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.

Loop Lottery 2016 Open!

Loop Lottery 2016 Open!

Loop Lottery Registration

Registration for Loop Lottery is open from January 8, 2016 at 12:00am until January 11, 2016 at 11:59pm.

Check your loop lottery registration (or others in your group) here.

Photo by Erica Leighton ©2014

For questions, see the Lottery FAQ here or Contact Us.

If you have any problem or issue, please contact us BEFORE the Loop Lottery closes!

Check below for a time lapse creation from the 2015 Loop entitled “House of Leatherman.” (source album)

Rob Cummings produced it with video help from David Gordon.

Leatherman’s Loop Lottery to Open January 8th, 2016


Trail Runners:

Please mark your calendars with these two dates: January 8th and April 24th!

The 30th Running of the Leatherman’s Loop will be on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY.

The Leatherman’s Loop Lottery will open at 12:00am Friday, January 8th, 2016 and close Monday, January 11, 2016 at midnight — 4 full days total. The only way to get into the 30th anniversary Loop is to go through the lottery. We promise that (based on lottery history) most of you will get in so long as you sign up during the four day window.

2007-shirt-just-leathermans-loop-circle-black-white-30-in-centerWe will post reminders to our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ pages just before the Loop Lottery opening in January. Follow us there for lottery opening messages.

We sent out an email reminder on December 17th. If you want to be on our email list, enter your email address here.

We encourage you to sign up for the Loop Lottery as early as possible after it opens so you don’t forget. Once it is closed we won’t accept any new lottery entrants.

To sign up, visit the Leatherman’s Loop website during the lottery registration period (1/8/2016-1/11/2016) and there will be links to the registration site.

Runners can sign up for the Loop Lottery at no charge. On 1/15/2016 we will draw and announce the 2016 Loop Lottery winners. Those winners will then need to complete their registration by paying for their Loop entries. Deadline for completing signup is January 19th. Any runners who do not complete their registration by then will give up their spots to the next runner in the waiting list.

Runners can enter the lottery as part of a group. Each person from the group must register (or have someone register them) in the lottery. Runners can add their group name during lottery registration.

We have put together a list of frequently asked questions about the Loop Lottery. It addresses questions about group lottery entry, duplicate registrations, t-shirt purchasing, and other questions you might have.

If you are one of the 66 runners who completed the 2015 Trail Mix Trail Series you are eligible for automatic selection in the Loop Lottery – Congratulations! We will offer the same benefit next year for runners completing the 2016 Trail Mix!

After the Loop Lottery entry closes on Monday, January 11th we will have the drawing for winners on or just after Friday, January 15th.

Lottery winners and losers will be notified via email. If you do not hear from us via email on January 15th or just afterwards, please contact us at so we can follow up. You can also check the Loop website for a list of runners selected in the Loop Lottery.

We are interested in making the lottery as simple and hassle-free as possible. We appreciate any feedback or thoughts you have and can share with us. If you have any questions not covered above or in the Loop FAQ or the Loop Lottery FAQ, please get in touch via our contact form, or via our email address

Thanks! See you on the trails…

-Tony, Judy, Rob, and the Leatherman Harriers

PS: If you are interested in training on the trails with a group of enthusiastic trail runners of all abilities, check out our club site at and come out one Sunday morning and join in a group run. We run the trails all year round and always welcome new runners!

PPS: We will have an announcement about the 2016 Trail Mix Trail Series in January.

30th Anniversary of the Leatherman’s Loop Next April!

leatherman-harriers-club-drawing-2015-transparent-alt-colors-leatherman-only-work-CROP-500sqPlans are already afoot for the 30th Leatherman’s Loop on Sunday, April 24, 2016!

The Loop Lottery will be held in January 2016. There are a few changes to the lottery this year. Please check the link for details.

Congratulations to runners who completed the Trail Mix Trail Series for 2015 – these runners are eligible for automatic selection in the Loop Lottery when they sign up (click here for Women’s standings or Men’s standings in the series, results will be updated for Raven Rocks Run in the coming week).

