New and Old Loop Articles and Posts from Runners, Writers, and Videographers

The Leatherman's Loop start in 2013 featuring Sawyer Cummings, youngest runner in that year.

If you have run or otherwise participated in the Leatherman’s Loop in the past (or you are preparing to do it in the future) and you have written and posted an article or a video, let us know and we will link to it from here.

To get you started, here are a few articles we’ve found or folks have directed us to:

Plus some links to articles we have posted or linked to in the past.

Let us know your new or old links and we will update this page.

 

5 Years of Sunday Runs

Leatherman Harriers: Trail Running Group of Northern WestchesterRoughly five years ago (time, date, and distance is always approximate in the trail running world) the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Run Group was born — even though we didn’t know it at the time.

Backing up a bit further… 29 years give or take… Tony Godino and some friends founded the Leatherman Harriers to have an organization to host the Leatherman’s Loop. The group of organizers was composed of runners of course — but there was no set training run schedule and it stayed that way for years.

By 2010, the Loop was getting ready for its 24th year and Rob Cummings had been helping Tony, Mike, and the crew organize the Loop for a few years. The day of the Loop is full of excitement. There are so many people — new friends and old — to catch up with that Rob thought it always went too fast. He wanted to capture that essence and feeling through more than one day.

First photo of the Sunday Run group after the 3rd week of training together in March 2010.

First ever photo of the Sunday Run group after training together in March 2010. The friendly hiker we asked to take our sweaty portrait was not so familiar with the iPhone camera operation. We have improved our camera training since then!

Five intrepid souls met at Lewisboro Town Park at the beginning of March 2010 with the modest goal of training for the upcoming 24th annual Leatherman’s Loop each Sunday morning for the next seven weeks. Those five runners met two more runners already on the trail and completed a 4 mile course in the sometimes snow covered trails. Over the next seven weeks the group met, grew by word of mouth and email, and ran progressively farther. The final run for the group was a course check of the Loop that attracted somewhere around 30 runners.

After the Loop many of the runners were interested in keeping things going every Sunday. As long as there was interest, we kept meeting. And we kept going and going and going. The email list size grew from a few dozen runners to nearly 75 runners – supplemented by Leatherman’s Loop facebook followers – though 2012. Runners met, ran together, got lost, became friends, carpooled to races together, compared stories and gear, and generally had a good time both on the trails and off of them. The group is always welcoming to new runners and always welcomes back friends who have been away.

Fast forward to Father’s Day 2012. On a challenging 7 mile run through some of the single-track in the southern end of The Rez, the group’s ringleader, Rob Cummings, was injured. The injury turned out to be at least a 6 month treatment and recovery, so Rob asked Lee Willett to take over the organizing of the group runs. Lee was there on day one of the Sunday Run group back in 2010 and took up the challenge.

Just before the start of Looper Bowl III in 2014.

Just before the start of Looper Bowl III in 2014. It was bitter cold for several weeks before the run and we were able to scamper across the completely iced over river crossings faster than Tom Nohilly or Gerry Sullivan ever do during the spring!

After a few months, Lee suggested adding a website to the group communications to make it easier for runners to find and follow. The SundayRuns.org website was born in October 2012. Lee added a run calendar you can subscribe to on your smartphone, he created custom SundayRuns shirts, he made it easy to sign up for (and unsubscribe from) the email list, and he also created and posted downloadable maps to the site — and brought printed COLOR maps to the sunday morning runs! (Though some runners continued to get lost…)

Over the next two and a half years the Sunday Runs list nearly quintupled in size to over 300 runners. We routinely have 15-20 runners at the group runs in all different pace groups — and that’s in the winter! As the weather warms we get larger groups. Our largest meetups have been 65-70 runners. One of our most popular runs is the Looper Bowl – a group run of the Loop course on Super Bowl Sunday, with stream crossings optional. Recently we have even done some friday night moonlight headlamp trail runs that have proven popular, and not just because of the roaring fire at the end of the run.

