It is with a strong sense of joy that your event organizers announce that the 34th Leatherman’s Loop will take place on Sunday, April 24th, 2022. That means it’s been three full years between #33 and #34. Let’s celebrate..!
As always, entry is only possible through the Loop Lottery. Be assured that most everyone will get in. The lottery will open on January 7th and close at midnight on January 10th… Lottery Drawing will take place Friday, January 14th. A newsletter with a reminder will be sent out in December.
The Leatherman’s Loop has survived in spite of many challenges. Over the years the course has been devastated by a couple of microbursts, the Sandy storm, a small tornado, late Spring floods, Beaver activity and a rare plant called Rattlebox. In every case the organizers were able to work with the County of Westchester and park management to find solutions. But we hit the covid wall last year. No amount of course rerouting could get around it. Not much has changed in a year and there will not be another Loop until we can gather in the field with no pandemic restrictions.
Keep me in your heart (for a while) was the last song that Warren Zevon recorded. I am asking you to keep Rob and Danny and Judy and myself and all of the Loop volunteers in your hearts for a while. We will certainly keep you in ours. In the last newsletter I mentioned the delicate thread which has stitched the loops together over the years. We are still holding on to our end. I hope that you have yours.
Between the pandemic and politics, most of our worlds have been shaken. In a way it feels wrong of me to be lamenting about the need to postpone a running race. And maybe it is. But gatherings where heartfelt connections with others take place are needed more than ever at this time.
Take a look at the video below and the photo of Diego kneeling in the mudflats. Sample the nourishing spirit that comes through the images. Allow yourself to feel “the power of the Loop” and to be moved. We all need that and we will have it back.
We are blessed to have Danny on board as our Spiritual Advisor. His wisdom and advice and his plan for what is needed during these difficult times are in the next part of this note. Take some time to sample his compassion and his love for the Loop.
I think we all know that the Loop is much more than a Race. For many of us it’s a fun gathering, a time for connecting with nature. For some of us it’s even a spiritual experience. Most of all, it’s a reminder of how related we all are. That’s probably why we miss the Loop so much, especially in these pandemic times that have disrupted our relationships when we need them more than ever.
Some of us are trying to address this loss with mini-Loop experiences: smaller groups and partial Loops. I’d like to share something that builds on this spirit. It’s a project that a colleague and I have created called A New American WE that proposes a national conversation that will use our differences to actually help us collaborate. Differences, we believe, are not the problem, in spite of what we hear; rather it is our inability to work with them.
I want to draw your attention particularly to a PDF doc. on the Home page called ‘A Declaration of Interdependence:’ https://anewamericanwe.com/I would suggest that the Loop is a reflection of this Declaration. For when we come together at the Loop we become the Founding Fathers and Mothers of a new American WE as we proclaim our awareness (the expanded self-evident truth) that we are all created equal AND we are all interdependent. That’s also what we mean when we say in our Loop Blessing:
I see beauty all around me: In beauty may we walk. In beauty may we see. In beauty may we all be.
Of course, we are not blind to the challenges of turning this awareness into reality for we realize that many of us are hurting, anxious, angry and confused. We have lost trust in each other. We know that we can only heal and address these challenges by coming together with good intention and authenticity. The Loop brings us together like this, so, in a way, we are already part of A New American WE.
I was moved by the words of the young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman at the Inauguration. These are some of the things she said: without unity there is no peace or progress or nation; enough of us can come together for all of us; true American patriotism is called love; if we come together, we can identify the common objects of our love; we will write a new American story; we turn our gaze not to what stands between us but what stands before us; if we merge mercy with might we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous world. Doesn’t that sound like what happens at the Loop?
In short, you can experience the power of the Loop in these Covid times by participating in the New American WE project in all kinds of simple ways: by simply keeping the spirit of the Loop in your heart, for example; by taking a walk in the Rez; by reaching out to someone who needs a little support in some way in these difficult times; by trying to listen without judgment to someone who things differently to you.
There is a Native American (Hopi) statement about leadership in these times that says: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. But we become this WE only when we meet each other in an authentic way – at heart level – the way we do at Loop. If we do this in simple deliberate and consistent ways we will be able to end the present sad chapter in our common story and begin a new chapter in our American WE.
We are sad to announce the 2021 Loop has been postponed. The spirit of the Loop invites closeness and a large communal gathering; both of these would be ill-advised this spring.
