Where to begin? With the mini-monsoon that turned the mud flats into chocolate pudding? The Leatherman waiting in the woods? Atka the wolf who looked ready to howl but decided you all were doing pretty well on your own? Not to mention running with Caballo Blanco and finding out the additional meaning of “Water Stop.” And how about that t-shirt by hot new local talent Jim Jinkins?
The day started out early for the crowd of over 1,000 runners and spectators. It was a wet, rainy 45 degrees at 6:30am at the Meadow. The teepee was set up on Friday and held the course map. The course was marked Saturday. The food tent tempted with donuts that had to wait until after the race… well, maybe just one. Nope, bad idea… The lower lot was filled by 7:45am and the mowed grass area mostly filled by 8:45am. The crowds ebbed and flowed at the showmobile as runners picked up bibs and shirts then retreated to their cars for some final dry moments.
The bagpiper started playing around ten to 9 and runners heeded the call to the starting line. After calling to order the annual meeting of “el lazo de cuero hombre,” Race Director Mike Paletta introduced some honored runners and special guests: Joe Stanley and Rick Hubbell who have run every single Leatherman’s Loop since 1987 (that’s 24 including today), Bob Goldblatt (22 Loops), and Doug Goldblatt (20 Loops). He also recognized a family that made a special trip from Omaha, Nebraska to run in the Loop: brothers Eric & Zach Leatherman, their wives Ryann Wonders and Traci Clevenger, plus their dad, Andy Leatherman. Another brother, Daniel, was scheduled to come but unfortunately finals got in the way. There’s always next year…
Tony “El Copadre” Godino gave a shout out to Ali Hamson who registered from the UK but had her plans foiled by an Icelandic volcano—she wanted to tell her running partner Susan to run like the wind! Tony then introduced the spiritual director of the Loop: Danny Martin. Danny led the Navajo/Irish blessing that has become a tradition at the beginning of each Loop.
After Danny’s inspirational words, our next guest was introduced to howls of approval. Atka is an Arctic Gray wolf and a traveling ambassador wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY just outside the borders of the Reservation. The Wolf Center is the preeminent facility in the eastern United States for the captive breeding and pre-release of endangered wolf species including the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf.
Our featured guest starter, Micah “El Caballo Blanco” True was introduced last and started the Loop without much hesitation. And the crowd was off!
Tommy Nohilly placed first in the men’s division, winning his 6th Leatherman’s Loop. Margaret Butler placed first in the women’s division in her first Loop. The oldest finisher was John Young (76) and the youngest was Orion “Caballito” Cummings (8). The youngest Loop runner Sunday was 6 years old but he turned back at around the mud flats—we’ll be looking for you next year Dante!
Runners contributed 636 pounds of food to the Community Center of Northern Westchester. The community center sends their thanks!
There were some injuries – we’d like to hear from those unable to finish to make sure they are OK. Please contact us via email.
The rest of the story is written by you in the comments to this post and others … let us know how your run went after the start! There are 1000 stories out there waiting to be told. We are starting to gather photos in a meta photo post but it will take a bit of time. Send your photo links via email or in the comments – thanks to those who have already sent them in!
See this post: http://www.leathermansloop.org/index.php/site/comments/2010_loop_photo_link_page/ for photos and videos.
And this one: http://www.leathermansloop.org/index.php/site/comments/2010_results/ for results.
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