Day: November 11, 2019

2019 Start Line Annoucements

In case you missed them or want a recap, these are the starting announcements (as typed) from the 2019 Raven Rocks Run.

Thank you for coming to the 5th annual Raven Rocks Run! Before we get going onto the course, I wanted to say hello – I am your race director Rob Cummings. I have a few items to cover briefly. 

Happy Birthday to Corrie Pikul (44) and Adam Wapniak (41)!

57 of you joined Friends of Trailside Museum as members – over $4,100.00. You can still sign up through January 15, 2020 at the race website’s Trailside Museum link.

Fantastic News! Just last week we got funding commitments from NY State and Westchester County Officials that will officially begin the return of the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower to the Rez. Thank you to Tom Cohn who has been a tireless advocate for bringing back this tower to the park. Thank you all out there for helping with your words and letters of encouragement over the years. It makes a difference for sure.

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

  • Start taking your layers off at the sand hill. We will be waiting at the bottom of the meadow to collect them.

THE COURSE. The course carries hazards. The leaves can be slick in spots and the wet fall season and especially rain in the last few days have left some wet spots on the trail. 

We did some course “grooming” over the past two weeks (shout out to Paul Woolley who went above and beyond with raking between Raven Rocks and the Fire Tower climb!). Rocks, leaves, and other 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 one spot with yellow caution tape (that’s the RAVEN ROCKS OVERLOOK) to keep you going on the right trail. Pre-run by Joe, Lee, Peeter, Jeff, Jacob, Lars, and many others. I am quite sure they scared the bears away.

SWEEPS. 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 the start:

“Little things, big impacts”

Wanted to pause for a bit to recognize our friend Mark Vincent who passed away over the summer. Mark was there the second week of the Sunday Runs group in 2010 before it even had a name. At the time I had only started it to be a 9 week training group leading up to the 2010 Leatherman’s Loop

At the last run before the Loop in 2010 Mark pulled me aside and said “Hey are you gonna continue the sunday runs?” It was a small thing at the time and I said I thought that was a great idea. I said I’d keep it up — as long as people kept coming. Here we are TEN years later. Mark was the catalyst – he asked a simple question, and many many races, runs, and good times, were born and continue to emerge from that group and the members’ enthusiasm for trail running: Sarah Bishop, A Mild Sprain, Raven Rocks, Kisco 5k, Running Goddess, and others. The Trail Mix Series itself probably would not exist without that question. 

Little things can have big impacts. Try to spread good in the world. Do the little things. Be the catalyst.


  • Ciorsdan thank you for helping with the whole event. She was a past BIB #1 recipient and is always #1 in my heart. I love you babe! 
  • Shout out to Tony and Judy Godino (Bib #1s too!) – they will be hiking the course today. Reverse direction? 
  • Shout out to Charlie Vaccaro (Past BIB #1!!!) who is the only runner to finish all Trail Mix races to date (32! over 6 years – this will be #33). 
  • And my parents John and Patricia Cummings – who are our fourth past bib #1. They are always making time for their kids and grandkids events and accomplishments and they are here today!

Lee Willett – #1 BIB for 2019

  • Lee leads the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Runners group 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!
  • Cobweb crew founder – thanks to Lee, Peeter, Joe, Jeff, Lars, Jacob, etc. for making sure the trail is still well marked in the pre-run dawn.

THE Trail Mix race directors: Tony, Lee, Barry, Eric, David, Brant, Megan, and Geoff. (Almost all races in series represented here?) Sixth year of the Series. Each year it keeps getting better. After today nearly 100 Runners are in line for the well deserved automatic selection in the Loop Lottery 2020! If you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out If you don’t know what the Leatherman’s Loop is, ask the person next to you!

Youngest Runners:

  • M – Kase Atkinson (9)
  • F – Rita Haitoff (10)

Oldest Registered Runners:

  • M – Ed Moore ; Tony Godino
  • F – Carrie Barratt ; Judy Godino

5 runners have done 6 RACES TO DATE in the Trail Mix 2019 and all are signed up for Raven Rocks (are you all here?): 

Jacob Benesch, Bryan Wujcik, Gerard Mattia, Andrew Chasen and Charles Vaccaro — who has never missed a Trail Mix race!

Final Thank Yous:

  • 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!
  • Cecilia – designed the t-shirt. And she did last year’s shirt as well as all of the Run the Farm shirts since 2014. 
  • 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.
  • PRVFD – All volunteers as well. If you get into trouble on the course they will be there to help.
  • Race volunteers – BLUE t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!

OK, now for the start! 

—LEE is our official starter (hand off mic)

Ready, Set, Go! ………. And they’re off!