Run the Farm - Answering Questions about the Event

imageRunners: Thank you for your overwhelming response to our Run the Farm Survey.  Of the 650+ people who responded, 80% (over 500) responded they would either “Definitely” or “Likely” be there.  Another hundred were rated their participation “Possibly.” Over half of the respondents indicated that someone in their family would like to participate in a kids race the same day.  So we are thinking it’s a go! 

We received a lot of questions in the open ended part of the survey.  Here are a selection of these comments and our responses to them regarding the planned “Run the Farm” 5 mile trail race and kids 1 mile race at Muscoot Farm on October 24, 2010.

A number of comments were similar so we condensed them or combined them over one response.  If you have any other questions, let us know.  Your ideas and feedback have already given us great ideas and encouragement.

Note: Some commenters mistakenly thought that we were asking for opinions about a Fall Leatherman’s Loop.  Just to be clear—that is not under consideration.

We are developing this new trail race at Muscoot to get people running trails locally and to help get the word out about local farms and farmer’s markets.

Comments and our responses:


EDIT 8/9/10: (some new comments and answers since original article posting 7/25/10)

What a great place the farm is, i was there for a bluegrass festival and recall seeing the tri-county ramblers warming up in an open space in a field , it was just themselves and their instruments, all acoustic, and it was wonderful, an organic experience not unlike the leathermans run in a way. if there is a fall run i’m certainly all for it. my kids are grown now but one of my favorite memories of all time was the first time i ran the leathermans with my oldest son. it was a feeling like no other, seriously it was true elation! thanks for your time joe j.

Joe – there will definitely be music!  Thanks for sharing your memories of the Leatherman!

As you probably know, ward pound ridge reservation has 5,000 acres and boasts 35 miles of trails. a fall run in wprr on different trails than the leatherman’s loop would be a great addition—and likely a better race than the “run the farm” event. i understand that a fall run in wprr was under consideration a few years ago, but never materialized. many thanks. kelsey n.

Kelsey – The Rez is definitely uniquely suited to trail running and large events.  The park management supports the Loop but starting a new event is not possible at this time.  A group of trail runners is in the Reservation every sunday morning at 8am, leaving from various points (Lewisboro Town Park, Honey Hollow Rd, Boutonville Rd, and the Meadow Lot occasionally).  More info on our Facebook page or drop us a note if you want to be on the local runners email list.

Original Comments and Answers posted 7/25/10:

A fall leatherman’s loop would be nice also. thanks, jim

Can’t do a Fall Leatherman’s Loop.  We know lots of people would enjoy this but for a variety of reasons it’s not going to happen.  We looked at the local parks and after several years of legwork, working the phone, and some serendipitous contacts, we were able to pull this race (Run The Farm at Muscoot) from the drawing board to reality.

A fall trail run would be awesome! the weather will be cool enough, but not cold, and the autumn colors of the trees will make a dramatic back drop to a great run.

A perfect time of the year for a trail race!

We agree wholeheartedly!

A full 10k would even more attractive. thanks

The trails at Muscoot lend themselves to a 5 mile course given our constraints with having the first part of the course be wider to accomodate a crowd before people string out more.  Another commenter asked about a 10 mile course, perhaps going around the 5 mile 2x?  It’s a possibility but may or may not happen.

A fun fall festival atmosphere post race would be a big draw…

Might be nice to schedule a farmer’s market on the same day. they’re usually at muscoot sundays, but i think the crowd would appreciate it.

Sounds like a great idea, will it benefit the farm?

“Run the Farm” will coincide with the final Muscoot Farmer’s Market day for the Fall and we will have strong tie-ins to the market to encourage runners to stop in and visit the stalls.  Also we hope that local folks who want to check the trails ahead of time will go in on sundays to run and then support the farmers by purchasing their produce.

Although i missed the loop this year, it’s one of my favorites so any other race would be great. it’s a great group to run with. thanks rich h.

Any chance it can be earlier in the season… this is close to the nyc marathon and risking an injuy in a trail race has me concerned.

