Q: Did I (or my friends) get selected in the 2020 Loop Lottery?
A: Check this page to see a searchable listing of runners registered for the 2020 Leatherman’s Loop (this list will be updated once the lottery is complete in January 2020).
Some quick links to frequent questions we get about the Leatherman’s Loop (Latest Loop news):
Full FAQ below:
Q: When is the Leatherman’s Loop?
A: In 2020 the race date is Sunday April 26, 2020. Race starts at 9am — but due to
potential guaranteed traffic bottlenecks and tight parking we advise runners to arrive at least 45 minutes before 9am (see “How early should I arrive?” question below for more details).
With only a few exceptions in the past 33 years, the Loop has been the Sunday following the Boston Marathon. This was according to the original plan and intent of the Loop founders and many of the original runners who were frequently entered into Boston.
Q: What is the Leatherman’s Loop?
A: It is a unique 10K trail run held in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation starting in Cross River and heading through Pound Ridge and South Salem, NY. Check this video, this article from the Lewisboro Ledger, this article from the first Loop in 1987, plus a bunch of other news articles on this site. Lots of photos can be found here.
Many people have described it but you must experience it for yourself to know what the Loop is. Get an annotated pdf map here showing the course, check a brief video about the Loop, or you can download the WPRR trail map showing the newest trails such as the Rock Trail and the Dancing Rock short loop.
Q: Who Started the Loop?
A: The Leatherman’s Loop was started by four trail running friends back in 1987. Check this first edition of the Founder’s Newsletter to read some background and history of the Loop. It is a great story and even better when Tony or one of the other founders tells it in person.
The current group guiding the Loop is here and is helped by an experienced volunteer group of 40-50 people each year to help pull off this fantastic event (plus “Run the Farm” in October and other Trail Mix Series events during the year).
Q: How do I get in touch with you or sign up for updates?
A: Either: click here (to sign up for our email list) or here (to contact us via a web form where you can enter a question). We also have a facebook page, a twitter feed, and you can follow us on tumblr. One or more of those should do it, especially since email is very unreliable.
For the email list sign up you will get a confirmation immediately from our email company that you must click on to actually confirm you own that email address. This is an automated way of preventing random people from signing others up for a mailing list they don’t want to hear from.
For the “contact us” form, we usually get the message within a day or so (and sometimes sooner). It may take a bit to get back to you — or you might get a response the same day — but we should respond. If we don’t please send another message — we won’t mind!
Q: I sent you an email and never heard back. What’s up?
A: Thanks for reaching out and thanks for your patience!
We get a lot of emails (especially around lottery week and race day) and sometimes one or two slip through the cracks. Try re-sending your note. We usually respond within 48 hours and frequently sooner. If it takes us any longer, re-send and remember — honey catches more flies than vinegar! (translation: be nice 😉
Q: What should I wear to the loop?
A: Your Sunday best of course! It is up to you and depends on the weather…
Shorts are what most people wear. Lighter stretch or warmup pants are OK as long as they dry quickly. There are only a few sections of the loop with long grasses so lower leg coverings (gaiters) may be an option.
You can wear a warm up shirt/jacket to the starting line and drop it as you pass the finish line in the meadow—it will be waiting for you near the tee-pee when you finish.
And don’t forget—Bring a change of clothes (including clean socks and shoes)!
Q: Are there aid stations/water tables on the course?
A: Yes – there is a water station at just under the halfway point. It is just before the mud flats. There is also water available at the start/finish area near the teepee.
The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps will also be stationed near the showmobile/bib pickup area in case you need medical attention.
Q: How do I get to the park?
A: Driving directions and map are here. If you search for Michigan Road and Reservation Road in Cross River NY that will get you a map location within frisbee tossing distance from the starting area (well, maybe a well thrown frisbee). Parking is just a bit up Reservation Road from there. On race day — unless you are early — follow the line of cars and watch for parking directions from the parking wranglers.
Q: How early should I arrive?
A: The Loop starts at 9AM. We recommend arriving by 8:15-8:20 if you have done this before. Get here earlier than that if you are new to the Loop.
Remember, there are 1,300 other people (give or take a few) arriving around the same time through a single-lane road.
