Tag: ravenrocks

A Very Raven November

We are planning for a Raven-filled November.

First – we are planning for a return of the 2021 Raven Rocks Run on Sunday, November 14, 2021 starting at 9am – assuming we can get approval and permits from Westchester County Parks. The race will follow all county protocols in place.

Second – we plan to reprise the Raven 100k Challenge we started last year with your enthusiastic support. This will include the challenge “woodallions” (updated 2021 design!) and achievement badges (featuring some new badges for 2021!)

The format of the Raven 100k November Challenge will be similar to last year. There will be achievement badges, a trail hunt, photo ops, plus 200k and 300k tiers in addition to the 100k month goal. This is because everyone likes to run far and get rewards! More details and twists to follow.

We will enable registration for both events at the same time – or you can register for only one. We will announce registration via email and social media. If you want to get on our email list, sign up here.

The events 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 Raven Rocks course will be lightly marked from Veteran’s Day Thursday, November 11th through Saturday, November 13th. It will be fully marked on race day November 14th.

More information as we get closer to the Fall. If you have questions, please contact us.

Thanks & see you on the trails!

….Rob Cummings, Raven Rocks Race director

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 Photos

We have posted photos from our fantastic team of volunteer photographers here: https://leathermansloop.smugmug.com/Raven-Rocks-Run/2019

Thanks to photographers Carol GordonLee WillettMichael Rodgers, Michelle Blum, Chris Reinke, John Cummings (my dad!), Gene Leeds, Sawyer Cummings, and Rob Cummings.

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/c7Rm4X/2019 — Big thanks to our runners and other volunteers who uploaded photos so far.

2019 Start Line Annoucements

In case you missed them or want a recap, these are the starting announcements (as typed) from the 2019 Raven Rocks Run.

Thank you for coming to the 5th 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 Corrie Pikul (44) and Adam Wapniak (41)!

57 of you joined Friends of Trailside Museum as members – over $4,100.00. You can still sign up through January 15, 2020 at the race website’s Trailside Museum link.

Fantastic News! Just last week we got 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 few days have left some wet spots on the trail. 

We did some course “grooming” over the past two weeks (shout out to Paul Woolley who went above and beyond with raking between Raven Rocks and the Fire Tower climb!). 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, Lars, and many others. I am quite sure they scared the 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 at the start:

“Little things, big impacts”

Wanted to pause for a bit to recognize our friend Mark Vincent who passed away over the summer. Mark was there the second week of the Sunday Runs group in 2010 before it even had a name. At the time I had only started it to be a 9 week training group leading up to the 2010 Leatherman’s Loop

At the last run before the Loop in 2010 Mark pulled me aside and said “Hey are you gonna continue the sunday runs?” It was a small thing at the time and I said I thought that was a great idea. I said I’d keep it up — as long as people kept coming. Here we are TEN years later. Mark was the catalyst – he asked a simple question, and many many races, runs, and good times, were born and continue to emerge from that group and the members’ enthusiasm for trail running: Sarah Bishop, A Mild Sprain, Raven Rocks, Kisco 5k, Running Goddess, and others. The Trail Mix Series itself probably would not exist without that question. 

Little things can have big impacts. Try to spread good in the world. Do the little things. Be the catalyst.


  • Ciorsdan thank you for helping with the whole event. She was a past BIB #1 recipient and is always #1 in my heart. I love you babe! 
  • Shout out to Tony and Judy Godino (Bib #1s too!) – they will be hiking the course today. Reverse direction? 
  • Shout out to Charlie Vaccaro (Past BIB #1!!!) who is the only runner to finish all Trail Mix races to date (32! over 6 years – this will be #33). 
  • And my parents John and Patricia Cummings – who are our fourth past bib #1. They are always making time for their kids and grandkids events and accomplishments and they are here today!

