Thank you for signing up and participating in the second annual Raven 100k Challenge this past November 2021.
Your distance, along with the badges you earned, is engraved in your custom woodallion which just finished up production on Friday and will be mailed out to you this coming week. If you want to see the badge descriptions, click here.
The second annual event was a success with 83 runners, hikers, and walkers ranging in age from 12 through 74. Click here for links to photos contributed by participants during the month.
The Friends group supports the mission of education, conservation, and environmental action through the Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge programs. If you haven’t yet joined as a member for 2022 you can still do it at https://runsignup.com/ravenrocks/donate through January 15, 2022. Membership makes a great gift too!
We are already looking forward to November 2022 for the 3rdRaven 100k Challenge – and the 7th Annual Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run. Mark your calendars for November 13, 2022!
Thanks again for your support. If you have any questions or need to get in touch, our email address in firstname.lastname@example.org.
Race Director, Raven 100k Challenge and Raven Rocks Run Trail Race
PS: Be sure to check the 2021 Raven 100k Challenge highlights below.
Some highlights from the Raven 100k Challenge include:
Longest distance covered and reported in November 2021
Most total badge types possible for one person to earn in 2021: 14*
Number of participants who earned the maximum number of 14 badges: 2
Number of badges earned total: 394
Most common badge earned: Bald Eagle badge (63 of 83)
Second most common: Turkey badge (61 of 83)
Least common badge earned: Peeter Badge (2 of 83),
Second least common badges: Raven Rockstar Badge, Ultra Raven (both 3 of 83)
Number of GPS challenge items hidden at the Rez: 40
Number of GPS challenge badges earned: 35
Number of GPS challenge items still hidden at the park: 5, we will be searching for them during an upcoming Sunday Run!
2021 Participant who completed the most Raven Rocks Run 10k courses: Peeter Muursepp (63 times around in 30 days! Peeter exceeded his 2020 effort of 32 Loops by 30 more!)
Number of participants who reached 32 Raven Rocks 10k Loop courses completed in November 2021 required to earn the most difficult badge of all: The Peeter Badge: 2 of 83
Note: if a participant exceeds 63 Raven Rocks courses in an upcoming year, the Peeter badge gets renamed for them… I don’t know if anyone will ever exceed the record on this, but I said that last year too not counting on Peeter to up the ante.
New badge this year for participants who complete 5x Raven Rocks 10k Loop courses in a single day during November 2021: The Raven Rockstar Badge (3 awarded in 2021: Peeter Muursepp, Eugene Leeds, and let’s not forget Jacob Benesch – who achieved the Rockstar feat twice!).
New badge suggestion from 2020 from participants incorporated into 2021 Challenge: Veteran’s Day “bonus star” badge (run, walk, or hike on 11/11) – 56 of 83 participants achieved this new badge!
Other new badge ideas that challenge participants suggested include the Volunteer Badge and Raven2Raven badge (run the Raven Rocks courses at the Rez and Rockefeller Park in the same day). Also, the Coyote badge, Naked Raven badge, and Jose Cuervo badge. I still don’t know what the last three proposed badges entail, but I eagerly await the explanations. We are open to other badge suggestions as well – ravenrocksrun.org/contact-us
Next year we plan to have the 7th annual Raven Rocks Run 10k Trail Race at 9 a.m. on Sunday, November 13, 2022. We will also bring back the Raven 100k Challenge as well for a 3rd year. Anyone who signs up for both events at the same time will get a break on the dual registration. There also will be a super early (bird) raven discount when registration opens in early 2022.
Thanks again for being a part of this event!
*the Full Flock badge (10x on the course) supersedes the Ultra Raven badge (5x on the course) which supersedes the Raven Badge (1x on the course).
Check ravenrocksrun.org/photos for links to pictures (from this year and past years)of the Raven 100k Challenge and the Raven Rocks Run.
