Tag: News

2023 Raven Rocks Recap

Hello Raven Runners!

Last Sunday was a chilly day to start, with frost on the ground at 6am as your volunteers arrived for the race day setup. Luckily it was sunny and that took the edge off as the sun got higher in the sky. Plus the roaring fire pit helped keep the chill at bay until race start.

Raven Rocks 2023 Results

We had 246 runners finish on Sunday – backed by a team of around 40 race volunteers including registration and t-shirt table help, kitchen/food setup, course checkers, timing volunteers, photographers, the utility team, and more. We also could not have put on the race without the help of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation staff — and their fearless leader, Jeff Main. We want to thank the County of Westchester Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation for hosting us at the park. The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps came to the race to be on standby to help in case of injury.

The race supports the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Participants are given the opportunity to join the friends group during registration, and nearly 90 of you took advantage. [You can STILL JOIN the friends group via this link: https://runsignup.com/Race/Donate/NY/CrossRiver/RavenRocksRun] Membership is at any dollar level. The most popular level is the $100 “Wood Turtle” level which gets the member a year long parking pass for the Rez. We raised over $5,600 for the friends group through the membership program on the registration website this year. Thank you Raven Runners, Hikers, and Walkers!

Musical Guests

We also had the two-man band of Casey Stanford (Guitar) and Layne Krulik (Drums) rocking mile 5.5 at Pell Hill in the meadow. Runners heard Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and many other rockin’ tunes as they headed downhill towards the finish around 3/4 mile away. Casey and Layne are 6th graders at John Jay Middle School. Thanks for braving the cold morning – and thanks to their roadies for getting them there! We hope they will come back for a return engagement in the spring and fall!

The Pell Hill Band: Casey Stanford (Guitar) and Layne Krulik (Drums)

Cobweb Crew

The Cobweb Crew – early morning volunteers! Many pre-ran the 10k course – and some of these folks also were sweeps.

The Cobweb Crew is a group of runners that go out well before the race and run the course to check that the markings are still there and everything is set for the race. We are confident in our trail course setting ability, but the whims of four legged (and two legged) creatures can lead to unexpected new paths. So we rely on the cobweb crew for this vital service which helps to keep all raven runners and hikers on course.

Race Highlights

The race had two repeat winners this year: Lindsay Felling (50:36) and Eamonn Sullivan (45:01). Both runners set new Raven Rocks course records! It was Lindsay’s 4th overall win at Raven Rocks and Eamonn’s second win.

The youngest finishers were a pair of 8-year olds running the race for the first time: Christian Piddington and Wyatt Nable.

The two youngest runners (8 years old each) running along the Raven Rocks trail overlooking the Stone River Ravine in Pound Ridge (Runners are Christian Piddington (8), Julie Piddington, Wyatt Nable (8), and David Nable. (photo by Carl van der Zandt)

All in all a very fun and energetic Sunday. Thank you to all who came, ran, helped, and watched. A great day all around!

….Rob

Photo Gallery for 2023 (and prior years!)

We have a group of volunteer photographers (thank you Carol, Griffin, Carl, and Justin!) who came out to the race to help document the event. Their 2023 photos are available on our permanent gallery website here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2023

Links to prior years photos (2015-2023) is at this link: https://ravenrocksrun.org/photos/

Lastly – if you have photos YOU’D like to share (and be able to find years later!) post them to the 2023 runner’s upload album gallery using this link: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/upload/hQzcqM/2023

Some selected photos from 2023:

November 2023 Raven 100k Challenge

The Challenge: Walk, hike, or run 100k during the month of November 2023. Distance can be done anywhere, the only requirement is that it be on your feet.

The Rewards:

  • You stay active as the days shorten and the weather cools down.
  • You can join our Strava Club to track your November progress and share with other challengers.
  • If you are in the local area of the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, you can check out the Raven Rocks overlook which is on the Raven Rocks 10k Run course (and there are a pair of Ravens who live there that you might see if your timing is right!).
  • You can earn badges as you unlock the various achievements we have set up.
  • At the end of the month we tally your totals and send or give you a custom finisher “woodallion” with your name and badges and achievements (see image below) along with your shirt (if purchased).
The 2023 Raven 100k Challenge “woodallion” – The lightly etched outlines will be replaced with physical badge pieces fastened atop as those are earned. So you may have the whole deck filled or just parts. Some of the badges are very difficult to achieve!

Below are the badge images and names from last year and further down are the descriptions of the achievements. We are open to suggestions on adding more badges – especially if you are outside of the local Raven Rocks / Ward Pound Ridge area! Maybe an international badge if you run a Raven related course outside the USA!

