Two Weeks Until Loop

Leatherman’s Loop News, Volume 23, Issue 6: Two Weeks Until Loop

To: All Who are Registered for the 2009 Leatherman’s Loop
Spring is here… The birds are nesting… Baby animals are being born… Leaves are appearing…  Rivers are cresting… It must be time for the Leatherman’s Loop!

Welcome to the 23rd running of the Leatherman’s Loop Trail Race on April 26th, 2009! 

imageYour race director Mike Paletta and the indomitable Loop volunteers have been working since last year to set up this year’s event.  With the guidance of Race Director Emeritus Tony Godino, we are nearly ready to go for this year’s Loop! 

We have taken time to put together some important instructions regarding this year’s race.  Registration is at a high level so we will need to work together to ensure that loop day goes smoothly.  The entire park staff and our volunteers will all be working to make this event go smoothly and leave great memories for each of you.

Here are some tips that you can incorporate into your plan for the morning and the day:

1) ARRIVE EARLY!  Please plan to arrive at the park before 8:30.  Car pool if you can!  Traffic can back up considerably at the park entrance as race time approaches.  Please be patient.  The regular $8 parking fee is now

part of the loop entry fee

so entry should go more quickly. We changed this last year and all reports were that it made for a much more efficient entry for everyone.  It is always wise to arrive earlier than you think you need to in order to make sure you are all set by race start time (9am).

2) DRIVE SLOWLY and CAREFULLY in the Park! Watch the volunteers who are directing the parking. PARK TIGHT! Did we say car pool? Remember, April is Earth Month!  John Jay High School and Middle School are just 3 minutes from the entrance to the Rez (up 121 north) and should have plenty of spots open Sunday morning!  There is also the Katonah Train Station lot (which is free on weekends) just off 684 Exit 6 (Route 35) on Woodsbridge Road.  Plan ahead!

image3) BRING A FULL CHANGE OF CLOTHING! After 22 years we have yet to see a runner emerge dry and clean from the woods.  You will get wet and you will get muddy. Where and how you change is up to you.  Towels are a must. 

4) LISTEN ATTENTIVELY TO PRE-LOOP ANNOUNCEMENTS! We only get to see you guys once a year and need a few minutes before the start. Race Director Mike Paletta will have important information about the course and safety.  Danny Martin will give a brief poem/blessing to set the tone. Also, you will be instructed about the hazards related to the stream crossings. Hidden boulders and slippery ledges lurk under the surface of the water. Slow down and DON’T DIVE into the water under any circumstances.  As a courtesy to those further away from the speakers we ask that you remain quiet for the sake of your fellow racers who may have never heard the instructions!

5) LISTEN FOR THE START!  It may be a starter’s pistol, it could be a duck call, it might be a flyover by the Blue Angels.  You never know—so keep those ears bent and listening. 

6) WATCH FOR THE LEATHERMAN! Remember that this event celebrates the life of the Leatherman. Learn his story and by all means make some noise if he is out and about on Sunday.

7) STAY ON COURSE IF YOU CAN’T CONTINUE! There will be four “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 nearly 5,000 acres so don’t leave the course unless you know exactly where you are going.

image8) THERE IS NO SAME DAY REGISTRATION!  We simply do not have room for any more registrations.  Please understand the position we are put in when we have to refuse someone entry.  Thanks for your understanding.  If someone is interested in next year’s loop, there is a form at the website to submit name and email address.  If you are signed up for this year’s Loop you are already on this email list!

9) BRING FOOD DONATIONS! Don’t forget donations for the first Feed the Leatherman Food Drive.  Bring your non-perishable donations to the Loop and we will have a drop off point near the registration trailer.  Your generosity will benefit the Community Center of Northern Westchester.  Thanks to David Ceisler for spearheading the drive!

10) LEARN ABOUT THE LEATHERMAN! Author Dan DeLuca will be on hand during the Loop.  He will have copies of his new book on The Old Leather Man available for purchase and signing.  A portion of the proceeds of the book sales will go to fund a project that aims to reinter the Old Leatherman in a proper gravesite and a corrected headstone. 

11) RESULTS: Printed lists of finishers with time and place will be available soon after the finish on the website.  Check it out at

12) THANK A VOLUNTEER!  A tremendous amount of volunteer effort goes into making the Loop a special event each year.  T-shirt designers, registration volunteers, pie buyers, course setters, bib stickers, box lifters, water servers, food preparers, coffee brewers, parking coordinators, and the clean-up crew—not to mention the Pound Ridge and Lewisboro Police and the fantastic and dedicated members of the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps

This event is truly a group effort and tribute to the spirit of the community.  We have received many notes of support and encouragement and we read every one.  We are grateful that we have such a wonderful group of Loop enthusiasts and are thankful that we have the thousands of acres of parkland at the Rez to enjoy!  Remember, leave only (muddy) footprints, take only pictures!

Expect more news as the event nears…. See you in 2 weeks! 

Good luck and have fun,
Mike, Kate, Tony, and Rob

PS: Map and Directions to the Reservation
A runners overview of the Leatherman’s Loop trail