Post run campfire at the second Moonlight Headlamp Run Jan 2, 2015.

Post run campfire at the second Moonlight Headlamp Run Jan 2, 2015. Watch for a notice about the next moonlight run around the next full moon.

In addition to having a great group of runners in the group, many of the Sunday Runners have used their considerable talents to create races in the area. David Vogel came to Run the Farm and the Sunday Runs and was bit by the trail running bug. Six months later he and Brant Brooks founded A Mild Sprain in Sprain Ridge Park. Lee Willett joined forces with Sunday Run stalwarts Mark Vincent and Barry Fagan to found the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack (North Salem, NY) in September 2013. Brian Stempel founded the Church Tavern Biathlon in 2011 (South Salem, NY).

Sunday runners Annie Bai, Bettina Sementilli, and Frank Greene founded The Running Goddess 5k at Lasdon Park in Somers, NY two years ago and brought back the Katonah 5k after it was cancelled. Sunday runner Kathy Lynch along with Lisa Abzun and Eileen Polese started the Kisco 5k (Mt Kisco, NY) in September 2014. All of these races are still going strong. The newest creation is on the horizon — Rob Cummings is directing the upcoming Fire Tower 10k (November 2015 @ The Rez) with the help of many Sunday runners. Many of these races are also part of the Trail Mix Trail Series for 2015.

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Harrier Chief Navigation Officer Lee Willett shows the new Leatherman Harriers Club Shirt artwork to the runners Sunday, March 15th, 2015.

This past Sunday morning the group met at the Lewisboro Town Park and ran the snowy trails of the Rez in a 5th anniversary run. Tony presented Lee with a line art print of the newest Leatherman Harriers Club artwork in thanks for all of the work he has put in to keep the group going and welcoming.

There is no way to list all of the Sunday Runners without skipping someone inadvertently. But — if you are interested you can click on this link to many of the group photos taken before a lot the runs over the last 5 years.

Thank you all for being a part of this great running tradition. All of the group members are looking forward to the next five years and beyond.

Hope you can join us one sunday or many! Just show up and Run Free!

Preparing for the Leatherman’s Loop

“As for the course, the outer limits are well within the capabilities of almost anyone curiously self-motivated – whether or not you’re just a weekend warrior or a dyed-in-the-wool mountain maniac. It’s got a mind all its own, with a foot-boggling array of barriers strategically placed so as to impede forward progress of the swift and sure-footed kind.”

-Description in original registration form for the Leatherman’s Loop trail run, April 1987

2007-shirt-just-leathermans-loop-circle-black-white-29-in-center-300The 29th Leatherman’s Loop trail run is set for April 26, 2015 at 9am. If you are running it for the first time or the 29th time — or anywhere in between — there are lots of things you can do to prepare.

The best advice is to Run! Get out and get those legs moving!

Next most important advice — Run on trails. If you are used to roads, you should try some trails before running the Loop. It can be a surprise if you and your ankles don’t have at least a passing familiarity with roots, rocks, and mud. Fortunately we have a regular sunday running group that meets at 8am every sunday for a run on the local trails of the Rez and other nearby parks.

There are other trail run groups or resources out there if you are not close to the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY: Westchester Trails (lower westchester), New York Trail and Ultra Running Meetup (NYC), Essex Running (Northern NJ), Bimbler’s Sound (CT shore), Northport Running (Long Island). {Please let us know any trail groups we missed}

What kind of shoes do you need? Regular running shoes are fine. Many trail runners like to wear trail sneakers which have better gripping bottoms for the slippery parts of the trail. Others like low-profile shoes such as the five fingers type shoes. The low profile shoes take some getting used to and you should probably avoid running a race in them until your feet are familiar with them.

What should you wear for the Loop? April weather is unpredictable. At the start of the Loop it has ranged from 40 degrees with wind and rain to 70 degrees and humid. We have also had our share of crisp 50 degree perfect sunny days and everything in between. Closer to the date we will know with more certainty what the weather will be.

For general advice, we always run the Loop in a single layer. Shorts vs pants are your choice. Shorts dry more easily post-water crossing but pants can protect your shins from getting dinged by trail hazards. Shirt can be long or short sleeved depending on weather and your comfort level.

One thing not to wear is sweatpants or any sort of thick leggings. It may seem cold at the start but it won’t ever be as cold at the start as running most of the Loop in soaking wet sweatpants from the first river crossing.

Pre-race announcements will take about 15 minutes and we advise runners to have a top layer on during these announcements. Runners can take off the top layer and toss it to the side before or just after the start. We will have those items brought up to the teepee for you to collect at the end of the Loop. Write your name in your clothing or put your name in a card in a pocket of any top layers that you plan to take off at the start. It will help to reunite you if you forget and leave it behind.

We strongly advise having a change of clothes and socks on hand in the car for after the trail run. Don’t plan on wearing your Loop shoes for the rest of the day as they will be soaked and muddy. Sweatshirt or windbreaker is a must for post-race. Hot beverages are a plus too.

The finish area will have fruit and bagels as well as water and coffee. Many runners stick around for the awards ceremony which usually starts around 11:00-11:15am at the registration area.

More information is in our Frequently Asked Questions page. We also have directions, maps, loop history, runner history, and results.

If you are looking for more trail races in the Westchester-Fairfield area, we have expanded our Trail Mix Trail Series to 6 races in 2015. The Loop is the first in the 2015 series and we are looking forward to kicking off the second Trail Mix series this year.

If you have any questions, please get in touch and we will do our best to answer! Trail run it! See you on the trails…

2015 Loop Lottery Selection Finished

We have finished with the Loop Lottery 2015 selections.

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Contact us if you have any concerns and we will get back to you promptly.

If you did not receive an email please check your spam folder since it may be in there. Optimum and Verizon have been particularly aggressive recently about tagging emails as spam that are not spam. You can also check the searchable list here to see if your name or friends names are listed.

Two items you may be interested in…
1.) The 2015 Trail Mix Series – Six local trail races combined to form a fun and challenging trail series with prizes for overall winners and age group winners. Everyone who completes the series (at least 4 of 6 races) gets a special recognition item at the end of the series, plus GUARANTEED SELECTION in the 2016 Loop Lottery.
2.) Check out sundayruns.org if you are interested in running with a group on trails on Sunday mornings. It is great training for the Loop and we even run the Loop course a few times prior to the big day. See details at Sunday Runs site.

See you on the trails!

2015 Loop Lottery Registration Closed

trail-closed-signThe Leatherman’s Loop Lottery 2015 has CLOSED. We are not taking any more lottery entrants. We will hold the drawing this Friday, January 16th, 2015. Notifications will go out that day as early as possible.

You can check your lottery registration status at this link here.

We wish everyone luck for the drawing!

If you have any questions, please let us know via our contact form.

Second Annual Trail Mix Series Announcement

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We are excited to announce the Second Annual Trail Mix Trail Race Series! The first annual series is not quite finished yet — but we couldn’t wait to share the news about the 2015 series and the two new additions to the Trail Mix Series.

For 2015 we will increase from four up to six races in the series. The races are, in order:

  1. Leatherman’s Loop 10k – April 26, 2015 (Lottery Registration begins Friday 1/9 at 12:01am)
  2. A Mild Sprain 4.25M – May 17, 2015 (registration link) NEW to Trail Mix series!
  3. Where The Pavement Ends 4.25M – September 20, 2015 (registration link)
  4. Sarah Bishop Bushwhack 10k – September 27, 2015 (registration link)
  5. Run The Farm 5M – October 25, 2015* (tentative date)
  6. The Fire Tower 10k – November 15, 2015* (tentative date) NEW trail race + NEW to Trail Mix series!