Follow us in a few different ways if you want to know about 2016 Loop Lottery and race plans. Email is becoming a bit unreliable so we recommend following us at least one additional way, your choice: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, or our site’s RSS feed!

In case you didn’t know yet, we have a dedicated group of trail runners called the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Run group. Every Sunday at 8am we meet at a local park or preserve (and the occasional race!) and run the trails. Come join us… All are welcome and we have all different pace groups.

See you on the trails!

Raven Rocks Run Open for Registration

Click here to go to the registration page.

2015-RavenRocksRun-Design_v6_TSHIRT-BACK-crop-ORIGINALWe are happy to announce the Raven Rocks Run is open for registration! (The race was formerly known as the Fire Tower 10k.)

Race date is Sunday, November 15, 2015 starting at 9am. Race distance is 10k and it will be held at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation starting and ending in the Meadow Parking area.

If you have questions, check the FAQ page. Or you can get in touch with us via the contact form.

Run The Farm 2015 Registration Open

running-corn-color-180Registration for the 6th Annual Run The Farm trail races at Muscoot Farm is open.

Run the Farm will be held Sunday, October 25th, 2015 starting at 8:30am. Races include two kids trail races and a 5 miler.

Click here to register

Kids races start at 8:30am  •  5 mile race starts at 9:30am

Hope to see you then!

Run The Farm is part of the Trail Mix Trail Series


PS: Watch some cool drone footage of the Leatherman’s Loop course check 4/12/15.

2015 Recap

DSC_1723 - Version 2

April 26th, 2015 • Ward Pound Ridge Reservation • Cross River, NY • 29th Leatherman’s Loop

At 5:57am the sun came up strong on a crisp 33 degree frost-glazed meadow, gradually lighting up the volunteers preparing for the arrival of 1,200 runners.

By 7:30am the temperature had jumped 10+ degrees and the lower paved parking lot was full. Cars were beginning to fill up the meadow. As more volunteers arrived, water was positioned, oranges, bananas, coffee, and bagels were delivered. Pretty soon cars lined Reservation Road and the line snaked out to the entrance. Thanks to the parking gurus we were able to get cars off of the main roads and parked more quickly than prior years.

2015 Loop Registrations Map

2015 Loop Registrations Map

Runners came in from nearly 250 towns and cities from 20 different states and places as far away as Atlanta, Burlington VT, Wisconsin, Maine, Virginia, and Seattle. We had one runner registered from Tokyo, but they were a no-show unfortunately.

The Town of Bedford (including villages of Katonah and Bedford Hills) had the most local representation with 175 runners registered followed by Lewisboro (including villages of South Salem, Waccabuc, Goldens Bridge, and Cross River) at 135 runners. New York City, Brooklyn, and Pound Ridge rounded out the top 5 runner addresses.

The Meadow Start 2015 (photo by Tom Casper)

The Meadow Start 2015 (photo by Tom Casper)

After runners checked in and picked up their bibs, many made their next stop at the “Help Feed The Leatherman” tent — a food drive for the Community Center of Northern Westchester’s (CCNW) food pantry. The drive is in its 7th year and is organized by David Ceisler. Next year we are discussing adding a CCNW clothing drive to the CCNW food drive. We will update you all with the total weight of food donations collected when we hear back from CCNW in the coming week. Last year runners donated over 900 pounds of food. David’s car was overflowing with your generous food donations as he left the parking lot this year. Thank you to all the runners who pitched in.

Mud Flats 2015 (photo by Chris Reinke)

Mud Flats 2015 (photo by Chris Reinke)

As runners gathered at the start line, Mike Paletta welcomed the crowd and cautioned everyone about the trail hazards and wished all good luck. He handed off the microphone to “El Copadre” Tony Godino who thanked runners for coming and making the day special. He introduced Rob Cummings who handles registration and the “back office” stuff for the Loop. Rob will direct the upcoming Fire Tower 10k at the Rez this coming November 15th. Mark your calendar for this new race which promises to be a challenging and hilly run!

