2022 Pre-race Speech

[These were the prepared remarks for the pre-race announcements for 2022. It was a bit on the cold and rainy side so I shortened them up. Here for your enjoyment are the complete thoughts of your race director on the morning of the Raven Rocks Run 2022 😉 …]

Start of the 2022 Race (video by Mike Mongiello)

Thank you for coming to the 7th 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 Christina Stejskalova (33) from San Francisco?! 

104 of you joined (or renewed) Friends of Trailside Museum as members – over $9,000 raised. You can still sign up through at the race website’s Trailside Museum link

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 rain in the last few days has left some wet spots on the trail and a few “water crossings” and “mud flats” features for your enjoyment. 

We did some course “grooming” over the past two weeks. But Tropical Storm Nicole had other ideas. Rocks, leaves, and other hazards are always 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, Veronica, and many others. I am quite sure they scared the coyotes and 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…. I am able to select who gets bib #1 each year. Here are the PAST BIB #1s… and the 2022 Bib #1!

  • 2015 — Ciorsdan thank you for helping with the whole event. Always #1 in my heart. I love you babe! 
  • 2016 — Tony and Judy Godino – hiking the course today? Reverse direction? 
  • 2017 — Charlie Vaccaro (Past BIB #1!!!). The record is officially paused for 2020-21. 
  • 2018 — My parents John and Patricia Cummings – who are here today!
  • 2019 — Lee Willett – SundayRuns.org keeper of the maps, the compass, and the plan.
  • 2021 — Jeff Main, superintendant of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Without his guidance and support, the race does not happen. Jeff is a quiet leader and has a deep history with this park and the Westchester County Park system. 
  • 2022 – Ed Dee, who won last year’s Raven Rocks Run and is back looking to repeat. Ed is an always-enthusiastic regular in the sunday runner crew. Ed loves the trails.

THE Trail Mix race directors: Lee, Veronica, Eric, David, Brant, Megan, and Nancy. (many races in the series are represented here?). Each year it keeps getting better — I will update the Trail Mix website with the 2022 results. If you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out trailmixseries.org.

Youngest Registered Runners:

  • M – Tyler Mann (9)
  • F – Miriam Wilson (14)

Oldest Registered Runners:

  • M – Jimmy McGough, Ed Moore, John Kiselak, Michael Scourby, and Murray Rosenblith. 
  • F – Heather Langham, Sharon Zinni, Renee Goldstein

Final Thank Yous and acknowledgements:

  • Jacob Benesch – Dedicated Sunday Runner, left the east coast for med school in Seattle. His Raven passion is missed here on the trail. But he is running with us virtually in the 100k Challenge!
  • 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 – Thank you for your support of the Museum and Park!
  • Cecilia Sopranoamichiart.com – designed the t-shirt. And she did 2018, 2019, and 2021 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 are ready to help.
  • Race volunteers – ATHLETIC TEAL t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!

OK, now for the start! (…. is the timer ready? all right!)

—Ready, Set, Go! ………. And they’re off! 

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