You will need time to park, get yourself ready, pick up your bib (and shirt if ordered), put your shirt back in your car, check the course map, meet up with friends, and gather across the meadow to the starting line. If you have extra time, check out the level of the Cross River at the final water crossing near the start line.
There are port-o-sans in the picnic area adjacent to the Meadow parking lot (maps). There are also restrooms at the park entrance by the entry gate. Could be a timesaver — plus they are not port-o-sans!
Q: Is there overnight camping at the reservation?
A: Yes. You should make a booking well ahead of time through the park. The night before the loop is very popular! No surprise.
Check their website here: http://parks.westchestergov.com/ward-pound-ridge-reservation/ward-pound-ridge-fees for contact information. If you do camp out overnight you might think about bringing a bike to get down to the Meadow parking lot in the morning rather than driving your car due to the crowds.
Q: What should I do to keep my sneakers on my feet?
A: Tie your laces tight. Try a shoelace surgeon’s knot, similar to a shoelace knot but much more secure with one extra loop that combines the tightness of a double knot with the untying ease of a regular shoelace knot. Tuck in the lace ends and loops between the tongue and laces of your shoes after you have tied them. Wear shoes you have used before and are trustworthy.
Some people use duct tape around their shoes — but I find that reduces traction on the ground. Your mileage may vary.
Q: Do I need special shoes for the Loop? Will my sneakers get ruined by the course and mud?
A: No and No. Regular running shoes are fine for the Loop.
However, trail running shoes are a nice plus and will help with traction. But we have no boulders and only a few rock faces to navigate. Most of the (above water) trail is single track dirt/mud or slightly wider.
We have kept our (muddy) shoes from each loop. After a trip through the washer and dryer they are good to go. Some folks have retired their sneakers after a run on the Loop. The course is honored to have met those sneakers and helped them run their last race.
Q: Last year I got blisters on my toes from wet socks chafing. How can I avoid this?
A: Put vaseline on your toes and in between them and also rub some on the balls of your feet prior to putting your socks on. Don’t use too much vaseline, just enough to make the water bead. You can also check out thinner quick drying socks – but don’t change from your regular socks close to a race.
Q: Will you still hold the Loop if it is raining/ sleeting/ hailing/ snowing/ etc?
A: Yes! No Loop has ever been postponed for any reason — and we hope it will never happen!
Q: Is there a kids loop?
A: There are no plans to hold a kids loop event due to course and logistical limits. We do have a kids race in the fall — “Kids Run The Farm” 1 mile trail race and at Muscoot Farm off Route 100 in Katonah/Somers, NY. Check the Run The Farm website for more information.
Q: Is there an age cutoff?
A: There is no upper boundary! Or do you mean how old kids have to be? 😉 This is one decision you know your kids best — it is up to you to decide. One thing we do know is kids younger than 10 should NOT run the course solo. Age 11-12 depends on their running experience.
The choice of running the Loop with your young child is up to you and you should stick with them the whole way.
Please keep in mind several things we have learned from actually running the Loop with young kids in the race over the years:
- Kids get colder a lot quicker than adults – bring layers and keep in mind the water crossing at the 1.5 mile mark means 4.7 miles of running wet.
- Kids take longer and they get hungry – bring a small bar for a snack — and keep it dry.
- Kids get thirsty faster – take your own water supply even though there is a water stop at around halfway.
- The experience of the Mudflats for a child can vary wildly based on a.) the day’s temperature, b.) the depth of the mud, and c.) your child’s level of fitness. Since it is at the halfway mark, that mud can (and has) turned kids around.
- Have a towel, a warm change of clothes (including socks and shoes), and a hot drink and breakfast snack they like ready in the car for when you finish.
- If you are registered with your young child you may want to try a course check (solo or with them) before the Loop. It is less crowded and will give you and your child a taste of what they are in for — and it will likely be warmer on the actual Loop date so it will seem easier!
- Kids can benefit from having another kid run with them for competition and camaraderie. Consider having a friend come along.
Most kids who run are between 10-14 years old. The youngest to complete the course was 7 years old. One year a six year old started but turned around at the mud flats. After that we changed the minimum official registration age to 7 — but we are willing to accommodate special requests if you reach out with your request (email@example.com).