We are postponing the Loop for 2021 in the hopes that — if there are absolutely no restrictions on gatherings — we can possibly hold it in the Fall 2021 on a date TBD. We don’t know what the pandemic situation will look like in 9 months, but there’s always hope – and it would be a unique Loop.
If no Loop happens in 2021, we are confident by the time April 2022 comes around the world will be a very different place. Never back to normal after the upheavals and losses of 2020 and 2021, but safer to gather in large groups again.
In the next week or so, you will hear from us again with a message of hope from the Leatherman’s Loop Spiritual Advisor Danny Martin. He will share his thoughts about the Loop and our place in the world and describe a practical way we can play our part in rebuilding our country.
PS: individuals in the Leatherman Harriers family still remain active and running on the trails in a safe and socially distant way. If you would like to join a great group on the trails, visit SundayRuns.org for information on our Sunday group runs. Sign up to get emails every Friday outlining the Sunday plan.
June 2020 Update: refund window has closed. Thank you for your support and the charities we collectively supported thank you as well. The next Loop will start from a clean slate – no carryovers of registrations.
We would like to put together an album of Loops past with your help. Here’s how to contribute:
Check in the albums below for the past years you have run in the loop. Visit those albums and try to find photos of you or people you know at the Loop – pre-race, during the race, post-race, or any kind of prep work you were involved in as a volunteer.
Download the photo(s) to your phone or computer and name it for the year and loop subject (so you can find it later!)
Then post it to Instagram and/or Facebook
Be sure to tag the Leatherman Harriers with hashtag #leathermansloop and the Loop year. Include a caption if you’d like. Also include a tribute if you’d like.
We will take these and feature them on the Leatherman’s Loop page in the week following the planned day of the 2020 Loop — April 26.
In addition to these listed above, we will be seeking out additional local or partnered organizations to help meet needs and hardships related to the pandemic. And we hope to support other groups dedicated to the health and well-being of our fellow citizens.
Thank you for your trust in our ability to take a negative and help make it a positive with your help and contribution.
The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential for catastrophic effects within our communities, our country and our world. All efforts at this time are needed to help ourselves and each other get through this crisis. The Leatherman’s Loop has always been a celebratory event — but this is not a time for celebration.
There will not be a Loop this year — No postponement, no virtual race, no rolling registrations forward to next April. All of our focus and efforts at this time should be directed towards what we can do to help each other get through this.
For me, and for the first time ever the Loop seems small and insignificant in light of what may lie ahead for all of us. All of my efforts this year will be focused on what I can do and what the Loop can do to ease the hardships that will most certainly come up in the days and months to come.
Thirty-three years of allowing the spirit of the Leatherman’s Loop to unfold has led to this crossroads. That spirit has always been fueled by you the participants. You are the only “sponsors” that the event has ever had.
I had planned to offer these words from Rumi at the start this year:
“Between ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field – I will meet you there.”
God willing we will meet like that once again in the field next year. Please know that I see each of you as examples of the very best that humanity has to offer.
PS: Please make your choice either via the email you receive from us via RunSignup.com or visit Runsignup.com/loop and look up your entry via the email address you used. If you do not make a choice by April 4, 2020 we will assume you are choosing to donate your entry fee and we thank you.
This is new to all of us and we thank you for your patience while we come up with a workable plan to move forward.
Our venue host, the Westchester County Parks Department, must agree to any date changes before we move forward. This can take time as they have many other things going on right now related to the pandemic — and race logistics might understandably not be their highest priority.
We will offer runners choices which will be flexible. But we are not currently ready to announce a plan. When we are we will send an email update and post a website update with clear alternatives and instructions.
We anticipate having information about our plan out by March 26 if not sooner.
We are all in this together — and we know that runners in our Loop family will understand and respect our determination to put on a safe race.
Take care, stay well, and hope to see you on the trails!
Check out the video and photos which capture the unique spirit of the loop.
The 2017 Loop video trailer above features some highlights from Loop videos made in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2011, and 2015 (2). Thanks to Dean Leggiero, Rob Cummings, John Cummings, Jr., Mitch Stein, Wilderness Bob, Christy Cuomo, Tom Anckner, and a few others for taking the videos. The short 3 minute video features Griffin “Buck” Farro, Danny Martin, Madison Haller, the Albertus Magnus girls track team, Kate Paletta, Hernando Munoz, Joe Stanley, Tom Nohilly, Kerry Arsenault, Stan “Leatherman” Telega, Bob Goldblatt, Tony Godino, and many of the runners of the Loop in those years.
More stories, race reports, photos, and videos can be found here: