Tag: Raven Rocks

2021 Pre-race Speech

[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! 

89 of you joined Friends of Trailside Museum as members – over $7,100 raised. You can still sign up through January 15, 2022 at the race website’s Trailside Museum link

Fantastic News! We received 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 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.

Youngest Runners:

  • M – Kase Atkinson (11)
  • F – Emilia Veroude (12)

Oldest Registered Runners:

  • M – Rob Fryer, John Kiselak, Ed Moore, Murray Roseblith 
  • 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 Sopranoamichiart.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!

OK, now for the start! 

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

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!)

Race Day 2021 is here!

 Welcome to the 6th Annual Raven Rocks Run!

Logistics

Directions • Course Map

Photos • Upload Your Photos

Update: ALL Results 2021 Results

And if you haven’t yet joined the

Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation,

you can do it now by clicking here:

Fire tower returning! More information to come soon…

Replica of the Fire Tower commissioned by Tom Cohn seven years ago to help generate interest and enthusiasm in the project.

Raven Rocks 2021 Set for Tomorrow!

Click or press image to go to registration page.

The Raven Rocks Run is set to go tomorrow at 9am. See our Logistics Note for advice on getting to the park and getting oriented once you arrive.

The event tent was unfortunately damaged in the rain and wind storm we experienced yesterday. Fortunately Sunday is forecast to be sunny so we will be (mostly) open-air.

Race organizers will be at the park and on the trails today doing the final prep work and fine tuning the course for our Sunday morning start.

Register

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).

See you on the trails!

–Rob

2021 Logistics Note

To: Everyone who is registered for (or may be thinking of registering for) the 2021 Raven Rocks Run:

2021 Shirt Design on Carolina Blue

The sixth annual Raven Rocks Run is set to go at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation on Sunday, November 14th, 2021.

(The Raven 100k November Challenge is already underway! More info.)

Race director Rob Cummings, his lovely wife Ciorsdan along with many dedicated volunteers have been working hard to set up this year’s event.

IMPORTANT: There is a cap on Raven Rocks 10k Run registrations for 2021 – and there won’t be same day signup. Plan accordingly!

Registration link is here if you have any more folks to sign up (or you want to pass this on to a friend!): https://runsignup.com/RavenRocks

Not sure if you registered or want to check if a friend is registered? Click here:
https://runsignup.com/Race/RegistrationLookup/?raceId=25402

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 race morning. 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!


 
PS: Some useful links…

Map and Directions to the Reservation
Map of the Raven Rocks Run course
• Follow Raven Rocks on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ravenrocksrun
• Follow Raven Rocks on Instagram: http://instagram.com/ravenrocksrun
Searchable list of registered runners
Run on the trails on Sundays all year round!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Raven Rocks Run is the last race in a series of trail races called The Trail Mix. Check prior series standings here – the Trail Mix will resume in 2022!

2022 Trail Mix races will include*:

In addition, we support and attend many other local trail (and a few road) races, including but not limited to:

(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 ravenrocksrun@gmail.com on your address book/white list. If you have not yet registered and you plan to run – sign up now!) 

Raven Rocks 2020

We are planning for a different Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run this coming November.

The event will – as always – be supporting the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation as well as the years-long effort restore the Fire Tower back at its former spot atop the Cross River Mountain.

The race plan is to have a mix of in-person and virtual combined into one event.

For runners comfortable with an in-person race, we will hold timed starts for groups of up to 25 runners every 15 minutes starting at 8 a.m. on Sunday November 8th and running through 10-10:30 a.m. depending on the number registered.

Runners already registered will get first dibs on the regular 9 a.m. start.

Runners who register from this point forward will get a choice of which starting time to sign up for. Or runners can sign up for the virtual option.

The course will be set and marked from Thursday, November 5th through Monday, November 9th. Any registered runner can run the course, record it with a GPS app or watch, and submit their results as a virtual competitor.

Important note: the 2020 course will start and end from the Meadow Parking lot field so we can have start and end in the same spot for the rolling starts and continuous finishes. If you run the course on your own be sure to start in the right spot!

Maps will be updated and provided with the virtual race packet.

We are also developing the Raven 100k November Challenge. Many of the local runners participated in the Run Like a Wolf 100 Mile Challenge (including your race director) in August. We had a great time pushing each other and checking the leaderboards.

The format of the Raven 100k November Challenge will be similar — but the Raven Challenge will include 200k, and 300k tiers in addition to the 100k month goal. This is because everyone likes to run far! More details and twists to follow…

Thanks & see you on the trails!

….Rob Cummings, Raven Rocks Race director

2019 Recap

2019 Raven Rocks Run start

On Sunday morning November 10, 2019, nearly 250 runners ran the fifth annual Raven Rocks 10k Trail Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

The weather was a bit cold at the start, with temperatures in the high 30’s. However, the sun was out and the crowd was feeling the warmth.

Runners who had done Raven Rocks before knew they would soon be warmed up by their race effort, especially the early climb. Finishing runners were welcomed back at the tent with hot coffee, hot chocolate, bagels, bananas, and s’mores over a hot fire.