Most kids attempt it for the first time after their parents have experienced it at least once. High school age kids tend to either not want to do it or be involved with organized track/cross country and their coach tells them “no way” (unless it is Coach Nohilly).
Any other kid questions, contact us and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
Q: Who is Doug Gorman from the Mud Flats?
A: Check this story posted in 2009.
Q: Can we bring dogs on the course (or to the park to watch)?
A: PLEASE READ BELOW BEFORE COMING to the park WITH YOUR DOG.
We have been required by our insurance company to prohibit dogs running in the race.
This is a new policy starting with the 2020 Leatherman’s Loop. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Spectator Dog Rules:
- Dogs must be leashed at all times. (This is a county law for all parks.)
- No long leads or retractible leads allowed.
- You know your dog best, so make sure they can deal with large numbers of people at the park (and many other dogs). If they can’t deal with it and they become a nuisance or a danger, you will be asked to take your dog home.
Note: No dogs are allowed in picnic areas at the park! Park rules.
Q: Why do I have to keep my dog on a leash?
A: Once you see the crowds and spectators you will understand. Off leash dogs would cause a safety hazard and are absolutely not allowed by county park law. If your dog is off leash you will get asked to leave.
From the Trailside Museum FAQ: It is a county ordinance at county parks that all dogs be leashed. And it was passed for good reason: even the best-trained dog may react instinctively when it encounters wildlife, thereby putting either itself or another animal in danger. Additionally, families as well as school groups hike the trails and some people are afraid of dogs.
Q: Should I clean my dog’s poop if he or she goes?
A: We shouldn’t have to answer this one — but just in case you were truly wondering — the answer is YES! ALWAYS clean up after your dog any time you visit the park. This goes for all parks — and pretty much everywhere else. Nothing is worse than enjoying a nice trail run or race and then smelling that awful smell and discovering you’ve stepped in it. The Meadow in the Springtime can be a veritable minefield of dog crap.
If you ever think of leaving the poop — or even worse: bagging it and then leaving it on the trail — please don’t come to the park or our races ever.
Q: Are headphones allowed during the run?
A: No headphones – this is new starting in 2014 and driven by safety reasons and runner feedback.
First reason: being a good trail running citizen! The course is very crowded, especially at the beginning. You will not be able to hear anyone coming up behind you and yelling “on your left” or “on your right.” When you get to the single track trails, the twists & turns, and the funneling of runners, this can be a safety issue.
Second: Your music player will very likely be wrecked by the various water and mud hazards on the course. A slip and fall at the wrong time will get your electronics an appointment with the rice baggie… (which doesn’t work so well with mud)
Third, you miss a vital part of the Leatherman’s Loop experience: the sounds of the race, the gleeful whoops of runners who have encountered the next obstacle, and the musical surprises on the trail waiting for the runners to pass by.
If you use music as a motivational spur for your solo workouts, consider this: you are not solo on this run… The 1,000+ other people around you should provide sufficient motivation and energy for your time on the trail during the Loop!
Q: When does registration open?
Q: Why are you doing race entry by lottery?
A: See the Loop Lottery FAQ for lots of detail on why. The demand has been high over the last 10 years and we unfortunately can’t accommodate all who want to run. The lottery addresses the online bottlenecks since lottery registration will be open for 4 days before we do the lottery selection. Runners can register (or have friends register them) for the lottery at their leisure during that time with no chance of the race closing out in the middle of a registration.
Q: Why is the Loop registration limited? Why don’t you allow XXXX number of runners?
A: The course gets very crowded at the beginning, causing a backlog at the entrance to the woods trail and in the first pine forest before the first water crossing. The Loop has gotten very popular over the years and there simply isn’t room for all of the runners that want to experience the Loop in any given year.
In addition to the course limits, parking room is also a factor. We have been able to increase the numbers of runners due to the frequent use of CARPOOLS by our runners (Thank You!). We encourage you to carpool as it minimizes our footprint at the park and reflects favorably on the Loop.
The Loop has grown a little bit each of the past few years. The care we all take while using the park ensures we can keep coming back.