Our Loop spiritual guide, Danny Martin was unable to attend since he was in New Mexico leading a retreat and could not get back in time. We were able to have Danny read his Navajo/Irish blessing of beauty via the magic of digital audio.

Special guest starter “The Old Leather Man” (aka Dr. Russ Schneider of Gurnee, Illinois) was in town to celebrate the birth of his grandchild and the timing worked perfectly for him to say a few words and start the runners.

The Old Leather Man starting the 2015 Loop. (photo by Ciorsdan Conran)

The Old Leather Man starting the 2015 Loop. (photo by Ciorsdan Conran)

The course was primed and ready after this winter’s solid 3 months of snow cover and some early week showers soaking the ground well. The river water levels were above average compared with past years. The temperature of the water was frigid since a significant chunk of it was ice a mere 2 weeks ago. And the mud flats — let’s just say next to the dictionary definition of “Mud” they have a photo of the mud flats in 2015!

Splashdown crossing was flowing well and had a capacity crowd cheering runners on for their final 200 meters until the finish. Water, bagels and fruit awaited the finishers in perfect post-race temperatures.

For the second year in a row, the John Jay High School acapella group”The Treblemakers” came to fill the air with their musical talents. They came bright and early and were on the trail at Kimberly Bridge to give runners a boost with their energizing melodies. Reports came in about a four piece mariachi band at the base of “The Pit.” I think we stumbled upon their rehearsal! 😉 Our bagpiper John Henken was at the top of “The Wall” to help pull runners up the steep slope.


Aerial Photo of Splashdown and final Meadow stretch (screen shot of drone video footage taken by Tom Anckner)

Full results are available here and below are some highlights:

Luis Francisco wins the 2015 Loop (photo by Dawn Moore)

Luis Francisco crosses splashdown on his way to winning the 2015 Loop (photo by Dawn Moore)

Luis Francisco of Mahopac, NY won the 29th Loop with a time of 40:08. David McCarey of Circleville, NY came in 2nd at 40:34. Nine-time loop winner Tommy Nohilly of Goldens Bridge, NY came in 3rd at 41:37. Oliver Wood of Seattle, WA came 4th at 41:50. Michael DiBlasi was 5th at 42:20.

Laura Kline of New Paltz, NY won her second Leatherman’s Loop with a time of 47:42. 2012 Loop winner Ann MacDonald of Mt. Kisco was 2nd (49:31) and Pippa Nuttall of Katonah, NY came in 3rd (51:17). Connie Seigh of Pleasant Valley, NY came in 4th at 52:07. Laura Wang of New York, NY was close behind at 52:24. Seven time Loop winner Kerry Arsenault of Guilford, CT came in 6th and first in her age group (52:30).

Laura Kline wins her 2nd Loop. (photo by Dawn Moore)

Laura Kline crosses splashdown on her way to winning her 2nd Loop. (photo by Dawn Moore)

The oldest finisher was John Young at 81 who ran with his daughter-in-law Kelli and granddaughter Haley. The youngest finisher was 8 year old Nadia Kaye who was running her second Loop and finished 4th in the 14 & under girls age group (1:09:05). Nine year olds Jacob Weitzman, Byron Wilson, and Noah Taylor each completed their first Loops.

Loop veteran Joe Stanley ran his 29th consecutive Loop — an unbroken streak from 1987 through last sunday. A combination of good training, good sense, and good luck! Shirley Iselin ran her 20th Loop, the most for any woman and an unbroken streak since 1996! Other notable milestones: James Reilly ran his 26th Loop. Nick Ohnell ran his 25th Loop. John Partilla ran his 23rd Loop. Tim Debany and John Krazneiwicz ran their 22nd Loops. Paul Muessig hit #20. For a complete list of the “Muddiest Runners” check this page.