Badge descriptions:

– Run 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (raven badge)
– Run 5x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (ultra raven badge)
– Run 10x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (full flock badge)
– Take a selfie at the Raven Rocks Overlook and send it in (photographer badge)
– Submit a photo of yourself on a run with your “I Voted” sticker (bald eagle badge) or if you can’t vote in the election, next to someone with an “I Voted” sticker.
– Submit a photo of you running on Thanksgiving (turkey award)
– Photo of a raven anywhere (citizen award) (merged with traveler badge)
– Do a run in the dark to Raven Rocks (night owl badge)
– Do a run at dawn to Raven Rocks (cobweb crew badge)
– 200k distance in November (snowy owl badge)
– 300k distance in November (white raven badge)
– Read a stanza from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” poem and send us a link. Use SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, or whatever audio service you want. (wise owl badge)

New badges last year include the “Peeter Badge” named for Peeter Muursepp who during 2020’s Raven 100k Challenge did 33 loops of the 10k Raven Rocks course. Get 33 loops or more to earn the badge. Last year Peeter upped the ante with 62 Raven Rocks 10k loops during the month of November. That’s more than 2 per day! If you surpass it with 62 (or more) and the badge name changes to your name. But we think Peeter is safe since that is a huge number. Only 3 people have ever earned this badge.

Jacob Benesch proposed a badge last year for anyone doing 5x Raven Rocks 10k course in one day (50k total). We already have a badge named the Ultra Raven Badge (5x over the course of a month), so we named a new badge called “The Raven Rockstar Badge” which is shown on the sample above.

Let us know if you have any questions about the Raven 100k Challenge for November 2023 – email ravenrocksrun@gmail.com. Thanks!

See you on the trails!

….Rob, Ciorsdan, and the Raven volunteers

Raven Rocks 10k Run in 2023

The Raven Rocks Run is a challenging 10k trail run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY.

Race is in-person Sunday, November 12th, 2023 starting at 9am. 

The race will start in the Meadow near the fallen oak tree and its massive remains. The course passes by the spot where the Leatherman’s Loop begins. Instead of heading towards the river as the Loop does, the Raven Rocks Run 10k course climbs and climbs up to the two highest points in the park (Raven Rocks Overlook and the Fire Tower Summit) before heading back for a (mostly) downhill and (relatively) flat finish.

The course passes by the site of the former Blue Trail fire tower which is the highest point in the park. We are working towards getting back the tower to its former spot in the park. See Course Map page for course details.

More information about the race and tower project is on the About page and the FAQ page of our ravenrocksrun.org website.

Sign up soon! We have gotten close to our limit the last few times we put on the race — so it could get full, or it may not. Depends on the runner demand!

Raven Rocks 10k Run and Raven 100k Challenge Return for 2023 – Nov 12, 2023

Trail Runners,

The Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run is BACK for its EIGHTH YEAR! 🙂

Date is Sunday, November 12, 2023 @9am for the RAVEN ROCKS 10k TRAIL RUN… Woo hoo!

We are also bringing back the Raven 100k Virtual Challenge for the fourth year — with all of the fun elements from last year — plus we’re looking to add a few more activities to the Virtual Raven 100k challenge during the month of November

Topline News

2023 shirt design

You can sign up for the Raven Rocks 10k Run or the Raven 100k November Challenge — or you can do BOTH!

Early bird (before 10/1) signups get the early bird discount. Signups for both events at the same time also get a discount which appears at checkout. 

Shirts this year will be one design and runners can choose to purchase the long-sleeved cotton shirts (traditional) and/or short sleeved tech fabric shirts. You can purchase one, both, or neither shirt. If you are a purely virtual Raven 100k Challenge runner, we will mail you your shirt (if ordered) — along with your finisher “woodallion” if you hit the 100k goal.

As always, these Raven events support the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. We encourage runners to join as members of the museum during registration to support their non-profit educational and conservation purpose. 

This year we are also planning to support the Friends of the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower. We will be working with the Westchester Parks Foundation and will be raising funds to support Westchester County and NY State in the restoration of the fire tower to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. That fundraising account will be set up soon with a range of support levels. More to come on this news!

See you on the trails!

….Rob Cummings, Raven Rocks & Raven Challenge race director


More detail about each event:

## Raven Rocks Run – 10k Trail Run ##

The Raven Rocks Run is a challenging 10k trail run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY.

Race is in-person Sunday, November 12, 2023 starting at 9am. 