The weather was chilly upon organizers arrival, with temperatures in the high 20’s. However, the sun soon came out and the sun warmed up the day.
The main event tent was set up on the Wednesday before the race, but fierce storms with high winds on both Friday and Saturday put an end to that plan, knocking over the tent and damaging some of the rigging. A crew was on standby ready to to an Amish Tent Raising at the crack of dawn on Sunday if necessary. But we ended up not needing the large shelter on race day due to the sunny weather. We had registration underneath some pop up market tents and the food and drink was open air.
Over 300 runners finished the 6th running of the Raven Rocks 10k course. Thanks to everyone who came out to run, volunteer, and cheer.
Edmond Dee of New Rochelle, NY came in first in the men’s division with a time of 49:45. Christopher Irwin of Cortlandt Manon was close behind at 49:52 after coming in 3rd in 2019. Jacob Benesch of New York, NY was third with a time of 50:49.
Joelle Reeves of Brooklyn was first overall in the women’s division with a time of 51:38. Madeline Villalba (55:14) of New York, NY was second and Lindsey Felling (57:24) of Fairfield, CT came in third.
Kase Atkinson of Cross River was the youngest male runner at 11 years old.
Miriam Wilson of Pound Ridge was the youngest female runner at 13 years old, finishing in 1:15:20 as a first-time runner in this race.
Rob Fryer (1:20:44) of New Caanan was the oldest male finisher on the day at 74 years young.
Kelly Heller of Rockville, MD was the oldest female finisher at 68 years young.
Prizes for the overall winners and age group winners are a range of tart-style pies from local farmer’s market favorite Dutch Desserts(Key information: Dutch Desserts is a vendor at the Pleasantville farmer’s market on Saturdays from 9am-2pm!)
At the start line of the race during pre-race announcements, parks superintendant Jeff Main was awarded Bib #1 for his help at the park with all things race and trail related. Especially the post race amenities like the fire pit and picnic tables among MANY other things he gets accomplished for this race and the Leatherman’s Loop.
The Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation is led by Jeff Main at the park and helped by Mike, Chase, Kevin, Bobby and the rest of the crew who are all essential to the success of the race.
The Cobweb Crew
The Cobweb Crew is our early race morning volunteer run crew who know the course and make sure the pink course markings were still up and leading the runners to the right places. Many of these cobweb crew runners also ran the race – making their day a 20k!
One member of the 2021 cobweb crew – Jacob Benesch (red jacket in photo above)- ran the course TWICE before the race. And then came in 3RD OVERALL in the race itself. Then Jacob continued as we were awarding runner prizes and ran the course two more times for a total of 5 Raven Rocks 10ks on the day. Jacob earned his “Raven Rockstar” badge that day — and established it as a new badge for the November Raven 100k Challenge.
The course – which is run entirely on the trails of the reservation — starts in the large meadow about a quarter-mile into the park. It follows trails up through the covered bridge to the Michigan Road campground where it delves deep into the 4,300 acres of the park. The halfway point is the east-facing Raven Rocks overlook, where the race got its name.
Runners then head back down on the blue trail to the sledding spot on Pell Hill. The final half-mile is along the Cross River back to the Meadow finish line.
Many runners have called it one of hardest 10k races out there because of the hilly terrain and the narrow trails. The course has over 1,000 feet of elevation gain and features a cliffside run, miles of single-track trails, a rock scramble, plus beautiful meadow runs.
The Trail Mix Series – Back in 2022!
The Raven Rocks Run is part of a series of local trail races called the Trail Mix Series.
Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
In addition to running a race, runners were also able to join the Friends of Trailside when they signed up.
Ninety-three participants to date joined as members raising over $7,900.00 for the Museum in the form of memberships. The most popular membership level runners picked to join at was the $100 Wood Turtle level with 51 memberships at that level. Wood Turtle and above comes with a parking pass for entry into the park for all of 2021.
Many of these volunteers also meet up to run the trails in northern Westchester year-round.