Lee Willett – #1 BIB for 2019

  • Lee leads the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Runners group on weekly runs, night runs, snow runs, make your own course runs, all over Westchester, and occasionally farther afield.
  • If you have a trail running group, get in touch — we could be convinced to make a field trip to your favorite spot or race! Sundayruns.org
  • Cobweb crew founder – thanks to Lee, Peeter, Joe, Jeff, Lars, Jacob, etc. for making sure the trail is still well marked in the pre-run dawn.

THE Trail Mix race directors: Tony, Lee, Barry, Eric, David, Brant, Megan, and Geoff. (Almost all races in series represented here?) Sixth year of the Series. Each year it keeps getting better. After today nearly 100 Runners are in line for the well deserved automatic selection in the Loop Lottery 2020! If you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out trailmixseries.org. If you don’t know what the Leatherman’s Loop is, ask the person next to you!

Youngest Runners:

  • M – Kase Atkinson (9)
  • F – Rita Haitoff (10)

Oldest Registered Runners:

  • M – Ed Moore ; Tony Godino
  • F – Carrie Barratt ; Judy Godino

5 runners have done 6 RACES TO DATE in the Trail Mix 2019 and all are signed up for Raven Rocks (are you all here?): 

Jacob Benesch, Bryan Wujcik, Gerard Mattia, Andrew Chasen and Charles Vaccaro — who has never missed a Trail Mix race!

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 last year’s 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 – BLUE t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!

OK, now for the start! 

—LEE is our official starter (hand off mic)

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

Raven Rocks 2019 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.

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


There is Last Minute Online Registration available until 6pm today if you are deciding late to run – sign up now and make tomorrow morning easier for yourselves and us! 😉 If you want to sign up for the race on race day, we open same day registration from 7:15 – 8:45am.

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) 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.

This year the Raven Rocks Run will feature one course change — Runners will head out from the start as usual, but will cross the Covered Bridge heading up Michigan Road and run up the meadow on the left side of Michigan Road which is part of the new CB (Covered Bridge) trail loop. The trail goes left into the woods near the farmhouse where the Westchester County Wildlife Conservationist office is. It joins up with the remaining Raven Rocks course at the Michigan Road sand hill. From there the course is the same as last year.

This change does not affect the the course distance by much, but it eliminates some elevation change so it will potentially be a faster start (and race). Everyone gets a course PR on Sunday!

See you on the trails!


2019 Logistics Note

To: Everyone who is registered for (or thinking of registering for) the 2019 Raven Rocks Run:

The fifth annual Raven Rocks Run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is set for November 10th, 2019. Race director Rob Cummings, his lovely wife Ciorsdan along with many dedicated volunteers have been working hard to set up this year’s event.

Registration link is here if you have not signed up, or you have friends who might like to sign up: https://runsignup.com/RavenRocks

Not sure if you registered or want to check if a friend is registered? Click here:

Here are some tips that will help you on race morning:

Traffic backing up at the entrance near race time - arrive early to avoid the crush.
Traffic backing up at the entrance near race time – arrive early to avoid a jam.

1.) ARRIVE EARLY! The race is set to start at 9am. Please plan to arrive at the park by 8:15am — or even earlier if you can swing it. The regular $10 parking fee is already factored into the Raven Rocks entry fee so there is no need to stop and pay at the entry booth. This speeds up park entry. 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! We 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 get the race started.

Updated 2019 course map with new CB trail and other course adjustments noted. Click to see larger image.

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 the dogs are running Raven Rocks they MUST START NEAR THE BACK with their humans and wait til the start line clears! If you are running with your dog, you must hold back at the start and 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 likely have same day registration available from 7:15-8:45am. Earlier is better. Online registration is even better! 😉 Cash or check only on race day please.

8.) RESULTS: Printed lists of finishers with time and place will be available soon after the finish at the registration area and by later in the afternoon on the Raven Rocks Run website. Check it out at https://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 and #ravenfacts shared on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and our website as the event nears…. See you on the 10th!

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 Facebookhttp://www.facebook.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 current year standings in the series here.

Next year’s 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 2019 Raven Rocks Run. If you did not receive it 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.)