The race will start in the Meadow near the fallen oak tree and its massive remains. The course passes by the spot where the Leatherman’s Loop begins. Instead of heading towards the river as the Loop does, the Raven Rocks Run 10k course climbs and climbs up to the two highest points in the park (Raven Rocks Overlook and the Fire Tower Summit) before heading back for a (mostly) downhill and (relatively) flat finish.

The course passes by the site of the former Cross River Mountain Fire Tower which is the highest point in the park. We are working towards getting back the tower to its former spot in the park. See Course Map page for course details and the fire tower’s former (and if we can make it happen the future) location.

More information about the race and tower project is on the About page and the FAQ page of our ravenrocksrun.org website and also the crmfiretower.org information site.

We are looking forward to November when we will run this event for the EIGHTH time!


## Raven 100k Challenge ##

The Raven 100k Challenge is simple: first, register for the challenge. Then run, hike, or walk 100k during the month of November 2023.

Note: You can register as late as November 16 and enter your mileage to date when you register.
This works out to an average of around 3k per day or 25k (15 miles) per week.

If you complete the challenge, you will receive a wooden finisher medallion with achievement badges custom to your Raven Challenge journey. Shirts are optional. 

The Raven 100k Challenge supports the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization based at the Trailside Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. 

You can also join the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for 2024 membership during signup. One of the most popular levels is the $100 “Wood Turtle” membership which gives the member a parking pass for the park either for the rest of 2023 or all of 2024 depending on when you join during the year.

Bonus achievements for the Raven 100k Challenge

In addition to running, walking, or hiking 100k during November, there are several bonus achievement badges you can unlock if you are able: 

  • Run 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (raven badge).This can be done at the Raven Rocks 10k Run race on Nov 12. It can also be done any time at the park. The Course will be marked from 11/9/23 – 11/12/23 for those unfamiliar with it.
  • Run 5x on the 10k Raven Rocks Run course (ultra raven badge)
  • Run 10x on the 10k Raven Rocks Run course (full flock badge)
  • Run 33x on the 10k Raven Rocks Run course (Peeter badge). Note: The Peeter badge is named after Peeter Muursepp who ran the Raven Rocks course 33x during the month of November 2020 during the First Raven 100k Challenge. Peeter exceeded his 2020 feat in 2021 with 63 Loops around the Raven Rocks Run 10k course during the month of November 2021. That is more than 2x RRR loops per day average.
    • Note: If you run 64x or more on the Raven Rocks Run course the Peeter badge is renamed after you. 
  • Take a selfie at the Raven Rocks Overlook and send it in (photographer badge)
  • Take a selfie at any Raven related site, store, zoo, etc. and send it in (traveler/citizen badge)
  • Submit a photo of yourself on a run with your “I Voted” sticker or if you can’t vote in the November election, next to someone with an “I Voted” sticker. (bald eagle badge
  • Run on Thanksgiving (turkey badge).Submit a Thanksgiving run photo to get a badge upgrade to the Photo Turkey badge.
  • Do a run in the dark to Raven Rocks (night owl badge). Note: you can use a headlamp or flashlight while running!
  • Do a run early in the morning to Raven Rocks (cobweb crew badge)
  • 200k distance in November (snowy owl badge)
  • 300k distance in November (white raven badge)
  • Read a stanza from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” poem and send us a link of you doing this. Use soundcloud, youtube, facebook, whatever service you want. We have most of the poem read by challenge participants last year but need a few more to complete the full 16 stanzas. (wise owl badge)
  • Find your Raven challenge object in the Rez (GPS Badge). See below for details

We are working to display the badges on your results page.

Woodallion Illustration from 2021. Bonus badges are added to the final woodallion if they are earned during the November challenge.

We will incorporate the badges on the physical wooden finisher “woodallion” that we create and send to you once you complete the Raven Challenge. See sample from 2021’s Raven Challenge here.

Any other badge ideas? We are open to suggestions.

In addition, we will have awards for:

  • First 3 men and First 3 women to 100k
  • Top 3 men and Top 3 women in total kilometers.

IMPORTANT: Anyone in contention for these Top 3 awards must make their entries in a timely manner: All entries must be made within 36 hours of your run/walk. 

This is to prevent participants from “batch entering” their results.

Keep your results up to date if you are in the running!

Note: In order to win these awards distance submissions need to be verifiable via GPX files.

See instructions submitting results on RunSignUp Raven 100k Challenge page.

Halfway bonus GPS challenge badge search

Photo of 2020 Woodallion with finisher’s name, distance run in the November challenge, unique achievements, and a number of badges earned added to the final recognition. This year’s woodallion will have a theme around this year’s artwork (see above) with the badges incorporated.

