Two Weeks to Go!

Leatherman’s Loop News, Volume 30, Issue 1

30th Leatherman’s Loop in 2 Weeks!

To: Everyone who is registered for the 2016 Leatherman’s Loop:


Winter is over, spring is here… Winter is over, spring is here… Just keep saying it and maybe it will happen by this year’s Loop! Regardless of the the temperature or the weather we hope you are ready — because it’s time for the 30th running of the Leatherman’s Loop Trail Race on April 24th!

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

For those who like to get organized ahead of time, we will have early bib & shirt pickup at the entrance to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation on Saturday April 23rd from 10am-12pm. We will be in the WPA Gallery across from the entrance booth. Come on over — it will make race day a bit less hectic for everyone!

Here are some tips that will help you on race morning:

Traffic backing up at the entrance near race time - arrive early to avoid the crush.

Traffic backing up at the entrance near race time – arrive early to avoid the crush.

1.) ARRIVE EARLY! Please plan to arrive at the park before 8:15am — or even earlier if you can swing it. The regular $10 parking fee is already incorporated as part of the loop entry fee so entry goes more quickly. Bonus: When you arrive early you will avoid the traffic backup at the entrance to the park. Traffic always backs up at the park entrance as race time approaches so please plan and execute an early arrival. You will thank yourself when you are relaxed and ready to go at the start line. If you do find yourself stuck in traffic please be patient.

2.) DRIVE SLOWLY and CAREFULLY in the Park! Watch the volunteers who are directing the parking. Car pool if you can & PARK TIGHT! For a helpful overview of the race location (parking, start, bib pickup), check the logistics page of the website here.

3.) BRING A FULL CHANGE OF CLOTHING! You will get wet and you will get muddy. Where and how you change after the race 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 completing a Loop. Plan accordingly!

Race director Tony Godino gives out last minute instructions to runners before the start.

Race director Tony Godino gives out last minute instructions to runners before the start.

4.) LISTEN ATTENTIVELY TO PRE-LOOP ANNOUNCEMENTS! We need a few minutes of your time before the start. Race Director Tony Godino 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. Rocks and slippery ledges lurk under the surface of the water. Slow down and DON’T DIVE into the water under any circumstances.

5.) LISTEN FOR THE START! Following the instructions, Danny Martin will give a brief poem/blessing to set the tone. Then we will start the runners.

6.) IF YOU SEE MUD, RUN THROUGH IT! There’s no avoiding the mud — so simply embrace it, get dirty, and get going. After the first mile, nobody’s shoes will be clean or dry.


Fording the splashdown river crossing.

7.) STAY ON COURSE IF YOU CAN’T CONTINUE! There will be a number of “race 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.

8.) RUNNERS WITH DOGS MUST WAIT AND START 3 MINUTES AFTER THE MAIN GROUP! We will make this announcement at the start as well. If your dog is running with you in the Loop you MUST GO TO THE BACK OR SIDE OF THE START LINE with your dog and watch the main start! We realize this puts runners with dogs at a timing disadvantage, but the dogs & leashes at the start were becoming a safety hazard. The national running organization (USATF) which both sanctions and insures the race will no longer sanction or insure any race that allows runners with dogs. We are bending the rules this year so please be respectful of the delayed start request.

If you plan to take a dog as a spectator, the county park law requires ALL dogs in parks be leashed at ALL times. This is for the safety of your dogs, other park patrons, and other dogs visiting.

9.) PLEASE LEAVE YOUR HEADPHONES IN THE CAR! This is a recent requirement. We ask for your safety and for other runners sake. If you can’t hear other runners — especially during the big start — it can cause problems for you and others on the trail.

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 you know 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.


There will be mud

11.) 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 the Ceisler Family for continuing this 8th year of the food drive. 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 by later in the afternoon on the Loop website. Check it out at

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, course sweeps, and the clean-up crew—not to mention the Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, and Westchester County Police officers and the fantastic and dedicated members of the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps!

Bib pickup table.

Bib pickup table.

14.) WATCH FOR THE LEATHERMAN! Remember that this event celebrates the life of the Leatherman. Learn his story and by all means make some noise when you see him on race Sunday. If you don’t see him before the race, The Leatherman and all of the musicians have agreed to make themselves available for photos with you after you finish

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,

Tony, Judy, Rob, Mike, and the rest of the Leatherman Harriers

PS: Some useful links…

• Follow the Loop on Facebook

• Map and Directions to the Reservation
• A runners overview of the Leatherman’s Loop trail
• Searchable list of registered runners
Run on the trails on Sundays all year round!

• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Loop is the first in a series of trail races called The Trail Mix. Check these upcoming Trail Mix races (and some other favorite races of ours):

(Note: this went out as an email to all registered runners for the 2016 Loop. If you did not receive it via email and you are registered, you may want to check your spam folder and set up on your address book/white list.)

Note: There is no same day registration for the 2016 Leatherman’s Loop.

8th Annual “Help Feed The Leatherman” Food Drive


Don’t forget — Bring your food donations to the Loop on April 24th!

Loop runners have been incredibly generous in the past years with donations of food items to the local community.

The volunteer food drive “Help Feed The Leatherman” collected over 6,000 pounds of food donations for the Community Center of Northern Westchester food pantry at the Loop over the past 7 years.

This year – the 8th year of the drive – David Ceisler of Katonah continues to spearhead the organization and dropoff with the help of his daughter Rosie. The donation minivan will be set up near the showmobile on the morning of the Loop. Please remember to bring some food donations! List of needed items is below.

Why a food drive? The Old Leatherman came to the same places on such a regular schedule that people “could set their clocks by his arrival.” In each community he passed, the Leatherman had identified a home or two where he knew friendly people would provide food whenever he appeared. Some residents would set plates of food out for him when he was expected, and the Leatherman would come by and clean the plate. We are asking our runners to “put the plate of food out” for the Leatherman.

Sam and David Ceisler deliver food donations to the Community Center after the Loop in 2013. Note the Crystal Rock water boxes used to gather the donations!

Sam and David Ceisler deliver food donations to the Community Center after the Loop in 2013.

People come the center every day in need of help. The Center’s mission is to improve the well-being of our neighbors. That is what many people years ago did for the Leatherman.

The Center is in need of

  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Dried and canned beans 
  • Hot and cold cereal 
  • Tuna and canned meat 
  • Cans of soup, beef stew and chili 
  • Pasta, rice and spaghetti sauce
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Fruit juice 
  • Baby food and diapers 
  • Dry or shelf-stable milk

This is not a requirement. Please help if you can. Thanks to David for conceiving this idea and thanks to Rosie and David (Sam is off at college) for gathering and getting the donations to the Community Center after the Loop.

To help you remember the donations: Put the cans or other items in your running shoes or your bag the night before (or on the drivers seat of your car!). We will remind you with a note closer to the race as well.

The Leatherman depended on the charity and kindness of strangers and neighbors. Let us extend the wonderful goodness and spirit of our loop, as we gather food for our neighbors.  THANK YOU RUNNERS for your generosity!

Note: the 2016 Loop filled up in the January Loop Lottery. Registration is closed – we can’t take any more registrations. Sorry!

2016 Loop Carpool

big_carpoolIf you are registered for the 30th Loop (April 24, 2016), look to get into or create a loop carpool!

Did you know the regular $10 per car park entry fee is included with the race registration fee? We started doing that in 2008 to speed up the line of cars that snakes out of the park on race morning. A park employee keeps a count of cars and the Loop organizers write the park a check afterwards based on the number of cars entering.

Carpooling to the Loop is a time honored tradition and helps everyone out in many ways:

  • Less gas burned = save money.
  • Fewer cars on the road = eases bottlenecks coming into the park.
  • Fewer cars in the parking lot = easier and quicker parking on race day.
  • Less money spent on parking = more money to donate to charity.

If you are signed up solo and don’t know of anyone to carpool with, leave a comment below or on Facebook. The last few years we got a few people together just through comments on this website and facebook. Plus you can make a new friend or two in the bargain!

Map of where Loop runners are coming from.

Map of local Loop runners. Lots of cars headed to the Loop on 4/24!

However you arrive, make sure you bring a plastic bag, a change of clothes & shoes, and towel so you don’t mess up your new friend’s car.

If you are coming from NYC on the train (Metro-North Harlem line – Katonah Station is best option) you can either take a cab from the station or leave a comment on Facebook or below looking for a ride or cab share. [Katonah Taxi 914-232-5772].

Happy Trails!

