The Westchester 100

No, not an ultramarathon!  The Westchester Trails Association has put together “The Westchester 100.”  Best described at the WTA website:  “It is a project inspired by the publication of the “Walkable Westchester” book by Jane and Walt Daniels. We’ve compiled a list of almost all the hiking areas and trails mentioned in the book, and are sponsoring guided hikes to 99 of these locations. Hike No. 100 is to one or more mystery locations which are not referenced in the book.”  After you complete 50 of the 100 you can write to them and get a certificate.  After you finish 99 of the 100 they reveal the mystery trail to you.

More information about the Westchester 100 can be found at the “News and Notices” page of the WTA website here: http://westhike.org/News_and_Notices.html  A list of the trails and parks in the 100 is here: http://westhike.org/uploads/Westchester_100__website_.pdf (PDF file).  More information is here: http://www.nynjtc.org/content/hike-all-trails-westchester-county

There is also a list of hikes to give you a flavor for the book: http://www.nynjtc.org/content/suggested-hikes-walkable-westchester

For those in NJ there is a searchable database of trails in the NY/NJ area here: http://www.nynjtc.org/view/hike

Thanks to the New York New Jersey Trail Conference (http://www.nynjtc.org) and the Westchester Trail Association (http://westhike.org) for putting all of this together.  If you love trails, support these organizations!

Sunday Group Training Run and Report

This week’s Group Run: 3/21/10—same time (8am) same day (Sunday) same place (Lewisboro Town Park upper parking lot).  With the time change a week behind us and warmer sunny weather approaching (60º next weekend…) we expect more runners!  Also it’s the first day of Spring!  See below for trail run report… Facebookers check the website for map of run.

It was a good day for a run on Sunday March 14th.  The time change and the threat of rain kept all but two intrepid Loop runners (Rob and Lee) off the trails in the morning. 

Spring is upon us.  The torrential rains of the days and night before had completely swept away all traces of snow seen the week before.  The Cross River was raging and practically whitewater at spots.  Needless to say, the water crossings were not in the cards and unquestionably dangerous.  Parts of the trail by along the river could more accurately be described as moats.  The boardwalks might have been floating but we couldn’t know for sure since we couldn’t get anywhere near them.  We stayed mostly upland but found new mud flats and climbed the Brown Trail hill.  Many of the trails had come to life as streams.  We managed to keep our footing and our shoes but there were some very boggy spots!  Looking forward to next week and the ever-changing trail.

Training Run Report: Sunday March 7th

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It was a fine day for a run at the reservation!  At 8am Sunday morning five intrepid souls met at the upper parking lot at the Lewisboro Town Park to run the trails of the Pound Ridge Reservation.  Note: next week – same time (8am Sunday 3/14!), same place, different run!

Virginia, Lee, Aarti, Rob, and Ciorsdan headed up the old ski hill towards the Rez.  With week old snow crunching underfoot on this north facing slope the day was crisp and cool with the promise of warmer weather on the way.  At the Deer Hollow trail intersection we headed east towards “The Wall.”  Heading down the hill we encounter running partners Gerry and Christy.  Gerry is a past Loop winner and Christy is training for a 50 mile ultra run!  It felt like we were in very good company and checked in to the Loop circuit.

Further down we pass the Waccabuc River and then on to the old quarry sand hill known as “The Wall.”  We take a run down it, intending to head straight back up.  One of our group asks where the course comes out so we head to the bridge over the river towards the mud flats.  The bridge was built many years back by Loop founders Tony Godino and Dave Cope.  The river marks the boundary between South Salem (east) and Cross River (west).  We turn around and head back up the sand hill, forgoing the mud flats for this day despite the obvious temptation.

At the top of the wall, we head left instead of right on the Deer Hollow trail, making our way further up the hill.  The trail alternates between completely snow covered and completely clear, switching between winter and early spring depending on the exposure.  Down on the other side, Boutonville Road comes up more quickly than expected and we rejoin the Loop course on the other side.  The course follows along the Cross River which is crystal clear and flowing fast.  We break out of the trees near Kimberly Bridge and cross the road again.  We take a right on the Brown trail heading north, getting off the course once again but heading towards home with a few miles and some big climbs ahead. The slope of the brown trail here is almost like “the wall” except longer and without the shifting sand underfoot.  At the bottom it is like a slow moving stream with lots of mud covering the trail.  The downhill side is welcome and covered with more crunchy snow since we are on the north face again.

We join up with the Deer Hollow trail again as we cross briefly back onto the Loop course for a few hundred feet.  Back past JT Farm on our right and up to the top of the Town Park hill under the power lines that separate the two parks.  Back down the ski hill with no skis and to the cars and water.

All those present agreed to meet again and bring friends next week at the same time.  Our pace was easy—if we have a few more runners we may split up to go at different paces.  This run was just under 5 miles but we can work out a course anywhere from 2 to 6+ miles before heading out.  Hope more folks reading this can join us!  Respond at the website or via facebook.  We will meet at 8am at the upper parking lot of the Lewisboro Town Park.

Link to Ward Pound Ridge Trail Map (pdf at site)
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation County Park Information Page

Groups at the Loop in 2010

A big part of the fun on Leatherman’s Loop day is the groups that come to participate.  They range from families to work groups to causes.  This year is no different.

They come with custom t-shirts, dressed up in suits and ties, or simply ride together.  If you have any photos you’d like to share of your group, please send it to us at leathermansloop at gmail.com. 

