results/

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Robert Kehoe leading the race on Pell Hill (photo by Tom Casper)

The overall men’s winner was Robert Kehoe of Allentown, PA who finished in 47:49. Robert grew up in Katonah and is a John Jay graduate. He made the trek back to his hometown area to compete in the race.

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Jacqueline Kehoe on the Blue trail climb (photo by Chris Reinke)

The overall women’s winner was Jacqueline Kehoe of New York City. Jacqueline set a new course record (56:01) for the women’s race, knocking off a minute from the prior record set last year in the inaugural race. She is also the older sister of Robert and was a 4 year standout cross country and track athlete at John Jay HS.

Rounding out the top three men were Fox Lane’s Cole Rooney (48:33, 2nd overall) and Goldens Bridge resident and JJXC coach Tommy Nohilly (49:00).

For the women, Pound Ridge’s Cathrine Wolden Levine was second overall (58:14). Wilton’s Jennifer Morello (58:59) was a few runners behind at 3rd overall.

9 Year Old Christopher Demuth on Pell Hill followed by his dad Chris (photo by Tom Casper)

9 Year Old Christopher Demuth on Pell Hill followed by his dad Chris (photo by Tom Casper)

Youngest runner, 9 year old Christopher Demuth finished (1:25:48) just ahead of his dad, Chris Demuth.

Nick Ohnell, longtime trail runner, ran with Tony Godino, founder of the famous Leatherman’s Loop trail race. Both runners walked away with an age group pie prize.

Volunteers

A big event like this is dependent on the help of many volunteers. A big thank you to all of the registration helpers, photographers, course marshalls, course setters, pre-race runners, announcers, water table volunteers, sweeps, and course clean up crew.

Special thanks to my wife, Ciorsdan. For always remembering the things I forgot, especially on race morning. Tony Godino & Judy Godino – without your help and guidance via working with you on Leatherman and Run The Farm over the past (nearly) 10 years, we would not

Volunteer and Sunday Runner Group (photo by Ciorsdan Conran)

Volunteer and Sunday Runner Group (photo by Ciorsdan Conran)

have been able to pull this together. Lee Willett, Peter Muurseep, and Joe Cloidt, who pre-ran the course at 7am to make sure the markings were set — and thanks to some “misguided” campers the check and reset was definitely needed this year.

Joe Mokszycki and Bob Branizza helped set the course with me the saturday before. Tom Cohn, former president of the Friends of Trailside Museum board of directors, has been incredibly supportive of the race and helped shepherd it in the inaugural year with the county and museum. New mantra for 2017: We will get that fire tower back! 😉

Water stop volunteer selfie - Mike Paletta, Chris Cassone, and Michelle Zandona. (photo by Chris Cassone)

Water stop volunteer selfie – Mike Paletta, Chris Cassone, and Michelle Zandona. (photo by Chris Cassone)

Mike Paletta hiked up to the former Fire Tower site along with Michelle Zandoná and Chris Cassone and served everyone water while cheering everyone on. Chris Reinke stepped in with his EMT training while photographing at the top of the blue trail to render aid to an injured runner. Once again, Andy Hafter sliced nearly every bagel and orange for the runners (with the help of my mom Pat Cummings and Francis Corcoran and a few others!).

Karen Haitoff, Kristen Noble, Debbie Mullin, and Amelia Mullin made sure no runner was left behind as race sweeps. Brian Stempel, Eric Foxhall, Barry FaganKathy Lynch, Eileen Polese, Lisa AbzunOrion Cummings, Sawyer Cummings, Deb BuscemaAlan WegenerJeff Thompson, Mark Vincent, and Bill Bradsell all helped with registration, parking, course marshaling, and general on the spot assistance. If I have forgotten anyone I can add them in!

Francis Corcoran (County Legislator, 2nd district), Jeff Main (park superintendant), and Tom Cohn (past president of the Friends of Trailside). (Photo by Alan Wegener)

Francis Corcoran (County Legislator, 2nd district), Jeff Main (park superintendant), and Tom Cohn (past president of the Friends of Trailside) get ready to send runners on their way at the 2016 Raven Rocks Run. (Photo by Alan Wegener)

Special thanks to our official starter Tom Cohn and special guest Francis Corcoran. Francis is our representative for the second district in the Westchester County Legislature. He has heard about and embraced the fire tower project. He is all in with helping to restore it back to its rightful place at the top of Cross River Mountain in the Rez. Francis grew up in the local area and attended John Jay schools. He fondly remembers climbing the original fire tower and wants to help so future generations can experience the sweeping views and inspirational climb to get there.