The park logistics and event calendar left Oct 24th the only option for this event.

Can you confirm where this farm is?

Muscoot Farm is on Route 100 in Katonah, NY.  It is a Westchester County Park.

Cheetos are yummy.

Hmmmm… OK!

Depends on how i get there! i live in nyc…‘nuff said.

I would absolutely do this!!! even though i live in nyc i will find a way to get there!!!

Katonah Train Station is about 1 mile or so away.  Bring a bike on the train?

Do a mom’s run

“Run Like a Mother” in Ridgefield is a great Mother’s Day 5k.  We want to include everyone: adults & kids.  The only ones we can’t include are dogs—they are not permitted at all at Muscoot Farm since it is a working farm with lots of animals that would be spooked by visiting dogs.

Fall is a busy time in the trail racing scene, so i can’t be certain i can be there that day… but if i can i certainly will! jamie h.

Fall is a good time for a race. spring is a challenge due to difficulties to train during winter months (weather, shorter days, etc.).

Fall runs are very popular and i’m sure this one will be as well!

Good time of year for this – it would be popular! thanks,

Great idea – i’m sure it will be a huge hit.

Great idea—would love it and my two older kids would dfinitely be interested

Great idea for a fall trail race

Great idea to show off the back country of muscoot

Great idea! pumpkin ales for everyone!

Great idea! my kids have been asking for a race.

Hope you all can make it!

Great idea!! (would love if you could limit the numbers a bit… last year’s leatherman’s was fun, but awfully crowded!) also – check the spelling on definitely. (:

Updated the survey – thanks.  We are not sure what the response will be when we send out the entry forms.  We are hopeful that everyone who wants to get in can get in but can’t promise anything now.

Great idea, we need more local trail runs. longer ones welcome as well…have you thought about a 50k? i know i’d be there!

We have tossed around some ideas for a 50 miler (multiple Loops in a WPRR course).  That is a huge committment for runners and organizers alike but a much smaller pool of interested athletes.  If you are interested contact us.

Great idea. there used to be “where the pavement ends” run but it did not happen last year. thanks for organizing a local fall run.

We were big fans of that race too and were sorry to see it cancelled. Muscoot is not too far from the John Jay House.

Great idea. would be great if whatever trail markings put in place for race could be permanent markings so the farm could be used for training runs without getting lost! thanks!

That would be up to the park and likely something they would only consider after many years.  Remember, the Loop course is not even permanently marked at WPRR and next year is the 25th running of the Loop.

Great to see more trail runs accessible to those who live in nyc. thanks for organizing this!

Take the Metro-North to Katonah – bike or jog.  It’s about 2 miles from the station.

Has a race been run there before

No, this is the first one as far as we know.

How about a longer race distance 10 +

How about something longer than 5 miles…say multiple loops (2-3)

We can possibly keep the timer going if you want a second lap.  How many are interested in this option?  We would have to discuss the logistics of this but can’t commit right now.

I experienced how popular the loop is and how difficult it was to get in; next year you should offer an option to enter both races with one entry form and set a side a certain amount of entrees for dual racers. add one more race in the future and make it the westchester triple crown trail series… you could away approach the taconic road runners and see if they add their mudders and grunters. very ambitious, i know but me loves me trail running.

That sounds intriguing… that would make “Run the Farm” the Belmont? Putting on one event is a lot of work so we’d prefer to see this one off successfully before taking on additional coordination. wink But we like the series idea.  The Loop was part of a trail series back 15+ years ago but it faded.

I have run leathermans loop for years but got closed out this year and only my husband and 16 year old (two time first place in women under 19) got in. how do i make sure we all get into april’s race?

I have tried to get into the leatherman’s loop for the past two year’s… and it was sold out. this would be a great way to experience the race course!

The Loop is so popular – it is one of the reasons we wanted to get a Fall trail race going.  Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee getting in to the Loop.  Next year’s Loop entry will be a lottery and we are trying to have a group entry option where you can say everyone or no one from the group gets in (to keep families and groups together).  More about that as we figure it out.