Below are some photos of groups:

Three generations of the Offermann family ran last year and are ready to go again this year!
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Team Doug is running in memory of Doug Gorman. 
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The George C. Fund team is running in memory of George Chatzoupolous.
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The Essex Running Club hails from Essex County, NJ.
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The Barleycorn Athletic Club.
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The Cool Runners:
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Some other groups we know of are below – send us photos!

The Bimbler’s Sound team joins us from Guilford CT (and the surrounding areas) and has a great series of races up there each year. 

The Montefiore team comes from Montefiore Medical Center in NYC.

If you are running (or have run) in a group at the Loop, shoot us a photo of your group/team in shirts or outfits and we will update this post with your photo.

Anyone up for a training run?

Doing part of the Loop course… runners choice!  Reminder: This weekend!  Sunday March 7th at 8am.  Meet at the Lewisboro Town Park off of Route 35 in South Salem, NY. Park in the upper parking lot (overlooking the baseball field) as described in these posts:
http://www.leathermansloop.org/index.php/site/comments/lewisboro_town_park_trails_-_joining_up_with_the_loop_trails/
http://www.leathermansloop.org/index.php/site/comments/lewisboro_town_park_trails_-_joining_up_with_the_loop_trails_-_western_loop/

Both of these runs are about 4 miles and can be added to or subtracted from easily.

Once runners are there we can decide to take on the Western Loop (wet, with first stream crossing) or Eastern Loop (mud flats, the wall).  We can also decide to run to the Old Field Preserve across the street as described in this post:
http://www.leathermansloop.org/index.php/site/comments/where_do_you_train_old_field_preserve.  Old Field is mostly on a hill so not as muddy or wet but everything will depend on the weather in the days prior to the run!

Depending on how many folks show up we may split up to run at different paces.  I will be in the slower group!

Post here in the comments (or on Facebook) if you are interested in this trail training run.  Thanks!  -Rob

Old Leather Man Talk at Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield CT February 21st

From 4-6PM on Sunday, February 21st, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT is hosting a talk featuring an an exhibition titled “Jeanne C. Finley & John Muse: Sleeping Under the Stars, Living Under the Satellites.”  Author Dan DeLuca will also discuss his research and read passages from his book about The Old Leather Man

From the site (http://www.aldrichart.org/events/?id=566):

In the nineteenth century, a wandering vagrant known as the Leatherman (due to his sixty-pound handmade suit) spent thirty years walking a 365-mile clockwise circuit every thirty-four days through towns in New York and Connecticut. The Leatherman is one of the local historical figures whose daily routines are examined in the exhibition Jeanne C. Finley & John Muse: Sleeping Under the Stars, Living Under the Satellites.

Join historian and author Dan DeLuca as he reads passages and tells us about the process of creating his book, The Old Leather Man: Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend, followed by a book signing.

Lecture price is free for Museum members, $10 for non-members. You can register online to attend.

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Leatherman Featured on LCTV

Lewisboro Community Television (LCTV, local channel 20) is featuring two Leatherman programs in its current program rotation. 

The two shows are “The Road Between Heaven and Hell” which is a 1984 documentary about the Old Leather Man produced by the Connecticut Humanities Council.  It is around 30 minutes long.  We posted an article about the documentary last year with links to the documentary on YouTube.  The TV version quality is much better than the YouTube version but for those outside the local cable area the online version is worthwhile.

The second show is a video from 2005 of the Leatherman’s Loop 10k Trail Run from a runner’s perspective.  It is about 5 minutes long and follows the documentary after about 10 minutes of the Lewisboro Rec Department update.  The Loop video has been featured at this website for the last few years. 

Program time and date details are here: http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/lewisboroledger/community/lctv-guide.html

Enjoy!

Loop 2010 Registration Stats

Once again New York City leads in the number of Loop registrants.  Ridgefield, CT is #2 by itself, but if you combine the various Bedford addresses (Bedford, Bedford Hills, Bedford Corners), they take over the #2 spot.  Pound Ridge and South Salem rank 4th and 5th.  Both Pound Ridge (Kimberly Bridge to water stop) and South Salem (mud flats through ‘the wall’) contain sections of the Leatherman’s Loop.  Katonah, Brooklyn, Darien, New Caanan, and Stamford round out the top 10. 

More than 70% of the Loop—including the start and end—is in Cross River NY which was tied for 24th in registrations.  Cross River, South Salem, Goldens Bridge (#23), Waccabuc (#43), and Vista are all part of the town of Lewisboro NY

Harrington Park and Wyckoff were the top NJ towns (tied at #38).  There are nearly 300 different towns and cities represented by runners in the Loop.

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Top states are NY, NJ, and CT.  Together these three states accounted for 94% of the registrations for the 2010 Loop.  Next was MA, then VT. 

The surprise this year is in the #6 spot: Nebraska!  No, this is not a typo—we are getting a visit from six members the Leatherman Family: Eric, Zach, Andy, and Daniel along with two significant others.  They are not only our first registrants ever from Nebraska, they are also the first Leathermen since the late 1880s to run the Loop! 

We will also have representatives from 15 other states plus a runner from the UK.  Maine, Tennessee and Pennsylvania each have 3 runners.  Washington, Kansas, and Illinois have two runners each.  We have one runner registered from Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Maryland, Louisiana, Washington DC, California, and Colorado.  All total there are 21 states and two countries represented in this year’s Loop!  That equals last year (with some different states) and is up 50% in state representation from 2008.

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