Parks Department

Thanks to John Baker, Jeff Main, Chase, and Sean — all from the Westchester County Parks Department. So many aspects of the race would have been difficult or impossible without their help. And they do this day in and day out!

Friends of Trailside

Forty Five runners joined in 2016 as members of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation via the race website. If you haven’t already received it, you will be getting your membership information shortly from them. You can still join online – or fill out and send in the membership form here. Mindy, AJ, and David stand ready to make your trip to Trailside memorable!

friends-of-trailside-and-ward-pound-ridge-reservation-logo-2The Friends of Trailside is a 501(c)3 organization and is dedicated to promoting a better appreciation and understanding of the natural world and the relationship between people and the land. Through its support of the Trailside Nature Museum, operated by the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation of the County of Westchester, the Friends provide financial and volunteer aid for exhibits, school, and education programs. For more information on the Friends group — including how to join — click here: http://friendsoftrailside.org/

The Fire Tower

We are very interested in restoring the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower to the park. The Fire Tower stood from 1927 through the early 1980s when it was removed without county permission and dismantled. Together with the parks department and many supporters, we would like to correct this historic error and create a beacon that will draw visitors to the top of the park for incredible vistas of the surrounding countryside. If you are interested in this endeavor, we want to hear from you and enlist your support (email us at ravenrocksrun@gmail.com).

LVAC

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Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps standing by at Raven Rocks Run in 2016. (Photo by Carol Gordon)

The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps was out and ready to heal on Sunday. Thanks to Captain Lucian Lipinsky and the rest of the volunteers.

LVAC has been a steadying and very helpful presence at the Leatherman’s Loop for years. It was great to have them back at Raven Rocks!

Photos

We have posted photos from our fantastic team of shutterbugs here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2016.

Thanks to photographers Ciorsdan Conran, Carol Gordon, Diane Bradsell, Tom CasperJohn Cummings (my dad!), Alan WegenerSawyer Cummings, Rob Cummings, and Chris Reinke. 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://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/upload/fgbsNq/rrr

Chris Reinke also set up his GoPro and caught almost all runners coming up to the top of the Fire Tower hill. I sped it up 10x and set it to Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song” — available here: http://smu.gs/2gvENPX

Trail Mix

medallion-scan-mod-bw-600The Raven Rocks Run was the final event in the 2016 Trail Mix Trail Race series (http://trailmixseries.org). The series was in its third year in 2016.

We have published the final Trail Mix results for the series at the series website.

Congratulations to Virgil Bretz and Lindsay Obrig for taking the 2016 overall series for male and female runners. More details and age group winners can be found at the links above.

Thanks to the other Trail Mix race directors for having another great and expanded 2016 series — we are looking forward to the 2017 Trail Mix Series — get ready to go on tour!

Sunday Run group

We have a dedicated group of trail runners who meet every Sunday morning at 8am (http://sundayruns.org) to run trails in and around northern Westchester and occasionally beyond. All year round — all paces — all welcome! We never leave anyone behind and encourage new trail runners to try out the trails.

leatherman-harriers-sunday-runs-logo-200wMany of our regular sunday runners are race directors and volunteers for the Trail Mix and many other local races. It is a very fun and welcoming group. Our group runs include course checks for many local races including the “Looper Bowl” running of the Leatherman’s Loop course on Super Bowl Sunday. This year will be the 6th year we have that group run. We also started a winter group run of the Raven Rocks Run course — called the “Raven Lunatic” — that takes runners on the Raven Rocks course after a fresh snowfall.

Other upcoming events

If you are looking for a great 5k road race this coming Sunday, Deb Buscema, who was one of our volunteers last Sunday — is organizing the Second Annual Lower Salem Turkey Trot 5k in South Salem, NY.

Registration link is here: http://www.lightboxreg.com/lower-salem-turkey-trot?func=&mobile=0 The course is a local favorite, circling around beautiful Truesdale Lake.

Lastly, the 31st running of the Leatherman’s Loop 10k Trail Race is coming up in 2017. The Loop Lottery will take place in early January. Check the link for more information. Sign up to receive emails from the Loop and also follow the Leatherman on Facebook and other media to be reminded of when to sign up for the lottery.

