[These were the prepared remarks for the pre-race announcements for 2022. It was a bit on the cold and rainy 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 2022 😉 …]
Thank you for coming to the 7th 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 Christina Stejskalova (33) from San Francisco?!
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 rain in the last few days has 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. But Tropical Storm Nicole had other ideas. Rocks, leaves, and other hazards are always 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, 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…. I am able to select who gets bib #1 each year. Here are the PAST BIB #1s… and the 2022 Bib #1!
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.
2022 – Ed Dee, who won last year’s Raven Rocks Run and is back looking to repeat. Ed is an always-enthusiastic regular in the sunday runner crew. Ed loves the trails.
THE Trail Mix race directors: Lee, Veronica, Eric, David, Brant, Megan, and Nancy. (many races in the series are represented here?). Each year it keeps getting better — I will update the Trail Mix website with the 2022 results. If you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out trailmixseries.org.
Youngest Registered Runners:
M – Tyler Mann (9)
F – Miriam Wilson (14)
Oldest Registered Runners:
M – Jimmy McGough, Ed Moore, John Kiselak, Michael Scourby, and Murray Rosenblith.
F – Heather Langham, Sharon Zinni, Renee Goldstein
Final Thank Yous and acknowledgements:
Jacob Benesch – Dedicated Sunday Runner, left the east coast for med school in Seattle. His Raven passion is missed here on the trail. But he is running with us virtually in the 100k Challenge!
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 – Thank you for your support of the Museum and Park!
Cecilia Soprano – amichiart.com – designed the t-shirt. And she did 2018, 2019, and 2021 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 are ready to help.
Race volunteers – ATHLETIC TEAL t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!
OK, now for the start! (…. is the timer ready? all right!)
Our photographers do a great job! Today Carol, Gene, Tom, Sawyer, Orion, 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!)
We are bringing back the Raven 100k Challenge with all of the fun elements from the last 2 years — plus we’re looking to add a few more activities to the 100k challenge during the month of November!
You can sign up for one or the other — or 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 available either on long-sleeved cotton shirts (traditional) and/or short sleeved tech fabric shirts (new!). 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.”
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 13, 2022 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 SEVENTH time!
Important: We have preliminary approval, but our race plans are contingent on final permit approval from the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation. If the COVID-19 situation changes and this approval is revoked and we are unable to offer the in-person event, we will still have the virtual event. We will also offer a 10k race registration fee refund (minus the charge that goes to the processing company) or race deferrals to 2023 for runners if the race is called off by the county. If we have placed the shirt order we will send the race shirt via mail to runners.
## 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 2022.
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 2023 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 2022 or all of 2023 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 13. It can also be done any time at the park. The Course will be marked from 11/11/22 – 11/13/22 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.
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
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!)
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…
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 email@example.com.
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.
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!)
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).