Overall men’s winner Justin Lubeley at around the 4 mile mark climbing up the fire tower hill.

Justin Lubeley of Darien, CT came in first in the men’s division with a time of 46:21. Justin came in 2nd in the 2018 Raven Rocks Run and improved his time by around 1:40. Chris Sina-Jessiman (46:48) of Brooklyn was second after coming in 3rd in 2018. and Christopher Irwin (47:20) of Cortlandt Manor was third.

Overall women’s winner Lindsey Felling just before crossing the finish line at Raven Rocks 2019.

Lindsey Felling of Larchmont repeated as first overall in the women’s division with a time of 51:36. Christina Thomson (55:50) of New Canaan was second and Phillippa Keast (56:06) of Tuckahoe came in third.

Youngest male runner Kase Atkinson keeping warm before the start.

Kase Atkinson of Cross River was the youngest male runner at 9 years old.

Youngest female runner Rita Haitoff – for the second year in a row!

Rita Haitoff of Katonah was the youngest female runner at 10 years old, finishing in 1:37:07 lopping nearly 8 minutes off her time from last year. 1:44:57.

Ed Moore (1:14:37) of Cos Cob was the oldest finisher on the day at 69 years young.

A trio of ladies including Heidi Johnston, Trish Gallagher, and Amy Marrazzo tied for the most experienced female runner recognition. Heidi won the F50 age category too!

Some other notable top local finishers include the Randolph twins, Helena and Julia (1:10:27 and 1:22:25) of Mt. Kisco who took first and third in the 14-18 year old age group. Bill Bradsell (52:27) of Bedford beat Todd Henrich (52:57) of South Salem in the men’s 50-59 category and kept his 3 year Raven Rocks M50 win streak intact.

Three pie winners after the finish.

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!)

Lee Willett picking up his Bib #1 for the 2019 race.

The race was started this year by South Salem resident and Sunday Runs Chief navigator Lee Willett who was awarded Bib #1 for his tireless work on behalf of the area trail running community.

The 2019 edition of the Cobweb Crew™ – making courses safe and correct for 3 years running!

Lee also checked the course with the rest of the Cobweb Crew early race morning to 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!

Coming off of the covered bridge at mile 0.3 on the course.

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 descend again before climbing back up to the highest point in the park, the location of the former (and future!) fire tower.

Chris Cassone put the Rock in the Raven at the 2019 race!

Awaiting runners at the top of the climb was our very own Raven Rocker Chris Cassone jamming on the six-string. We hope it made your climb more enjoyable. Chris had a blast! You can view yourself and other runners on GoPro video with Chris’ soundtrack in the background.

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.

Raven Rocks is part of a series of local trail races called the Trail Mix Series.

Some of the other races in the series are the Leatherman’s Loop (Cross River), Run The Farm (Katonah), the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack (North Salem), Where the Pavement Ends (Ridgefield), A Mild Sprain (Yonkers), and Paine to Pain (New Rochelle). The Trail Mix Series website has more information: trailmixseries.org.

In addition to running a race, runners were also able to join the Friends of Trailside when they signed up.

Fifty-seven runners to date joined as members raising over $4,100.00 for the Museum in the form of memberships. The most popular membership level runners picked to join at was the $100 Wood Turtle level, which comes with a parking pass for entry into the park for all of 2020.

You can still join the Friends of Trailside and Ward Pound Ridge for 2020 through the Raven Rocks race website which will be processing memberships through January! (click here!). Your membership $ goes directly to the Friends group and is a 501(c)3 non-profit.

A team of runners known as the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Runners are key volunteers at the race.

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!

In addition, The Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation led by Jeff Main at the park and helped by Mike, Chase, Kevin, Bobby and the rest of the crew are essential to the success of the race.

Last but certainly not least, the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps provided a standby team of volunteer EMS personnel and an ambulance just in case they are needed.

In addition the Pound Ridge Volunteer Fire Department had a rescue crew ready to go in case of any trail emergencies. Thankfully there were just minor bumps and bruises this year.

Proceeds go to Friends of Trailside, LVAC, and other local not-for-profits.

2019 Results Posted

We have posted the 2019 results here: https://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2019-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 2019 photos link to see more as we upload.

Our photographers do a great job! Today Michelle, Chris, Ciorsdan, Carol, Lee, Sawyer, Gene, and Michael, took photos and video — plus thanks to all of the runners who submitted photos and share them online. (upload yours to this album!)

Race Day 2019 Is Here!

 Welcome to the 5th Annual Raven Rocks Run!

Same Day Registration starts at 7:15am under the tent.

Cash or checks only please.

Some helpful links:

Logistics

Directions • Course Map

Photos • Upload Your Photos

And if you haven’t yet joined the

Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation,

you can do it now by clicking here:

https://runsignup.com/Race/Donate/NY/CrossRiver/RavenRocksRun
Fire tower returning! Read more about it here.

Replica of the Fire Tower commissioned by Tom Cohn five years ago to help generate interest and enthusiasm in the project.