In Closing

Thanks for coming — and sticking around until the end of this writeup. Hope to see you on the trails!

Rob Cummings
Raven Rocks Run Race Director

2015 Recap

DSC_8356Dear Runners,

Thanks for coming out for a run on the trails of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

Tom Nohilly gets the runners ready to start.

Tom Nohilly gets the runners ready to start.

The inaugural Raven Rocks Run was a success by all accounts. Over 300 runners participated in the 10k race. Runners from 6 states were represented – The 4 states nearby (NY, CT, NJ, and MA) plus a runner from Florida and a runner from South Dakota.

If you have any race related feedback, please let us know using the contact form — or send us an email at ravenrocksrun@gmail.com. Feedback is like a gift — positive or negative it will be used to make the race a better experience in the future.

Thanks to John Baker, Jeff Main, Chase, and Sean — all from the Parks Department — for being there to help with everything we could ask for. The fire pit was the best idea!

Results

Complete race results are posted at http://ravenrocksrun.org/results

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Luis Francisco, overall mens winner. Photo: Deborah Burman

The overall men’s winner was Luis Francisco from Mahopac who finished in 45:31. The overall women’s winner was Tiffany Carson of New York City who finished in 57:24. With her win, Tiffany also secured her first place overall finish in the 2015 Trail Mix Trail Series (trailmixseries.org). The series combines results from six trail races in Westchester and Fairfield Counties during 2015.

Tiffany Carson, overall womens winner.

Tiffany Carson, overall womens winner. Photo: Keith Realander

Rounding out the top three men were two local high schoolers: John Jay’s Charlie Stewart (46:37) and Fox Lane’s Cole Rooney (47:09). For the women, Cross River’s Rachel Massa was second overall (1:01:29) and West Harrison’s Tracy Lawrence-Black (1:01:41) was right on her heels.

Other notable finishes: Tom Nohilly, coach of the NY State champion John Jay Girls Cross Country team finished 4th overall. Youngest runner Eamonn Sullivan (12 years old) finished in 11th place overall (52:03) just ahead of his dad, Gerry Sullivan (52:05) who is the Fordham Prep Cross Country coach. Gerry also secured his win in the men’s 2015 Trail Mix series. Tony Godino, founder of the famous Leatherman’s Loop trail race ran the tough course in 1:26:05 and walked away with an age group pie prize.

Volunteers

An event like this simply does not happen without the help of volunteers. I will put our volunteer page together soon but wanted to call out some people who were instrumental in getting this race off the ground and running smoothly on race day.

Volunteers Alan Wegener, Jill Mango, Judy Godino. Photo: Carol Gordon

Volunteers Alan Wegener, Jill Mango, Judy Godino. Photo: Carol Gordon

First — my wife, Ciorsdan. Thanks for your help and listening to me talk endlessly about the race these last few months. I promise to stop for a while. Tony Godino – without your help and guidance via working with you on Leatherman and Run The Farm over the last 8(!) years, I would not have been able to pull this together. Judy Godino – your calm centered demeanor helps everyone know all will be OK. Lee Willett – your leadership with the Sunday Runs group has been amazing and so appreciated. Joe Mokszycki pre-ran the course starting in the frosty grass before 7:00am on race morning to make sure everything was marked well and nothing was moved or blown away. Tom Cohn from the Friends of Trailside Museum board of directors has been incredibly supportive of the race and helped make it all happen with the county and museum.

Many of the Raven Rocks Run volunteers

Many of the Raven Rocks Run volunteers. Photo: Ciorsdan Conran

John Young, Mike Berardino, and Ruth Littman hiked up to the Fire Tower site and served everyone water. Andy Hafter personally sliced nearly every bagel and orange for the runners (with the help of my mom Pat Cummings!). Eleanor Hershey and Debbie Mullin made sure no runner was left behind acting as race sweeps. Brian Stempel, Jill Mango, Sam Mango, Kathy Lynch, Orion Cummings, Sawyer Cummings, Deb Buscema, Shirley Copeland, Alan WegenerJeff Thompson, Mark Vincent, Karen Haitoff, Chris Cassone, Mike Paletta, and Bill Bradsell all helped with registration, parking, course marshaling, and general on the spot assistance. Last but not least – David Vogel donated the finish line banner. If I am forgetting anyone please forgive me!