I hope there are some challenging obstacles and will the wolf be back or maybe a bear this time? the wilder it is, the better!!

Too many sheep at the farm to have the wolf visit!  Yikes!

I know you can’t please everyone. but as the moderator of a yahoo group of 150 or so local trail (and ultra) runners, the gap i feel is in terms of trail stuff between say 5 miles and 50k—say, halves, or 30ks or 20 milers or so. not much of that out there. i used to do and love leatherman’s, but i’m turned off by the crowds and haven’t done last few years (too many people on singletrack for too short a distance to spread out, for my tastes). no matter what, great people are putting on more trail events of any type, and happy to help publicize the event on our list (nyc trails and ultras or nyf.trails if you google yahoo groups). thanks for listening!

It is tough to please everyone as you say.  The 5 mile distance for this trail run is a nice starting distance and fits with the park size very well.  Once you get to 15k and above the field gets less crowded. There is a 50k trail race the same day in Guilford, CT called the Bimbler’s Bluff.  There are a number of runs in WPRR that are 8+ mile loops (not races, just for training).  Many smaller parks and preserves in Westchester have miles of trails but inadequate parking for a large event.  They are perfect for training runs though!

I love the run! prob is this past year was the first year i was locked out so i was sad that this happened. there should be a way to get people in who have run for so many years. hope this turns out. thanks, d

If you are a long-time Loop runner and have a problem getting into the Loop your best bet is to get in touch and tell your story. Absolutely no guarantees as we have heard just about everything including the guy who passed a kidney stone and missed the registration window.  He had to bring the stone in order to get his bib.

I love trail running and am very excited about “running the farm” as i grew up on a farm. no kids, so can’t help there. keep me posted. thanks!


I think this is a fantastic idea! i would love to see trail running grow in popularity and this is a great way to do it.

I think this would be a great addition to the local autumn races…love muscoot!

I would be travelling from ct so it would depend on start time, available parking and just how far away it is. thanks for the effort to put something like together!

Muscoot is well equipped to handle parking for this event.  Check the Google map of Muscoot—the parking field is across the street.

I would encourage several trail run races in northern westchester and fairfield so that close-outs do not continue as were problematic last spring. other great venues could include rockefeller state park. in addition to the 10k length, a half-marathon length in ward pound ridge or rockefeller would be exciting!

Rockefeller Park has a 10k trail/carriage road race that ran for the second time at the end of June.

I would love to run this race, but my response was “not likely” for this year only because i’m recovering from an injury. in future years, i would definitely be interested in running it.

Hope you recover well and quickly!

I would probably run this, but the army 10-miler is the same weekend in washington, dc. that is a “can’t miss” race, which i’ve done 5 times now.

Maybe next year!

I’d be more interested in the race if it was on a weekend.

That’s an easy one: The date is Sunday, October 24th!

I’d love to see more information or an area that is open to discussing barefoot running.

Always open to any running philosophy or practice.  If you plan to run barefoot make sure you train barefoot on the type of terrain you will compete on.  Alternatively there are Vibram Five Fingers and other very low profile shoes to consider if barefoot running is a concern.

If i run the farm will you promise me a spot in the 2011 leathermen loop? (that will change my “likely” to a “definitely”) scot

Can’t promise anything for the Loop based on “Run the Farm.”  Next year’s Leatherman is going to be a lottery entry.

If it goes down, i hope i get a crack at registering. i’ve had zero luck registering for the loop. my nephew would definitely run the miles. christian j

We hope everyone who wants to run can get in.  We’ll keep everyone up to date on status of entries. The entry information will go to the Loop mailing list when ready.

I’m excited, will be myself, my wife, and my 16 year old daughter—but it can’t match the loop!! thanks, jim l.

Is it another crazy course? i recall muscoot farm being rather hilly, but if that’s the worst of it then it sounds good to me. but i think i can only stomach one crazy mud slide per year smile you guys (and gals) do a fantastic job, by the way. couldn’t have more fun getting filthy if i tried.

Is it going to be the same type of race as the loop? distance and terrain?