We realize not everyone can make all six race dates due to conflicts, life, etc. We have made it so runners only have to run in four of the six trail races to compete in the series — see below and the FAQ for details.

leathermans-loop-trail-race-running-man-logo-tan-350x350First off the blocks: The series will begin with the Leatherman’s Loop 2015. But hey wait you ask – isn’t the Loop the last race in the 2014-15 Trail Mix Series? Why yes it is! For 2015 only, the Loop will count as both the final race in the 2014-15 series for the current Trail Mix participants and the first race in the 2015 series for everyone as we move forward.

It’s a bit of an overlap, but it’s the only way we could get the Trail Mix series on a more logical calendar year — and this transition will only happen once. If you run the 2015 Loop you are getting two Trail Mix races for the price of one! Race director Tony Godino is looking forward to kicking off the second Trail Mix series – and wrapping up the first!

Footprintlogo2015The second race in the 2015 Trail Mix series will be A Mild Sprain. This is the first of the two new trail races in the Trail Mix series.This 4.25 mile (ish) race is held on the technical trails of Sprain Ridge Park in Yonkers, NY. This race will be held Sunday, May 17, 2015. A Mild Sprain will be in its fourth year in 2015 and is directed by David Vogel and Brant Brooks. It is a super fundraiser for JDRF and has raised over $200,000 for that charity.

where-the-pavement-endsAfter a summer of training — especially on the trails with our Sunday Runs group — runners will be ready for the third race in the series: Where The Pavement Ends on September 20, 2015. This is a 4.25 mile race in Ridgefield, CT near Lake Windwing that will be in its 4th year in 2015. The race is directed by Geoff Morris and Evan McGerald who also direct the very popular TriRidgefield triathlon. The hills and single track are a big challenge in this demanding race.

SarahBishopLogo_320x320The fourth race in the series is the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack. This 10k race is in its 3rd year and will be held on September 27, 2015 at Mountain Lakes Park in North Salem, NY. It is directed by Lee Willett, Mark Vincent, and Barry Fagan. The park lives up to its name with plenty of lakes and some great hills. This event also features a 1.5 mile kids race that is proving more and more popular with the younger trail runners among us.

run-the-farm_veggies-cp-small-150-webclipRunners will head to Muscoot Farm in Katonah, NY for the fifth race in the series: Run The Farm. This race will be in its 6th year in 2015 and will be held on October 25, 2015 (tentative date). Race directors Tony Godino and Rob Cummings are looking forward to seeing everyone again at the farm and farmer’s market. This event also features two kids events that draw almost as many participants as the main event!

fire-tower-seal-bw-MASKThe sixth and final race in the series is a special announcement: we are excited to bring you the first running of the Fire Tower 10k at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation!

The Fire Tower run will be held on November 15, 2015 (tentative date). Rob Cummings will be race director of this new event. More details about the Fire Tower Run will be forthcoming. The Fire Tower run will focus on fundraising for the Trailside Museum’s efforts to restore the fire tower on the Blue trail at the park.

The Sunday Runs group will be leading course checks over all of the Trail Mix courses over the next 11 months. We encourage you to sign up at the SundayRuns.org website to receive updates about the run planned for each week.

There is no additional cost to compete in the series. Simply register for the races above as you normally would. We encourage you to let us know you are interested in participating in the Trail Mix Trail Series by filling out this form at the Trail Mix website. It will make tracking your results in the series much easier for us.

Every runner who finishes four or more races in the series will receive a special custom award. Age group and overall winners will receive special awards at the close of the series as well.

In addition, every runner who completes the 2015 Trail Mix Series (at least 4 of the 6 races run in 2015) will be eligible for automatic selection in the 2016 Loop Lottery.

We are looking forward to a 2015 full of trail running and hope you are too!

….Tony, Rob, David, Brant, Geoff, Evan, Lee, Mark, Barry and all of the dedicated volunteers who make these races possible

PS: Let us know if you have any other questions about the second annual Trail Mix Trail Series (or questions about the first Trail Mix series if you are competing in that series!). We have a FAQ page set up but there may be something we have not covered there.

Leatherman’s Loop Lottery To Open January 9th, 2015

Mark your calendars: The Loop Lottery will open at 12:00am Friday, January 9th, 2015 and close Monday, January 12, 2015 at midnight — 4 full days total.

