Month: November 2015

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 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!


Complete race results are posted at


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 ( 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.


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:

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 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.


We have posted photos from our fantastic team of shutterbugs here:

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:

Trail Mix

medallion-scan-mod-bw-300hThe Raven Rocks Run was the final event in the 2015 Trail Mix Trail Race series ( 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 ( 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: 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

2015 Results Posted

We have posted the 2015 results here:

Hope you had a great day – we sure did. Thanks runners for making this a special day and thanks to the volunteers for pitching in and making it happen.

Working on putting together a recap of the day and getting photos uploaded. We had a talented team of photographers out there! Thanks Ciorsdan, Carol, Tom, John, Keith, Deborah, and Diane for taking photos, plus all of the runners who submit photos and share them online.

Raven Rocks Run Tomorrow!

2015-RavenRocksRun-Design_v5_SINGLE-smallerThe 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.

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 if you are deciding late to run – sign up now and make tomorrow morning less stressful for yourselves and us! 😉

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 them and will return them to the finish line area for you to pick up after you finish.

See you on the trails!

Logistics for Raven Rocks Run

To: Everyone who is registered for the 2015 Raven Rocks Run:

Thanks for signing up to run the inaugural Raven Rocks Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Race director Rob Cummings, his lovely wife Ciorsdan along with many dedicated volunteers have been working hard to set up the event.

Registration link is here if you have any more folks to sign up:  

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 incorporated as part of the Raven Rocks entry fee so there is no need to stop and pay at the entry booth.

If the main 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 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 a special guest as our official starter. Then we will start the runners.

WPR_RavenRocksRun_10k5.) 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! If you are running with your dog, please 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.

2015-RavenRocksRun-Design_v5_SINGLE-smaller7.) 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

9.) THANK A VOLUNTEER! A tremendous amount of volunteer effort goes into making the Loop a special event each year. T-shirt designers, registration volunteers, carpool helpers, pie buyers, course setters, trail wardens, box lifters, water servers, food preparers, 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!

The race proceeds will benefit the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Many runners have become members of the Friends 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 in 10 days!

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 Facebook
• 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 this year’s 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 2015 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 on your address book/white list.)