If you can keep the spirit, fun, and unpredictability of the leatherman, who wouldn’t want to do it?!

Make it muddy!

Same spirit, different course!  The trails at Muscoot are more traditional.  No water crossings, no sand hills, no mud flats.  The course has hills and other challenges unique to the farm.  The philosophy and principles of the organizers will be the same though!

It is something that i would do if i were local but as it is, i make the trip to the leatherman’s loop from chicago so two trips a year does not seem like it would work. sounds good though. thanks.

Hope to see you at the Loop in 2011!

It may be better not to make this run as “special” as the LL.  That race is now overrun with folks from all over and locals have a heckuva time getting in these days.

Run The Farm will be a different type of race than the Loop.  When it grows up it hopes to be as cool as the Loop!

It sounds great and i love the idea of a kids run. just have the kids and adult runs be at different start times. kids first. i know this is obvious but i’ve been to races where kids and parents’ races start at the same time.

Kids race will start at 8:30 and end at the starting area for the adult race so they can come into a cheering throng of pumped up runners. We won’t start the adult race until the kids are done with their course.

It would be great if it were longer—i would be travelling from nj so i prefer races that are 10+ miles when i travel.

It would be nice to have another trail race in westchester. muscoot is a great place to run. jonathan

Itching for another trail run. these road races just aren’t cutting it

It’s close to the nyc marathon…would not want to sprain ankle…no stream crossings i hope!

Just make sure it’s not 90 degrees out.

Hopefully it’s not snowing either! wink

Kids run may be too long? perhaps a shorter one?

The kids course is still in flux but we may have a 4-6 year old detour option.  More updates to come based on the great feedback we are getting.  Thinking of having kids as trail marshalls for the course so it will be a kids race run by kids (with supervision of course).

Love the idea, and wouldn’t mind the kids run…but concerned about the terrain for the kids. want to minimize the chance of tripping over roots, rocks, etc.

Having the kids run involve age-appropriate trail run obstacles (log crossing, shallow water crossing, etc.) would be a wonderful distinction.

Interesting divergence there in those two comments (from different people). The trails will be appropriate for kids.  There may be a few hay bale obstacles but nothing too crazy.

Love the name and love the time of year for a trail race!!!! anything the leathermans loop does i want to be a part of!!!

Make it a halloween theme of some sort.

Wear your costume!

Make it dirty and/or add obstacles and you will have a greater turn out. everybody loves a challenge and most importantly, something diffrent.

Only natural or farm obstacles (hay bales perhaps).  We are not looking to do an obstacle course run—there are plenty of those popping up.

Make it on a sunday please!

Done!  That was easy wink

Not sure that late in october is a good idea as most people are training for fall marathons. whether its beginning of oct or nyc . think either sept or late nov/early dec might take better. prob the latter

Many runners from this area run the nyc marathon, maybe you should stage the race after the marathon not a week before.

It’s actually two weeks before the marathon (11/7/10).  Anyone concerned about injury prior to a major race like the marathon may want to skip this one unless you are familiar with and train on trails.

My daughters are only 10 months 3 years, and likely too young for the kids’ run this year, but this will be a great event for the whole family in years to come.

Hope the race is a success and continues long enough for them to participate!

My kids (three of them, ages 4,4, and 6) would be very upset to know i ans’d no to the 2nd question, but if i plan to run, i don’t want to manage them as well. but i don’t want to influence the opportunities for other families…..

Oh man!  I won’t tell but they may read this post and get on your case…

No thoughts…just a question though; how wide is the trail? just getting tired of the jostling that goes on with trail runs that have relatively little room to pass and be passed.

The start is on one of the dirt farm roads and is fairly wide for about a half mile.  We are not sure how many will be signing up so can’t tell how crowded it may be at this point.

Not sure where this place is… i come from over in ct so maybe use the loop as a reference, as in “20 minutes north(south, east west) of the loop run”

Katonah NY is 15 minutes west of the Leatherman’s Loop location.  It is about 2 miles west of Exit 6 off of I-684. Muscoot Farm is just south of the intersection of Route 35 and Route 100.