For those in the area near Ward Pound Ridge Reservation we have a special treat in mind that will lead to a bonus badge. If you opt-in via the status form (to be sent to participants in the challenge in November), then after you pass the 50 kilometer mark on your Raven 100k Challenge posted stats, we will send you your own coordinates via “What3Words” app to somewhere in the park where we have hidden a small challenge surprise for you to find. It will be obvious once you get there, but not easy to find unless you have the coordinates.

Everyone will have a different and unique spot somewhere in the park. Some will be further off-trail than others depending on how familiar you are with the park. Let us know when you find your halfway bonus (or if you can’t find it! – we don’t want to leave the challenge items out there!)

→ Sign up for the Raven Rocks Run and/or the Raven 100k Challenge Today!

You can participate in either event – they can be completely independent of each other. Or you can participate in both events. There is overlap in the 100k challenge and the 10k race since one of the Raven Challenge badges is awarded for completing the Raven Rocks Run course.

We are super happy to be out running on trails with you all! See you out there…

2022 Raven 100k Challenge Wrap-Up

Dear Raven 100k Challenge Participants,

Thank you for signing up and participating in the third annual Raven 100k Challenge this past November 2022.

Your distance, along with the badges you earned, is engraved in your custom woodallion which just entered production December 7 and will be mailed out to you after they are completed. If you want to see the badge descriptions, click here.

The second annual event was a success with 73 runners, hikers, and walkers ranging in age from 14 through 72 completing the challenge. Click here for links to photos contributed by participants during the month. 

Through this event — combined with the Raven Rocks 10k Run on November 13 — we raised $9,700 to date for the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

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 2023 you can still do it at https://runsignup.com/ravenrocks/donate through December 31, 2022. Membership makes a great gift too!

We are already looking forward to November 2023 for the 4th Raven 100k Challenge – and the 8th Annual Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run. Mark your calendars for November 12, 2023!

Thanks again for your support.  If you have any questions or need to get in touch, our email address in ravenrocksrun@gmail.com.

Rob Cummings

Race Director, Raven 100k Challenge and Raven Rocks Run Trail Race

PS: Be sure to check the 2022 Raven 100k Challenge highlights below.


Some highlights from the 2022 Raven 100k Challenge include:

Longest distance covered and reported in November 2022

Paul Woolley – 1st overall male – 520.3kJoanie Dooley – 1st overall female – 409.9k
Jacob Benesch – 2nd overall male – 422.6kAndrea Mindell – 2nd overall female – 305.2k
Anthony Marino – 3rd overall male – 379.2kMea Sgaglio – 3rd overall female – 301.1k
Eric Foxhall – 4th overall male – 311.8kMary Rubini – 4th overall female – 294.5k
Jamie Howard – 5th overall male – 303.4kKathy Lynch – 5th overall female – 283.4k

First to 100k Milestone in November 2022

Paul Woolley – 1st male to 100kMea Sgaglio – 1st female to 100k
Anthony Marino – 2nd male to 100kJoanie Dooley – 2nd female to 100k
Eric Foxhall – 3rd male to 100kAndrea Mindell – 3rd female to 100k

  • Number of 2022 participants who completed the 100k: 73 total – 39 men, 34 women
  • Total badge types: 17 unique badges
  • Most total badge types possible for one person to earn in 2022: 15* 
  • Number of participants who earned the maximum number of 15 badges: 0
  • Most badges earned in 2022: 13 (Jacob Benesch, remote raven) and Gregory Boland (11)
  • Number of badges earned total: 347
  • Most common badge earned: Bald Eagle badge (63 of 73)
  • Second most common: Turkey badge (60 of 73)
  • Least common badge earned: Peeter Badge, (0 of 73),
  • Second least common badges: Raven Rockstar Badge, Full Flock, Raven Meteor (all 1 of 73)
  • Number of GPS challenge items hidden at the Rez: 30
  • Number of GPS challenge badges earned: 23
  • Number of GPS challenge items still hidden at the park: at least 7, we will be searching for them during an upcoming Sunday Run!
  • 2022 Participant who completed the most Raven Rocks Run 10k courses: Jacob Benesch (15 times in a 24 hour period (set September 2022 and recognized because he moved to Seattle the next week)! Jacob is one with the Raven.
  • Number of participants who reached 32 Raven Rocks 10k Loop courses completed in November 2022 required to earn the most difficult badge of all: The Peeter Badge: 0 of 73 
  • Note: if a participant gets 63 Raven Rocks courses or more in an upcoming year, the Peeter badge gets renamed for them… I don’t know if anyone will ever exceed the record on this. 
  • New Raven Meteor badge this year for participants who witness a meteor while running during November. Only one of our runners achieved this: Gregory Boland. Congrats Greg — You get a unique flair for your woodallion this year. Note for next year’s runners: The annual Leonid Meteor Shower is in Mid-Nov. each year and it is a perfect time for a night run and meteor gazing, sky cover permitting!
  • The Veteran’s Day “bonus star” badge (run, walk, or hike on 11/11) had 56 of 73 participants gaining this woodallion flair 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
  • We also note achievements and appreciations on the woodallions each year.

