Month: November 2016

2016 Recap

Carol Gordon - pre-race start line photoDear Runners,


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


Complete race results are posted at


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.


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.


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:

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



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!


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

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:

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:

Trail Mix

medallion-scan-mod-bw-600The Raven Rocks Run was the final event in the 2016 Trail Mix Trail Race series ( 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 ( 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: 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

2016 Photos

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

Thanks to photographers Ciorsdan ConranCarol GordonDiane BradsellTom CasperJohn Cummings (my dad!), Alan WegenerSawyer CummingsRob 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:

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:

2016 Results Posted

We have posted the 2016 results here:

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

We are putting together a recap of the day and getting photos organized and uploaded. We had a talented team of photographers out there!

Thanks Diane, Chris, Ciorsdan, Carol, Tom, John, Sawyer, and Alan for taking photos, — plus thanks to all of the runners who submit photos and share them online.

Raven Rocks Run Set for Tomorrow!

raven_rocks_logo-just-raven-300x300-no-paddingThe 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 your outer layers and will return them to the finish line area under the tent 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 2016 Raven Rocks Run:

Thanks for signing up to run the second annual Raven Rocks Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation on November 13th, 2016. 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:  

Not sure if you registered or want to check if a friend is registered? Click here:

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_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! 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.

raven_rocks_logo-with-text-below-200w7.) 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 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!

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 2016 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.)