Some Frequently Asked Questions about the Raven Rocks 10k Run
Q: When is the Raven Rocks Run?
A: It will next be held Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 9am starting from the Meadow field at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Parking will be at the large Meadow Parking lot (and on the field as needed).
Q: What is the registration cost for Raven Rocks?
A: Early signup cost is $40 plus a processing fee charged by RunSignup. A few weeks before the race the registration cost goes up. We want to encourage early signup since 1.) it lets us know with more certainty how many bibs and shirts we should order; 2.) it lets us print custom bibs with names or nicknames on them which is cooler than a bib with just a number 🙂
(Note we incorporate the $10 park entry fee with the registration cost — so you don’t have to pay that on race morning.)
Q: Can I register for Raven Rocks the day of the race?
A: 2021 answer is NO SAME DAY REGISTRATION. Covid restrictions require everyone to be pre-registered. Thanks for helping us achieve minimal contact during the race!
A: (Normal year answer)
Yes, we will have same day registration, but cost will be more on race day rather than if you register online. Race day registration will be from 7:30 – 8:45am. Cash or check accepted. Due to unreliable cell connections, we cannot process credit cards on site.
Online registration will be open through Saturday, November 13th at 7pm.
Q: Wait, wasn’t this race called The Fire Tower 10k? What happened?
A: Yes, the original name we called the race was The Fire Tower 10k. It may even still appear in a few places on this website and related articles. It is the same course and organization. We changed the name since the county believed by calling it the Fire Tower 10k it might be misunderstood to mean that they have given approval for the rebuilding of the fire tower. [Update: it took them 5 years and a change in county administration, but the Fire Tower is COMING BACK!]
We wanted to hold a race starting in 2015 and we were able to make that happen by changing the name to Raven Rocks Run. Since one of the main course features is the Raven Rocks overlook (at just about the halfway point of the race), we really like this name. Plus we get to put ravens on everything and make endless Edgar Allen Poe references, much to the dismay of our kids.
Q: Does this race pass the fire tower at the park?
A: The course runs by the location the fire tower formerly occupied. The fire tower is no longer there since it was dismantled in 1982.
A group of enthusiastic Fire Tower “Wardens” are interested in restoring the fire tower to its former location at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The race also happens to be on a fantastic trail with a challenging trail loop to the two highest points in the park.
Q: Are there any water crossings on the course?
A: No water crossings on this 10k course. Depending on weather conditions before or during the race, parts of the trail may be wet or muddy so bring a change of shoes and socks at the very least. There are no river crossings like at the Leatherman’s Loop. This may be a good thing since the race is in November and temperatures can get pretty cold that time of year.
Q: What is the course like? What exactly do you mean by “Hills and Thrills”?
A: This is a tough 10k course. The elevation changes are comparable to the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack 10k course if you are familiar with that excellent trail race. The first half of the course generally ascends to the Raven Rocks Overlook. Then it descends quickly to turn around and get ready to climb the up the Fire Tower (blue) trail.
There is one stretch where nobody will be running since it is a trail up a rock scramble near the summit of the Fire Tower Hill. That is a pretty short section though. The rest of the run is a mix of single and double track with most (95%) of the course beneath the trees and the whole course — with the exception of crossing Reservation Road — exclusively on trails.
Q: What is the Raven Rocks Run raising money for?
A: One of our aims is the restoration of the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. We have donated proceeds from the race to this end and also donate some of the proceeds to the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
The LVAC organization and members have been on hand for the Leatherman’s Loop for decades and will be there manning a first aid station at the Raven Rocks Run.
Q: Are there finisher medals for the 10k?
A: No, we do not have finisher medals for all runners. Prizes are yummy pies from Dutch Desserts for winners and age group winners.
For the 100k Challenge we will have “Woodallions” custom made for participants. See last year’s photo gallery for photos.
Q: This is the last Trail Mix Series race for the year, is there an award ceremony for Trail Mix overall and category winners?
A: (normal year answer) For runners in The Trail Mix Trail Series who have completed the series we plan to have a social event to recognize your achievement. For the overall and category winners, we will have further recognition. Date/time and location for the event TBD. Make sure you are on the Trail Mix email list so you get notified of the event details.
(covid year answer) Trail mix series is looking to return in 2022 after a 2 year hiatus. Many of the races were cancelled in 2020 and 2021.
Q: What are the prize categories?
A: We will award prizes in the tradition of the prizes for the Leatherman’s Loop. A prize for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall male and female. Then age category 1-2-3 prizes for Kids (13 & Under), Juniors (14-18), 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59. 60-69, 70-79. and 80+.
Q: Will there be a $10 per car parking fee like on other days I enter Ward Pound Ridge Reservation?
A: We have already built the parking fee into the cost of your race registration. A county employee will be counting the number of cars entering for the race and they will give us a parking bill based on that number times the parking rate. This means if you can carpool with another runner or two we will have more money left after the race to donate to the Trailside Museum!
A: No. Registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable (that means no resale of bibs). We don’t do deferrals. (excerpt from Leatherman’s Loop FAQ page below).
In essence, we hope you understand our simple approach meets our desire to do four simultaneous things: • Put on a top quality event; • Keep the registration fees modest; • Maximize the efforts of our volunteers toward race-related duties; and • Raise money to improve the trails and park.
Our all-volunteer organization does not have time for a rush of transfers and deferrals in the weeks before the race. People still ask, and the answer is no. If you are reading this, thanks for not asking and we are very sorry we can’t accommodate you.
Q: I can’t attend this year. What is your cancellation policy? Can I defer my registration to next year?
A: No, we do not offer deferrals of registrations from year to year. See above.
Q: Can I transfer my registration to another person?
A: No. Registration is non refundable and non transferable. See above.
Q: Will the race be cancelled in case of rain, snow, sleet, volcanic activity, etc?
A: Generally, no — the race will go on regardless of weather. The only exception would be potentially dangerous conditions like thunderstorms or icy hazards occurring during race time. If these conditions exist it will be a joint decision of the race director and the park whether the race occurs.
If a cancellation occurs there will be no refunds for the race fees. By registering you take on the slight risk of the event not happening. For this type of event much of the costs are sunk into the race prior to the race day and will not be able to be recovered. Money left after expenses will be donated to the Fire Tower Fund, Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge, the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps, as well as other local not-for-profits.
Q: Do I need to be a participant in the Trail Mix Trail Series to register for the Raven Rocks Run?
A: No. The race is open to any who want to try their skill, speed, and endurance. The race is the seventh and final race in the Trail Mix series but only a percentage of runners are running it as part of the series.
Q: Why is there a separate cost for the shirt?
A: For many races the shirts are underwritten by sponsors whose names appear on the shirts. Our race has no sponsors other than the runners who run in it. This lets our Raven Rocks Run shirts be ad free. They are unique for each year of the race. If you run in a lot of races you probably have a ton of race shirts, but few will be like this one. Race income after expenses are donated to organizations supporting the restoration of the Cross River Mountain Fire tower and the park.
The price of the shirt covers the cost of the shirt plus the commission of the artist who created the artwork — which has been an original creation created new each year. The shirts are high quality long sleeved cotton.
We think the Raven Rocks Run shirts are amazing but we don’t want you to get one unless you want it.
Q: Do you have items other than shirts for sale?
Yes! We have sold caps, tote bags, and tech shirts that are not year-specific in the past. You can get these during registration as additional items — or instead of getting a race day shirt.
When race registration is not active — or is many many months away, you may prefer The Raven Merchandise page here. Our printer will fulfill the items and send them directly to you.