Trail Mix Series: A Mild Sprain – Race Date May 22nd

amildsprain-Footprintlogo2016-400hThe Trail Mix Trail Series has reached its 3rd year in 2016.

The next trail race in the series after the Loop is “A Mild Sprain” at Sprain Ridge Park in Yonkers, NY.

Race date is Sunday, May 22nd starting at 10am.

The race benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) which is seeking a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

Runners sign up through the JDRF events website. In the first four years of this event, A Mild Sprain has raised over $150,000 for JDRF. David Vogel and Brant Brooks, the race directors, are looking to have the 5th year raise over $100,000 – which would bring the total raised to $250,000 lifetime for the race.

Help make this possible by signing up and getting others to support your efforts!

It is a very fun event that is part of the 2016 Trail Mix Series too… See you on the trails!

Loop From The Air

In April 2015, Tom Anckner, a local photographer and videographer, volunteered to film the Loop from the air using his Phantom 3 Pro drone at various spots. He focused on where he could get a view without tree cover and without difficult obstacles for flying the drone.

Tom sent us the raw footage (around an hour of HD video) and Rob Cummings edited it down to around 7 minutes and set it to a classic rock soundtrack. Hope you enjoy the video!

The video can also be viewed on our Loop photo site here:

Recap of Past Articles and Links about the Leatherman’s Loop

We love to read about your past experiences at the Leatherman’s Loop! If you have written and posted an article or a video, or a collection of photos, or a poem related to the Loop, let us know and we will link to it from here.

Oldest Loop runner John Young with his daughter-in-law Kelli and his graddaughter Haley. (photo by Carol Gordon)

Oldest Loop runner John Young with his daughter-in-law Kelli and his graddaughter Haley. Three generations ran in 2015! (photo by Carol Gordon)

To get you started, here are a few articles we’ve found or folks have directed us to online:

(to see some offline / print articles, check here for Record Review and Lewisboro Ledger articles)

Let us know your new or old links and we will update this page.

How Can I Prepare for the Leatherman’s Loop?

The 30th Leatherman’s Loop trail run is set for April 24, 2016 at 9am. If you are running it for the first time or the 30th time — or anywhere in between — there are lots of things you can do to prepare.

The best advice is to Run! Get out and get those legs moving!

Next most important advice — Run on trails. If you are used to roads, you should try some trails before running the Loop. It can be a surprise if you and your ankles don’t have at least a passing familiarity with roots, rocks, and mud. Fortunately we have a regular Sunday running group that meets at 8am every Sunday for a run on the local trails of the Rez and other nearby parks.

2007-shirt-just-leathermans-loop-circle-black-white-30-in-centerThere are other trail run groups or resources out there if you are not close to the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY: Westchester Trails (lower westchester), New York Trail and Ultra Running Meetup (NYC), Essex Running (Northern NJ), Bimbler’s Sound (CT shore), Shenepsit Striders (central CT), Northport Running (Long Island). {We will add your trail running group if you let us know!}

What kind of shoes do you need? Regular running shoes are fine. Many trail runners like to wear trail sneakers which have better gripping bottoms for the slippery parts of the trail. Others like low-profile shoes such as the five fingers type shoes or Nike Free. The low profile shoes take some getting used to and you should probably avoid running a race in them until your feet are familiar with them.

What should you wear for the Loop? April weather is unpredictable. At the start of the Loop it has ranged from 40 degrees with wind and rain to 70 degrees and humid. We have also had our share of crisp 50 degree perfect sunny days and everything in between. Closer to the date we will know with more certainty what the weather will be.

For general advice, we always run the Loop in a single layer. Shorts vs pants are your choice. Shorts dry more easily post-water crossing but pants can protect your shins from getting dinged by trail hazards. Some runners wear compression shin socks or gaiters around their shins. Shirt can be long or short sleeved depending on weather and your comfort level.

One thing not to wear is your basic cotton sweatpants — or any sort of thick materials on your legs. It may seem cold at the start but it will never be as cold at the start as it will be if you are running most of the Loop in soaking wet cotton pants from the first river crossing.