The 29th Running of the Leatherman’s Loop will be on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY. All runner registration will be via Loop Lottery.

We encourage you to sign up as early as possible so you don’t forget. Once it is closed we won’t accept any new lottery entrants.

To sign up, visit the Leatherman’s Loop website during the lottery registration period and there will be links to the registration site.

Runners can enter the lottery as part of a group. Each person from the group must register (or have someone register them) in the lottery. Runners can add their group name during lottery registration.

We have put together a list of frequently asked questions about the Loop Lottery. It addresses questions about group lottery entry, duplicate registrations, t-shirt purchasing, and other questions you might have.

After the Loop Lottery entry closes on Monday, January 12th we will have the drawing for winners on or just after Friday, January 16th. Lottery winners and losers will be notified via email.

If you do not hear from us via email on January 16th or just afterwards, please contact us at leathermansloop@gmail.com so we can follow up.

We are interested in making the lottery as simple and hassle-free as possible. We appreciate any feedback or thoughts you have and can share with us. If you have any questions not covered above or in the Loop FAQ or the Loop Lottery FAQ, please get in touch via our contact form, or via our email address leathermansloop@gmail.com.

Thanks! See you on the trails…

-Tony, Rob, Mike, and the Leatherman Harrier Volunteers


PS: If you are interested in training on the trails with a group of enthusiastic trail runners of all abilities, check out our club site at sundayruns.org and come out one Sunday morning and join in a group run. We run the trails all year round and always welcome new runners!

If you are interested in seeing past year’s Loop results, click here.

PPS: We will have a big announcement about the 2015 Trail Mix Trail Series in early January. Stay tuned for more information about  the second year of this Westchester/Fairfield trail series. If you want to see the current 2014-2015 Trail Mix Trail Series results to date, click here.

Loop 2015 Information

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2007-shirt-just-leathermans-loop-circle-black-white-29-in-center-300The 29th annual Leatherman’s Loop 10k trail run is tentatively scheduled for April 26th, 2015 at 9am at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY.

Once we know for sure that this is the date we will let everyone know. The race is contingent on county approval of the date and location as always.

Registration will be via Loop Lottery. Runners who have registered for all three fall Trail Mix Trail Series races will receive additional instructions about registering for the 2015 Loop.

We will let everyone know details on the Lottery in late 2014 or early 2015. The date will be confirmed and finalized before the loop lottery opens for registration.

Anyone who interested in training for the Loop and other trail races should check the SundayRuns.org website and try to go on a few trail runs and course checks of the Loop. The Sunday Runs group meets every sunday at 8am year round to run on trails in the northern Westchester area.

When we get closer to the Loop date we run course checks of the Loop course.

As a bonus the last few years we have run the course as a group on Super Bowl Sunday morning (February 1st, 2015 @8am) and christened it the “Looper Bowl” with optional river crossings. Between the mud, snow, freezing water, and ice it can make for an adventurous morning of trail running. Shorts and t-shirt recommended. Bring on the Winter…

 

Trail Mix Results to Date: Next Up – Run The Farm

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The first two Trail Mix races are complete and were a big success. Click here to see current standings.

Over 100 runners completed Where the Pavement Ends on September 21st and nearly 200 total runners were on hand for the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack on September 28th. Keith Realander of Ridgefield and Karen Haitoff of Katonah are in the series lead to date. They may be tough to catch!

A total of 31 runners overlapped and competed in both races and are eligible for the Trail Mix series awards. An additional nine runners registered for both races but were unable to compete in at least one of them. All 40 of these runners are eligible for automatic selection in the Loop Lottery 2015 as long as they register for Run The Farm 2014, which 25 of them have already done! Only runners who run in all four Trail Mix races are eligible for the series award after the Leatherman’s Loop.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Run The Farm in three weeks — especially our Trail Mix participants! Registration is still open!

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Run The Farm 2013 Start