Q: Can you cut down on the number of runners in the Loop?
A: If the Dutch can hold back the Atlantic I suppose we could reduce the number of runners in the Loop below what we currently let in, but why? As we see it, we have two options: The first is to receive criticism from a couple of runners about (real) course crowding. The second is receive criticism from hundreds more runners because they got shut out. We do in fact turn away hundreds of runners during and after the Loop Lottery and we feel badly that we have to hold some folks back. Thankfully we have always been able to offer a guaranteed spot the next year to those runners turned away in the previous lottery.
On some levels the actual running is just one piece of what the Loop is about. There are many smaller and less crowded trail races and our hope is that enthusiastic trail runners who may be turned off by the size of the crowd at the Loop would consider supporting some of the other wonderful trail races out there.
NOTE: We teamed up with other local trail races in 2014 to form the Trail Mix Trail Series. Check the website out for information about these other great local trail races and please support them so they will continue.
The past few years we have let in roughly the same number of entrants. We have a rough idea of the number of no-shows and we factor that in to our plans for the Loop and how many runners we expect. But until we count the number of finishers, we have no idea (other than an upper limit) of how many registered runners we had on the course.
On warmer sunny Loop days we expect to have more registered runners show up vs. colder rainier Loop days when we expect fewer registered runners. The Loop being what it is — and attracting the type of runner it attracts — we have found that rainy days actually resulted in a lower no-show rate (i.e. more registered runners showed up) than when the weather was nicer. We’re sure there’s a sociology or psychology paper in there somewhere. We have just gone back to educated guesses on how many finishers we will have in a given year.
Q: Is there any way to guarantee entry to the Loop via the Lottery?
A: YES! If you complete the prior year’s Trail Mix Series — by completing 4 of the 6 races in the series — then you are guaranteed entry when you enter the Loop Lottery the following January. Race entry fee still applies, but you are guaranteed selection in the Loop Lottery when you are complete the Trail Mix Series the in the year before the Loop Lottery. Also since the Loop is one of the 4 races needed for the next Trail Mix Series, you actually only have to run in 3 additional Trail Mix races to complete the series, although you will find that running all of them is a great plan too.
In addition to the Trail Mix Series, longtime Loop runners also get automatic selection in the Loop Lottery. If you appear on this page, you will get an automatic selection in the Loop Lottery if you enter.
Q: I didn’t get an email about my selection in the Loop Lottery, was I picked?
A: We will have a searchable list of lottery selections available after the selections have been made. Check the Loop Lottery FAQ.
A: Race registration cost is listed here (plus processing fee).
When you register, a portion of your race fee will go to paying the $10 per car County Parks parking fee.
Some Loop history: Before 2008, park employees would collect the parking fee from every car entering the Rez for the race. If you think the drive into the Rez on the morning of the Loop is crowded now, imagine the wait when each car had to roll down their window and pay the parking fee, making change for everyone. Slow going is an understatement!
Starting in 2008 the park and the Harriers came up with a plan to speed up the entry into the park. The race organizers now pay a parking fee based on the total number of cars entering on the morning of the Loop. A park employee simply counts the cars as they go by and we write them a check. Believe us when we say it is SO MUCH BETTER!
It is for this reason that we ask all of you to do your part and CARPOOL with at least 1 other runner. That way we can maximize the charitable donation the Leatherman Harriers make after the Loop is completed — and also save you $$ on gas! Plus the Loop is a lot more fun when shared.
The T-shirt purchase is $20 and is optional. The only way to ensure you have a t-shirt waiting when you pick up your bib is to pre-order it while registering. We will have a limited number of additional t-shirts screened and for sale on the day of the Loop but these are first come first serve and all sizes may not be available. Check the designs from the past 31 years to get an idea of what they can look like.
Q: What are the awards and categories?
We have awards for top 3 male and top 3 female finishers overall.
Also top 3 for age categories: 14 & under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80+ if needed for both male and female runners.
Prizes are pies, tarts, and pastries. Occasionally we will have special awards of a half-dozen fresh donuts in a bag. If you are not at the post race awards to collect your prize we can’t send them to you as the pies & tarts are perishable. They will be given to the nearest small child who looks hungry.
