26th Loop in Two Weeks!

Leatherman’s Loop News, Volume 26, Issue 1: Two Weeks Until 26th Loop

(Note: this went out as an email to all registered runners for the 2012 Loop. If you did not receive it via email and you are registered, you may want to check your spam folder and set up leathermansloop@gmail.com on your address book/white list.)

To: All Who are Registered for the 2012 Leatherman’s Loop:

After a quick winter, spring is here once again… Welcome to the 26th running of the Leatherman’s Loop Trail Race on April 22, 2012!

Race organizers Mike Paletta, Tony & Judy Godino, Rob Cummings and the dedicated Leatherman’s Loop volunteers have been working hard to set up this year’s event. All we need is YOU!

Car ride into the RezBelow are some important instructions regarding the Loop.  As always, registration is at a high level. We will need to work together to ensure that loop day goes smoothly.  The park staff and our volunteers will all be working to kick this event off 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 8:20.  Car pool if you can. Traffic can back up considerably at the park entrance as race time approaches.  Please be patient.  The regular $10 parking fee is incorporated as part of the loop entry fee so entry will go more quickly.  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).  This is especially true if it is your first time running the Loop.

2.) DRIVE SLOWLY and CAREFULLY in the Park! Watch the volunteers who are directing the parking. PARK TIGHT! Plan ahead — Car Pool if you can!. For a helpful overview, check the logistics page on the website here.

Splashdown3.) BRING A FULL CHANGE OF CLOTHING! You will get wet and you will get muddy. Where and how you change is up to you. Towels are a must. A clean, dry set of shoes is a requirement. There has never been a runner who emerged dry and clean from the woods after a Loop. Plan accordingly!

4.) LISTEN ATTENTIVELY TO PRE-LOOP ANNOUNCEMENTS! We only get to see most of you all once a year and need a few minutes before the start. Race Director Mike Paletta will have important information about the course and safety.  You will be instructed about the hazards related to the stream crossings and current water and course conditions. 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 PA system on Loop morning 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! Following the instructions, Danny Martin will give a brief poem/blessing to set the tone.  Our official starter will be an old friend. Runners will be started off on their gallop.

6.) IF YOU SEE MUD, RUN THROUGH IT! Especially at the entrance to the woods immediately after the start.  If you stop—or simply hesitate—the people behind you may crash into you… trust us.  There’s no avoiding the mud so simply embrace it, get dirty, and get going.

Mud Flats7.) 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.

8.) 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.

9.) ALL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED and if running in the Loop MUST START NEAR THE BACK! If you are running with your dog, please hold back at the start and to 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 for the safety of the dogs, other park patrons, and other dogs visiting. Dogs are not allowed in picnic areas or playgrounds in the park (from Trailside Museum site). Our local animal control officer is a Loop veteran who has run over a half dozen Loops — and we like to make a good impression!

10.) 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.  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.

Help Feed the Leatherman11.) BRING FOOD DONATIONS! Don’t forget donations for the Help 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 for a FOURTH year. We will send more information about this community effort in a separate email.

12.) RESULTS: Printed lists of finishers with time and place will be available soon after the finish at the bib pickup area and shortly after that on the Loop website. Check it out at http://www.leathermansloop.org/results.

13.) 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, trail wardens, box lifters, water servers, food preparers, coffee brewers, parking coordinators, photographers, videographers, and the clean-up crew—not to mention the Pound Ridge and Lewisboro Police officers and the fantastic and dedicated members of the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps!

Due to possibly the largest ever running field expected for the 26th Loop, we must ask some runners to voluntarily hold back a bit at the start of the Loop. There is a potential for a larger than normal bottleneck at the entrance to the woods approximately 300 yards from the starting line and in the early trails.  If you conserve energy at the start you will have more left in the tank for the second half of the Loop when the trails are wider, the crowd is thinner, and passing is easier!

This event is truly a group effort and tribute to the spirit of the community. 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, Tony, Judy, Rob and the rest of the Leatherman Harriers

PS: Some useful links:
• Map and Directions to the Reservation
• A runners overview of the Leatherman’s Loop trail
• Follow the Loop on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/leathermansloop
• Searchable list of registered runners
• 25 Years of Clickable Results
• 2011 edition of the Founder’s Newsletter
• Run on the trails on Sundays

• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 –> Great trail race a few weeks after the Loop: A Mild Sprain 4.25M Trail Race (5/20)