Please add a clydesdale division. preferably add two divisions 225-240 and 240 and above. (it’s probably my only shot at a decent placement.) thanks

Since it is a farm we will take this under advisement! smile

Please continue along the line of the leatherman’s loop by providing challenges and obstacles along the course. this is going to grow into something big! no pun intended.

For the Loop, we just run the available terrain, we don’t set up any obstacles.  We hope this new race reaches as many people as the Loop does but let’s take one step at a time!

Please make it happen! trail running is awesome. more races are needed. good causes are always worthwhile.

That is the key – getting people on the trails and supporting a great cause with mutual benefit—local farmers.

Please make the reservation process easier. we got locked out of the leatherman and then found out that tons of people got grandfathered in because they knew people – that’s not fair!!

The Loop always has tall tales surrounding it.  Without rehashing the registration issues from January 1st (you can look at the site archives for that!), we think with the expansion of the running field and the individual follow up we accomodated everyone who had a problem on registration day.  We are sorry if anyone did not get in or felt it was not fair since our goal is to balance bringing trail racing to the widest audience while still keeping the other interested parties happy (park management, wildlife, flora).

Please oh please oh please make it happen. i run there all the time. at least when the gate is open.

Make sure the gates are closed upon exit!

Run free!

Caballo?  Is that you?

Soooooo excited!!!! and so will my little boy be (he’ll be 19 months old and it’ll be his first experience with this sort of event!) thank you for your efforts!!! tammy c + family

Plenty of stuff at the farm for a toddler, even if they are not running!

Sounds awesome – i am on the dl but if off by then i would try to get a ncpd rally – lesli h.

Hope you can join us!

Sounds fun. my 10 year old is begging to do the leatherman, but it would be nice to start with something gentler. what about a 3 miler for the 10+ crowd?

They could loop the kids 1 mile course twice perhaps.  We’ll think about it, but 2 races on one day is already a logistical challenge.

The kids run will be of great interest for my now two-year-old in a year or two.

Come for the race, stay for the farm!

The leatherman is one of the best trail runs in the country. if the farm run is anywhere near as fun and as well organized, i am in!

Wow!  Thanks for your kind words.  We aim to please… wink

The more races the better. let’s go!!

The only thing that might stop me would be,“parents weekend” at my daughters school.

Tell them to change the date! wink

The popularity of “the loop” indicates that there is a demand for more trail races in this area.

Muscoot is one of the only other counry parks that have the parking capacity and trail system to accomodate a large trail race.  We are hopeful this may spur on more trail race events in other local areas.

The wetter the better.

Mother Nature will help with that one…

This sounds awesome! the leatherman would approve! if you need volunteers/help with pre race stuff i can help. jo ann

We love muscoot farm and are so excited at the prospect of a race being held there. please make this happen.

Very excited! i remember a cold and rainy blue moon run several years back and have always wanted another run in the area.

What a wonderful way to celebrate fall with fellow runners. the distance is a hard one to find for local races. i really hope this happens.

Lots of positive energy!  We love it!

What is the limit on the number of runners that can participate?

We are not sure.

Where is the farm? what would the cost be? how big is the field? i am definitely interested and think that it would be a lot of fun!

Cost will be around the same as the Loop entry with T-shirts being additional.  The event will not have any sponsors other than the runners and the t-shirt will be custom.

Will look forward to seeing the signup email soon.

Working on that, and getting set up.

Wonderful idea – it would be great to have a fall race in the community. – katonah resident

Woo hoo!!!!!

Would love to do any race you all put on! if i can’t run it for some reason, i’ll try to volunteer.

Get in touch if you are interested in volunteering.

Do it. there should be more soulful events like the leatherman. you guys have done a great job.

I think its a great idea! you guys put on great races!! hope you can make it happen! annie b

Anything with a hint of leatherman can count me in!!!!!

You guys are awesome.

Aw, shucks.  You are making us blush.

You should call it the “muscoot scoot”

Kids race name?  Sounds good!