Registered Loop Runners,
Get that training into high gear… one month until the 24th running of the Leatherman’s Loop!
We have some treats in store for Loop runners this year. One item we are really excited about sharing: Our official starter this year will be Caballo Blanco who was featured in the recent book “Born to Run” by Christopher MacDougal and founder of the Copper Canyon Trail Ultramarathon. You can watch a great video about the Tarahumara runners of the Copper Canyon in this short titled “Super Athletes of the Sierra Madre.” Caballo will also run the Loop and speak at the Trailside Museum at 3PM on the day of the Loop (Free to Loop runners – RSVP – limited seating). Caballo will also be in town for two days after the Loop speaking at other locations in Westchester and New York City.
After the registration problems on January 1st we approached the park and asked for an expansion of the running field for this year. The good news is the park management agreed to allow a one-time expansion and as a result we were able to accommodate many more people who were attempting but were unable to register. Many of you are able to run this year due to their accommodation. On the other hand, this means we anticipate at least 200 more runners than last year so the course will be crowded, especially at the start. We would like to ask runners who are not necessarily running for time to hold back a bit at the start. This will help ease the congestion at the entrance to the woods after the meadow start. There are six miles after then where you can use your saved energy to catch and pass—time to develop a race strategy!
Training Note: A small group of runners have been meeting at the Lewisboro Town Park on Sunday mornings at 8AM to train on the Loop trails. All are invited and welcome—next run 3/28 @ 8AM and continuing every Sunday morning until the Loop. Details here: http://www.leathermansloop.org/index.php/site/group_run_this_sunday_march_28/ Last week the group did the first water crossing and split into 2 groups who ran different lengths and paces. This week is runner’s choice!
We’ll be sending out more logistics information via email and posts on the website in next few weeks leading up to the Loop. We’ll keep some surprises for Loop day though…
See you on the trails!
-Mike, Tony, Kate, & Rob
Only 4 more Sundays between now and the Loop! Meet up on Sunday March 28th at Lewisboro Town Park off Route 35 in South Salem, NY. 8AM—course is runner’s choice. Hope you can join us! See prior group run notes (March 7, March 14, March 21) on website for more information. Check this post for information about where we are meeting: http://www.leathermansloop.org/index.php/site/lewisboro_town_park_trails_-_joining_up_with_the_loop_trails/
Found this nice website about trails in Westchester and the surrounding area: http://www.woodlandwalks.org/ Great source for trail maps and well written hike summaries with photos.
Friend of the Loop Geoff Morris sent us information on a Fairfield County, CT 5 trail run called the Daffodil Dash at 8:30am on April 11th:
If people are looking for a great trail race and missed out on the Loop, here is a link for them to consider. It is a Loop-like 5k in Cranbury Park on Wilton/Norwalk line—all trail, with a minor stream crossing, and a kids run in a wide open field immediately after. It is April 11. Thanks for sharing.
From the Active.com description: “Register by March 30th to get free raceday t-shirt! Packet pickup for pre-registered runners will be held at Town and Country Montessori on Friday, April 9th from noon-6pm. Race day registration will begin at 7AM. The proceeds of this event will benefit the non-profit preschool Town and Country Montessori.”
We welcomed in the first full day of spring with a long trek on the trails of Pound Ridge Reservation! Seven runners were there (Lee, Mark, Virginia, Aarti, Holly, Tom, and Rob) to mark the occasion. We went in two groups that met in the middle and at the end. The trail conditions were moist with plenty of mud. The river level has receded back to its normal spring rush. We crossed the river on the course and even took on the mud flats. In fact we followed the Loop course for at least 3/4 of its length as you can see by the map (Blue=Loop course, Red=group 1 run, Yellow=group 2 run cutoffs). We did skip the second water crossing (aka “Splashdown!”) but have it on the agenda for an upcoming run!
If you are thinking about joining us in one of the 4 Sundays (!!) before the Loop, don’t be put off by the length of today’s run – it was longer than the Loop by around a mile but our second group took a ~5 mile route to return (skipping the mud flats near route 124). As the group gets larger we will split into more groups to take on different paces. As long as someone in the group is comfortable with the trails and getting back to the cars, the possibilities are endless with pace and length!
At the end of the run we asked a passing hiker to take a group photo but apparently he was befuddled by my phone’s camera and we got this shot of the group’s shoes (minus mine).
Next week I’ll bring a real camera! Same time (8am Sunday 3/28) & same place (Lewisboro Town Park upper lot).
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!
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.
Same day—same time—same place as last week. We had a great run last weekend. Rain or Shine! Hope you can come!
(Sunday 3/14/10, 8:00am – Upper parking lot of Lewisboro Town Park, off Route 35 in South Salem, NY)
PDF map of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (top part shown above)
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
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!
Team Doug is running in memory of Doug Gorman.
The George C. Fund team is running in memory of George Chatzoupolous.
The Essex Running Club hails from Essex County, NJ.
The Barleycorn Athletic Club.
The Cool Runners:
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.