These volunteers set the course, staff the water station, handle registration, pre-run the course, sweep to make sure no injured runners are on the course, and clean up any traces after the run. We could not put on the event without them – THANK YOU!
Scroll right → to see more of the badge data in the table below →
2021 Raven 100k Challenge Distances and Badges
So… there are potentially two important things for you to do:
If you completed the Raven 100k Challenge and have not posted your results yet to https://runsignup.com/ravenrocks/results yet you are not going to receive a finisher woodallion. That would be a tragedy worthy of an Edgar Allen Poe work.
[These were the prepared remarks for the pre-race announcements for 2021. It was a bit on the cold 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 2021…]
Thank you for coming to the return of and 6th 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.
No registered runner birthdays today, but Joe Kapp’s birthday was yesterday and Jimmy Woods’ birthday was yesterday — Happy belated and early birthday to you!
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 two days have 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. 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, 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…. PAST BIB #1s – ALL HERE! (edit: some didn’t show but that’s OK! It was cold!)
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.
THE Trail Mix race directors: Tony, Lee, Barry, Veronica, Eric, David, Brant, Megan, and Nancy. (Almost all races in series represented here?). Each year it keeps getting better — although the series was sidelined in 2020 and 2021, some races in the series (like this one, Pavement Ends, and Paine to Pain) were able to return this year. If you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out trailmixseries.org.
M – Kase Atkinson (11)
F – Emilia Veroude (12)
Oldest Registered Runners:
M – Rob Fryer, John Kiselak, Ed Moore, Murray Rosenblith
F – Kelly Heller
Leatherman’s Loop – returns in 2022 — 3 years after last Loop in 2019. Big Things Planned!
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 Soprano – amichiart.com – designed the t-shirt. And she did 2018 and 2019 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 – RED t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!
There is Last Minute Online Registration available until this evening if you are deciding late to run – sign up now and make tomorrow morning easier for yourselves and us! 😉 THERE IS NO SAME DAY REGISTRATION.
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, up the first big hill) who can collect your outer layers in a bin and will return them to the finish line area under the tent for you to pick up after you finish.
The course is the same as 2019 — barring any downed trees from overnight wind storms! It is already “lightly marked” and the full and final marking will take place today.
There is a water stop at the 4 mile mark at the top of the Fire Tower climb (the highest spot on the course).
Here are some tips that will help you on race morning:
1.) ARRIVE EARLY! The race is set to start at 9am. Bib pickup (and shirt pickup if ordered) begins at 7am on racemorning. Look for the tent in the Meadow Parking lot. Please plan to arrive at the park by 8:15am — or even earlier if you can swing it.
The regular $10 park entry 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. Park employees will direct you on parking as you arrive.
If the main meadow 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 good 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 start the runners.
5.) 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 your dog is running Raven Rocks they MUST START NEAR THE BACK with their humans and wait until the start line clears! For the safety of you, your dog, and the other runners, you must hold back at the start. Please 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.
7.) SAME DAY REGISTRATION – We will NOT have SAME DAY REGISTRATION. Online registration is necessary! 😉 We also have a race cap – if you or a friend are looking to run the race, sign up ASAP before we reach the cap!
8.) RESULTS: Printed lists of finishers with time and place will be available soon after the finish at the registration area and online later in the afternoon on the Raven Rocks Run website. Check it out at http://www.ravenrocksrun.org/results.
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!
Many runners have become members of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation 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, via email, and our website as the event nears…. See you in 5 days!
Good luck and have fun,
….Rob, Ciorsdan, and the rest of the Raven Rocks Run Volunteers!
(Note: this went out as an email to all registered runners for the 2021 Raven Rocks Run, the 2021 Raven 100k Challenge, as well as past registrants. If you did not receive this via email and you are registered, you may want to check your spam folder and set up email@example.com on your address book/white list. If you have not yet registered and you plan to run – sign up now!)