Q: Why is a t-shirt not included with race registration?
A: Leatherman’s Loop is—and always has been—completely runner supported. By doing it this way the Loop is not dependent on sponsors and is totally driven by and funded by the runners. The Loop t-shirts are one of a kind each year and designed by an artist. They have no ads on them at all which is what we’d have to do to make them ‘free’ with registration like many other races.
We will have a limited quantity of shirts available for purchase at the Loop if you would like to wait to decide to purchase the shirt. If there is any money left over from the Loop we donate it to many different worthy causes.
Q: Can I purchase a shirt without registering for the race — or in the “non-Loop” season?
We only sell the special annual Loop race shirts with registration — and limited supplies on the day of the Loop. Once they run out, that’s it.
As a test, we have set up an experimental Loop Store at a site that does “on demand” t-shirt and other merchandise printing and shipping. Check this page: http://leathermansloop.org/frequently-asked-questions/loop-apparel/
At this link you can find a variety of shirts, hats, sweats, shorts, water bottles, bags, towels, etc. that you can choose from — including tech shirts. Let us know what you think if you order an item through there. We have purchased samples and they are all good quality materials. Note these are not the yearly race shirt designs.
Q: I never heard from you guys about registration and I signed up for updates or ran a previous Loop, what happened?
A: We don’t know. You should have heard from us if we have your email address (you can sign up again if you are not sure – the system automatically eliminates duplicate email addresses).
We email everyone in our email list with a note carrying the date and details of registration opening.
We have email addresses for runners who have run the Loop from around 2005 onwards (unless you removed yourself from the list or the email bounced due to a job change, etc.).
Why wouldn’t our emails reach you? Many reasons:
- Email addresses change,
- you typed in your email address incorrectly,
- sunspots interfere with the electrical grid,
- your kid deletes your emails,
- our emails to you get tagged as spam by your company’s defcon 5 level firewall,
- you tag our emails as spam (your email gets removed and we can’t add your email back to our list! That’s your problem, not ours! Use another email address),
- A few runners have repeatedly tagged our emails as spam yet they still sign up for our races. Why do people do this?
Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book to help ensure you receive our emails and they are not tagged as spam.
Email unreliability is one reason we created this website that you are reading right now.
- In 2010 we created a Facebook page.
- In 2011 we also set up a Leatherman Twitter account if that is more your speed.
- In 2014 we set up a Tumblr site.
- In 2018 we started Instagramming.
(This Leatherman is more social than the 19th century kind.)
All of these sites show the latest news about the Loop and associated trail races.
Note the Leatherman will NOT be getting a LinkedIn, Friendster, MySpace, or other social media account — although he keeps getting invited to join LinkedIn to join the “19th Century Wanderers” discussion and networking group. This should go without saying, but PLEASE stop sending LinkedIn invites. The Leatherman does not have a “Professional Network.” Only a social one… 😉
HERE’S A GOOD SUGGESTION: put December 26th into your computer’s calendar as a recurring “Leatherman’s Loop Reminder Day.” Check back on the website then to see what’s up with the Loop registration.
Q: What?! I missed out on registration? I missed the lottery? How did this happen?
A: See question above for at least 4 ways of getting reminded of the Loop Lottery in early January. Make sure you are on the Loop email list. If you are one of our muddiest runners, contact us if want in and plead your case to the mud court.
Q: Is there a waiting list?
A: Contact us to get on the waiting list and put “waiting list” in the subject.
The bottom line is we only had a handful of spots open up after the lottery the last few years — and usually these are too late to get anyone in. In addition we let in more people than our goal for the race field size since we know there will be runners who can’t make it for one reason or another come race day.
You can add your name to our notification list for next year and for the October “Run The Farm” race we also put on. Click on the sign up link on the home page and submit your name and email via the form.
And check out this great list of other trail races in the tri-state area. Support your local trail races so they will continue!
Q: If I was not picked in the current year Lottery, will that improve my chances for next year’s entry?
A: We plan to reset each year with a clean slate. However, we have made accommodations for runners who registered for the lottery but did not get picked and did not get to run (we have the list for each year, all you need to do is sign up for the lottery). So if you register for the Loop Lottery — and did not get picked — we will try to make your entry for the next year automatic — BUT you HAVE TO sign up for the Loop Lottery to get your automatic selection.