The Trail Mix Series UpdateTwenty three runners were completing the 2014-2015 Trail Mix Trail Series by running the Leatherman’s Loop 2015. Karen Haitoff held the women’s overall title and Keith Realander was atop the men’s standings. Both came through with Trail Mix Series win for the day. Congratulations to Karen and Keith!

The Trail Mix series started in September 2014 with Where the Pavement Ends 4.25 mile trail race. Next up was the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack 10k trail race. The third race in the series was Run The Farm 5 mile trail race in October 2014.

The series is expanding in 2015 to SIX races from the original four. The Leatherman’s Loop 2015 is the official start for the 2015 Trail Mix series. If you ran you are automatically entered. If you did not run the 2015 Loop, you only have to complete 4 of the 6 races so you are still able to compete. See below or this link for details.


We have lots of photos shared by our “Official Loop Photographers” and others on and around the course. Thank you to everyone who shared their photo memories of the day! You can become an official Loop photographer by taking lots of photos of the Loop and sending them in. If you have more than 100 photos from the Loop, we’ll make you your own album at the link below!

A detailed description of photos — by photographer and location —  can be found here. Or you can click directly on our 2015 album site:

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 wife and daughter and his running partners in yellow: daughter-in-law Kelli and his granddaughter Haley. (photo by Carol Gordon)

Photographers Tom Casper, Ally Moreo, Faith WillettDawn Moore, Emily FaganCiorsdan Conran, Tyler Reinke, Chris ReinkeCarol Gordon, David Gordon, John Cummings, Deborah Burman, Carol GamezMario Turriago, Randie Shane, and YOUR NAME HERE (if you send us your photos!) were out on Loop day. We have many different vantage points — the start, the mud flats, the pit, the first crossing, splashdown, the bottom of the pine forest, and others. Photo album link here.

As a bonus, we have video taken in the mud flats by ninth grader Elliott Lear. Also many of you may have spotted or heard the drone from LCTV & Cablevision hovering over the start, the mud flats, and Splashdown. We hope to share that video footage with everyone soon! Right now we have a link to the Course Check drone testing done April 12th at the park. Thanks to Tom Anckner, LCTV, and Cablevision.

Late addition: Optimum Community Channel did a story on The Old Leather Man recently and featured the Loop prominently in the 8 minute piece. Check it out here if you have a few minutes, it will be time well spent!

Also check out the Loop 2015 “House of Leatherman” time lapse video sequence.


If you have photos you would like to send us, the easiest way to get them directly to us is via this website link ( where you can simply drag and drop the pictures. We have unlimited storage space at our photo site. Or you can send us links via Facebook or if you have your own albums on Flickr, Picassa, or another photo site send us the link. We appreciate all of the photos and love looking through them!

If you have any feedback, please send us a note at The only way we know to fix things is when we hear about things that went wrong. Don’t feel shy about feedback — that is how we make the event better. Any feedback you can give is a gift to the runners next time.

Thanks to Westchester County Parks and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for hosting us for the 29th year. A very special thank you on behalf of all of the runners to the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps for standing by in case medical help was needed during the event. We truly appreciate the dedication of the volunteers who give their time to come tend to runners each year.

Thank you all for coming out to run and to those who came to support your friends and family! We look forward to seeing many of you again at an upcoming race!


Tony, Judy, Mike, Rob and the Leatherman Harriers

trail-mix-just-trail-mix-text-2015-with-yearThe Loop is the first in the 2015 series of trail races called The Trail Mix.


Every runner in the 2015 Leatherman’s Loop is entered into the 2015 Trail Mix Series automatically.

Check these upcoming Trail Mix races (and some other favorite races of ours):



Some more great local trail (and one road) races:

  • Last but not least – join us on our club website — we do group trail runs throughout the year Sunday mornings at 8am, Locations are available on the site calendar.

Link to see photos from 2015 (still uploading, many more to come!).