Special thanks to our official starter Tom Nohilly. You all heard his brief bio at the start. As great an athlete as he is, I think he has exceeded that as a trainer and coach. We wish the John Jay Girls Cross Country Team the best of luck as they compete in the U.S. Nationals in early December. I saw a bunch of the team members at Raven Rocks cheering the runners on — this was one day after they won the NY State Championships!

Friends of Trailside

Many runners joined as members of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. You will be getting your membership information shortly from them. You can still join online – or fill out and send in the membership form here.

friends-of-trailside-and-ward-pound-ridge-reservation-logo-2The Friends of Trailside is a 501(c)3 organization and is dedicated to promoting a better appreciation and understanding of the natural world and the relationship between people and the land. Through its support of the Trailside Nature Museum, operated by the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation of the County of Westchester, the Friends provide financial and volunteer aid for exhibits, school, and education programs. For more information on the Friends group — including how to join — click here: http://friendsoftrailside.org/

The Friends group is very interested in restoring the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower to the park. The Fire Tower stood from 1927 through the early 1980s when it was removed without county permission and dismantled. The Friends of Trailside want to correct this historic error and create a beacon that will draw visitors to the top of the park for incredible vistas of the surrounding countryside. If you are interested in this endeavor, Friends of Trailside board member Tom Cohn wants to hear from you and enlist your support.

LVAC

LVAC team at Raven Rocks Run

LVAC team at Raven Rocks Run

The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps was out and ready to heal on Sunday. Thanks Lucian Lipinsky, Andrew Stagnari, Ann Hirsch, and the rest of the volunteers.

LVAC has been a steadying and very helpful presence at the Leatherman’s Loop for years. It was great to have them at Raven Rocks! We hope you met them after the race while fixing yourself a bagel and some coffee.

Photos

We have posted photos from our fantastic team of shutterbugs here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2015.

Thanks to Ciorsdan Conran, Carol Gordon, Deborah Burman, Keith Realander, Diane Bradsell, John Cummings (my dad!), and also thanks to a few of our runners 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: http://smu.gs/1HpXR41

Trail Mix

medallion-scan-mod-bw-300hThe Raven Rocks Run was the final event in the 2015 Trail Mix Trail Race series (http://trailmixseries.org). The series was in it’s second year in 2015 and grew from four races to six from 2014 to 2015.

We have published the final Trail Mix results for the series at the series website.

Congratulations to Tiffany Carson and Gerry Sullivan for taking the 2015 overall series. More details and age group winners can be found at the links above.

Thanks to the other race directors in the series for having a fun 2015 — we are looking forward to the 2016 Trail Mix Series — who knows what is in the cards!

Sunday Run group

We have a dedicated group of trail runners who meet every Sunday morning at 8am (http://sundayruns.org) to run trails in and around northern Westchester and occasionally beyond. All year round — all paces — all welcome! We never leave anyone behind and encourage new trail runners to try out the trails.

leatherman-harriers-sunday-runs-logo-200wMany of our regular sunday runners are race directors and volunteers for the Trail Mix and many other local races. It is a very fun and welcoming group. Our group runs include course checks for many local races including the “Looper Bowl” running of the Leatherman’s Loop course on Super Bowl Sunday. This year will be the 5th year we have that group run. I am also thinking of a winter group run of the Raven Rocks Run course — somehow the name “Raven Lunatic” popped into my head. Date TBD after talking with Lee (aka the King of Clubs)!

Other upcoming events

If you are looking for a great 5k road race this coming Saturday, Deb Buscema, who was one of our volunteers on Sunday — is organizing the First Annual Lower Salem Turkey Trot 5k in South Salem, NY.

Registration link is here: http://fasttracktiming.com/races/11212015-lower-salem-turkey-trot/. The course is a local favorite, circling around beautiful Truesdale Lake. I am biased since it runs right by our house! The course heads in the opposite direction of the South Salem Memorial Day 5k which Deb also directs.

Lastly, the 30th anniversary of the Leatherman’s Loop 10k Trail Race is coming up in 2016. The Loop Lottery will take place in early January. Check the link for more information. Sign up to receive emails from the Loop and also follow the Leatherman on Facebook and other media to be reminded of when to sign up for the lottery.

In Closing

Thanks for coming — and reading until the end. It was supposed to be just a short summary! Hope to see you on the trails!

Rob Cummings
Raven Rocks Run Race Director

The View from The Rocks

The View from The Rocks

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