We may or may not continue this special accommodation each year — it depends on the number of registrations we receive for that year’s Lottery and how many we have to turn away.
Contact us if you have had any registration problems entering the Loop Lottery BEFORE the lottery drawing.
Q: Can I just show up on the day of the Loop and register?
A: NO! — It has been over 12 years since we had same day registration for the Loop.
Same day, walk-in, last minute registrations are not allowed and have not been since 2007. We typically have hundreds of people waiting to get in who missed the lottery. It is simply not fair to the others who are registered and those who were shut out and ahead of you.
Unless you are a confirmed runner who has received a confirmation email and is listed on the confirmation page, please don’t come expecting to run in the race.
You can check our registration page here for the link to make sure you are on the registered runner list: http://leathermansloop.org/registration/ If you are not on the list linked to at this page — you are not registered! Please verify before coming to run on Loop morning.
Get in touch with us BEFORE LOOP MORNING if you think you are registered for the Loop but your name is not on the list at the link above.
On the day of the Loop you will be turned away if you are not registered. Our list is final.
Q: Can I run using someone else’s bib?
A: NO! Runners CANNOT USE ANOTHER RUNNERS BIB! Anyone we see doing this will have their names changed to TURKEY in the results and be banned from future Loops.
People who do this play havoc with the results and are also cheating the rest of the running field by not supporting the race.
As an example: In a recent Loop, a 20 year old male ran using a 50 year old female’s bib number. The results for the “woman” put her (really him) as the top finisher in the F50-59 category. This pushed the real first place finisher in that division to second. Another example is the 18 year old who ran and won 3rd place in the F40 category, pushing out the rightful 3rd place winner from winning their pie. This is not good sportsmanship. We only discovered these problems after the awards were made. It may not seem like a big deal to you when you do it, but it is a big deal to us and the people who are wrongfully passed over. Just don’t do it please. Also, your name goes on a list of not eligible to win the loop lottery if you bandit the race.
Also, when you sign up to run the Loop, you sign a waiver. When you give someone else your number, they haven’t signed a waiver. Our insurance company doesn’t like that. If something happens to them, they’re not covered. When you register for the race, the waiver also states you will not give your bib to another runner.
If you can’t register for the Loop or miss out in the lottery, please consider volunteering (see below), coming to run during a course check in the weeks leading up to the loop, cheering your friends/family on, or registering and running in another local trail race. Plus there’s always next year!
Q: I missed out on registration, can I volunteer?
A: YES! Absolutely! Please get in touch via email (email@example.com) or the contact us form. The earlier the better since we finalize volunteer assignments in early April. Our experienced crew welcomes and could always use new faces. If you have any unique talents (photography, food prep, medical/EMT, good handwriting, crowd control, small aircraft operation, access to weather balloons and lots of helium, or have access to or own one of these, etc.) or preferences let us know you are interested in helping out and that will help us place you in a good spot. We’ll get in touch right away to confirm and then again closer to race date regarding race day assignments.
Q: Why don’t you just have a second Loop or second heat?
A: We announced in January 2015 the addition of the first new trail race at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (aka “The Rez”) since 1996 – The Raven Rocks Run 10k. We held the first running of that race in November 2015 and plan to bring it back for a fifth year on November 10, 2019.
We also have group runs at the Rez and other parks on sundays if you are interested.
Loop History: We did try having a second heat in the Loop a few years back. The result was a runner revolt when seemingly everyone who was slotted for the second heat wanted to trade spots to get into the first heat. We ended up scrapping the second heat idea and everyone started at the same time. A second heat 15-30 minutes later also does nothing to help with the parking limitations. A second race later the same day was also deemed not workable since that would require a second shift of volunteers and many other logistical issues which don’t happen with a single event.
Q: Are there other trail races in the area?
A: Try the Trail Mix Trail Series which we and other local trail race directors started in 2014.