Pre-race announcements will take about 15 minutes and we advise runners to have a top layer on during these announcements. Runners can take off the top layer and toss it to the side before or just after the start. We will have those items brought up to the teepee for you to collect at the end of the Loop. If you do this, PLEASE write your name in your clothing or put your name in a card in a pocket of any top layers that you plan to take off at the start. It will help to reunite you with your clothing if you forget after the race and leave it behind. We usually take photos of the orphaned clothing and post it on Facebook.

We strongly advise having a warm and comfy change of clothes and socks on hand in the car for after the trail run. Don’t plan on wearing your Loop shoes for the rest of the day as they will be soaked and muddy. Sweatshirt or windbreaker is a must for post-race. Hot beverages are a plus too.

The finish area will have fruit and bagels as well as water and coffee. Many runners stick around for the awards ceremony which usually starts around 11:00-11:15am at the registration area.

More information is in our Frequently Asked Questions page. We also have directions, maps, loop history, runner history, and results.

medallion-scanIf you are looking for more trail races in the Westchester-Fairfield area, we expanded our Trail Mix Trail Series to 6 races in 2015. The Loop is the first in the 2016 series and we are looking forward to kicking off the second Trail Mix series this year.

If you have any questions, please get in touch and we will do our best to answer! Trail run it!

See you on the trails…


“As for the course, the outer limits are well within the capabilities of almost anyone curiously self-motivated – whether or not you’re just a weekend warrior or a dyed-in-the-wool mountain maniac. It’s got a mind all its own, with a foot-boggling array of barriers strategically placed so as to impede forward progress of the swift and sure-footed kind.”

-Description in original registration form for the Leatherman’s Loop trail run, April 1987

2016 Loop Lottery Selection Finished

We have finished with the Loop Lottery 2016 selections.

Sign up for the 2016 Loop here if you have been selected in the Loop Lottery:

T_shirt_finish_line2-lgEmails have been sent to all runners selected. Contact us if you have any concerns and we will get back to you promptly.

If you did not receive an email please check your spam folder since it may be in there. You can also check the searchable list of selected runners here to see if your name — or friends & family names are listed.

Even if you did not receive your email for some reason you can still sign up, as long as you won a spot in the Loop LotterySign up here. You must be on the selected runners list to finalize your entry.

Please sign up with our email list and you will get notification of the Loop Lottery in the future — as well as get notes about the upcoming Trail Mix races below.

Two items you may be interested in…
1.) The 2016 Trail Mix Series – Six local trail races combined to form a fun and challenging trail series with prizes for overall winners and age group winners. Everyone who completes the series (at least 4 of 6 races) gets a special recognition item at the end of the series, plus GUARANTEED SELECTION in the 2017 Loop Lottery.

The 2016 Trail Mix Series Schedule is below:

2.) Check out if you are interested in running with a group on trails on Sunday mornings. It is great training for the Loop and we even run the Loop course a few times prior to the big day. See details at Sunday Runs site.

We are looking forward to seeing you on the trails!

Founder’s Note 2016

Dear Runners,

          Thank you for entering the Leatherman’s Loop lottery. If you are reading this you have completed the first step — one more step to go. Official notifications will be sent out on Friday and will include important information. Step two must be completed by Tuesday the 19th in order to get a confirmation number. You are half way there!

          The entry fee has been bumped up by $5. Keep in mind that the event is and always has been sponsor free. In essence, each of you are sponsors. Also, the $10 per car parking fee which is paid to the County of Westchester is part of the race entry fee. That fee includes all cars including spectators and we are happy to pay it.

          My role as always is to try and make your participation in the Loop memorable. In celebration of the 30th anniversary I promise to do my best. Your role is to try and match the energy and enthusiasm that Danny shows in the video clip from 2002 that is linked below. Let’s all make this next one extra special.



Video clip from Danny Martin at the 2002 Leatherman’s Loop. A very rainy day — and it marked Danny’s first appearance at the Loop.

2016 Loop Lottery Registration Closed

trail-closed-signThe Leatherman’s Loop Lottery 2016 has CLOSED.

We are not taking any more lottery entrants. 

We will hold the drawing this Friday, January 15th, 2016. Notifications will go out that day as early as possible.

If you are selected, you MUST COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION with payment for entry to the event. If you do not complete your registration by Tuesday, January 19th, 2016, we will assume you are not interested in running and will release your spot to the next runner on the waiting list.

You can check your lottery registration status at this link.

We wish everyone luck for the drawing!

If you have any questions, please let us know via our contact form.