Next year we plan to hold the 8th annual Raven Rocks Run 10k Trail Race at 9 a.m. on Sunday, November 12, 2023. We will also bring back the Raven 100k Challenge as well for a 4th 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 2023.

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.

2022 woodallions showing various badges earned.

2021 Results Posted

We have posted the 2021 results here: https://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2021-results/.

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

We are working on a recap of the day and have started to get photos and video organized and uploaded. Check back at this page later tonight for the recap link and refresh the 2021 photos link to see more as we upload.

Our photographers do a great job! Today Carol, Sawyer, and Rob took photos and video — plus thanks to all of the runners who will be submitting photos – thank you in advance! (hint: upload yours to this album!)

2016 Recap

Carol Gordon - pre-race start line photoDear Runners,

raven_rocks_final-gray-rocks-600w

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 ravenrocksrun@gmail.com.

Results

Complete race results are posted at https://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2016-results/

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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.

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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.

Volunteers

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: http://friendsoftrailside.org/

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 ravenrocksrun@gmail.com).

LVAC

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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!

Photos

We have posted photos from our fantastic team of shutterbugs here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2016.

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:  https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/upload/fgbsNq/rrr

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: http://smu.gs/2gvENPX

Trail Mix

medallion-scan-mod-bw-600The Raven Rocks Run was the final event in the 2016 Trail Mix Trail Race series (http://trailmixseries.org). 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 (http://sundayruns.org) 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: http://www.lightboxreg.com/lower-salem-turkey-trot?func=&mobile=0 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 Results Posted

We have posted the 2016 results here: https://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2016-results/.

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 – 2016 Signup Info

WPR_RavenRocksRun_10k-adjusted-mapA reminder that the 2016 Raven Rocks Run registration is open. Date of the race is Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Direct RunSignUp link here >>

Results from last year’s race are posted at https://ravenrocksrun.org/results

Friends of Trailside
Last year many runners who signed up for the Raven Rocks Run joined online at the same time as members of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation when they registered for the race. The memberships will be for the calendar year 2017 so new and returning members get a full year of benefits.

friends-of-trailside-and-ward-pound-ridge-reservation-logo-2The Friends of Trailside is a 501(c)3 organization 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: http://friendsoftrailside.org/

The Friends group is 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. The Friends of Trailside want 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. Updates are in the Friends Newsletter.

Caps

We got requests for Raven Rocks hats last year — and this year we are offering them for sale when you register! They are embroidered cotton baseball caps. We need a minimum order of 25 to make the order and if we don’t hit that we will refund the cap purchaser’s money.

Photos

We have photos from 2015 by our fantastic team of shutterbugs here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2015.

Trail Mix Series

The 2016 Trail Mix Series results to date are posted here: http://trailmixseries.org/trail-mix-standings/.

We completed the first two races in the 2016 Trail Mix Series — the Leatherman’s Loop and A Mild Sprain — in the spring. There are 4 more races in the series. Sign up links for the other three races can be found here: Pavement Ends 9/18 • Sarah Bishop 9/25 • Run The Farm 10/23.

Sunday Run group

We have a dedicated group of trail runners who meet every Sunday morning at 8am (http://sundayruns.org) to run trails in and around northern Westchester and occasionally beyond. All year round — all paces — all welcome! We never leave anyone behind and we encourage new trail runners to try out the trails.

Many 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 (photos). We also held a winter group run of the Raven Rocks Run course called the “Raven Lunatic” — photos from that run are here.

We hope you can join us for the 2016 Raven Rocks Run!

Rob Cummings
Raven Rocks Run Race Director

News 12 Video about Fire Tower Project

This story was broadcast in early 2015 as plans for the rebuilding of the Fire Tower were gaining attention.

We are not sure of the current status of the project, but we at the Raven Rocks Run are fully supportive of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservations and their efforts to rebuild the former Cross River Mountain Fire Tower.

It would be rebuilt in its old location on the Blue Trail at highest point in the park if the plans are approved.