Run The Farm is a trail race started by the Leatherman Harriers in October 2010. The annual Run The Farm and Kids Run The Farm trail races are run in October and we are looking forward to another big success. The Sarah Bishop Bushwhack was run for the first time in September 2013 and is an ongoing success — run the last Sunday in September. The Raven Rocks Run is a 10k at the Rez held in November.
Also please check this link for some upcoming local trail races. Thanks to Chris Jaworski for his work on keeping the list current. He could use your help if you know of a trail run that is not included. His contact information is at the link above.
A: No. Registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable (that means no resale of bibs). We don’t do deferrals. See this article for some reasons why (excerpt below).
In essence, we hope you understand our simple approach meets our desire to do four simultaneous things: • Put on a top quality event; • Keep the registration fees modest; • Maximize the efforts of our volunteers toward race-related duties; and • Raise money to improve the trails and park.
Our all-volunteer organization does not have time for a rush of transfers and deferrals in the month or so before the loop. People still ask, and the answer is no. If you are reading this, thanks for not asking and we are very sorry we can’t accommodate you.
Q: I can’t attend this year. What is your cancellation policy? Can I defer my registration to next year?
A: No, we do not offer deferrals of registrations from year to year. See above.
Q: Can I transfer my registration to another person?
A: No. Registration is non refundable and non transferable. See above.
Q: How is the race timing done?
A: In 2015 we moved to a chip timing system now that the chips can survive mud and water. This helps speed up the results reporting at the end of the race. We had historically used bibs and tear tags along with a computer timing system. Runners were timed when they cross the finish line and their tear tags were collected at the end of the finish chute. See this detailed explanation of the historic method if you have questions.
Q: What will get me banned from getting picked in future Loop Lotteries?
The list is short and not exhaustive because we don’t want to spend too much time thinking of possibilities. Here are some ways to make sure you don’t get picked in the Loop Lottery:
-Cutting the course or other cheating.
-Runners who start with dogs in main pack and don’t wait for the other runners to start after being asked not to do this.
-Not cleaning up after your dog(s).
-Assaulting or purposely injuring another runner.
Q: What will get my bib pulled on course and DSQ?
-See above list.
Q: What will get me DSQ from the race?
-Running with another runners bib is an automatic DSQ.
-Doing it more than once will get you on the list of banned runners.
Q: Is Ward Pound Ridge Reservation a Native American reservation?
A: No. It is a reserved area for plants and animals. However, there has been a Native American presence in the park in the past as evidenced by the Bear Rock petroglyph and remains of a hunting camp/expedition.
Q: What is the Navajo/Irish Blessing that is given at the start of each Loop?
A: The Chant/Blessing is given by Danny Martin. It goes:
Beauty before me when I run. Beauty behind me when I run. Beauty below me when I run. Beauty above me when I run. Beauty beside me when I run. Beauty within me when I run.
I see Beauty all around. In beauty may I walk. In beauty may I see. In beauty may we all be.
Q: I am a race director for another local race, can I put flyers for my race in your race bag?
A: We don’t have race bags and we don’t permit any brochures or handouts from any group at the Loop. If someone does this at the Loop, they do not have our permission nor do they have the permission of the Parks Department. We don’t even have information tables.
Our race directors made a conscious choice at the beginning of our event to keep everything as simple as possible. The Loop is sort of unique in that respect for being such a large race with no sponsors, no vendors, no tables, no race “goody” bags, and no handouts of any kind — other than race bibs and purchased shirts.
A few years ago a race director came to the race and put flyers directly on runners cars without asking. By the the end of the Loop the wind-blown flyers were all over the meadow and woods of the pristine park. We spent a great deal of time cleaning up after that one person. It reinforced our long-ago decision.
We were at a Friends of Trailside Museum board meeting (Trailside is the Museum located in the park) a few years back when they asked us if they could hand out information flyers at the Loop. We explained the reasons why we had to refuse and they understood.
The bottom line is if we let one group give out flyers, then all of the groups we said no to in the past — and there are A LOT of groups we have said no to — would likely wonder why. They would also ask if they could come and set up or hand out flyers the next year.
We wish you the best with your event! If you ask we can even feature it with a link on our website, a post on our facebook page, or mention it in one of our runner emails. We only do this with local races — and we have a strong bias towards trail races.