Leatherman’s Loop Founders Newsletter, Volume 8

Mixed bag of Loop stuff from Tony


Greetings and Happy New Year to the Leatherman’s Loop family. With the lottery closed for the 31st Loop it seems like a good time for me to share some history as well as other stuff related to the event. As always, my hope is that some of you will find this sharing of interest.

What didn’t happen at the start last year

The banner above was supposed to fly over the field just before the start of the race last year (mock-up shown here). Incredibly, the pilot could not find the Pound Ridge Reservation but the plane and banner was spotted and photographed by friends of the Loop who live near the park. What can I say?

What did happen at the start last year

Joe Stanley, the only runner who has completed all thirty Loops, agreed to serve as the “celebrity starter.” Joe won the Loop in 1987 and followed up with many top ten finishes. His times have slowed but his kind and peaceful spirit has soared. As I see it, Joe embodies the spirit of the Loop and will always be at the head of the conga line of tens of thousands of runners who have participated over the years.

Let’s put the fire tower back up in the Rez

From 1926 until 1982 a fire tower sat on the highest point in the Pound Ridge Reservation. Over the years it became a destination for hikers who would climb its six stories to the observation deck. The reward was a panoramic view which included long Island Sound and the N.Y.C. skyline as well as the white faced cliffs of the “Gunks” and the Catskills beyond. Long time friend of the Loop Tom Cohn has tirelessly led the effort to secure permission to put a similar tower back where the original once was. I applaud and support Tom’s vision. Click on the link and take in the view.

Click on the link and take in the view.

The wisdom and compassion of Danny Martin

Danny Martin post-Loop with Jere Hochman in 2011In the last newsletter I said that I now see the loop as “a celebratory gathering in nature which includes trail running.” Danny Martin adds that “our experience of the Loop has shown us many times that when we gather and connect across our many differences we generate hope and strength. In times of change and the challenges they bring we need such hope and strength.” We both believe that participation in the Loop has the potential to serve each of us in ways apart from and beyond the running. Danny thinks that it can be harnessed and put to use. Click on the link to his blog and read about Danny’s vision for “connecting vigils.”

Links to video and photo highlights 

The 2017 Loop video trailer (also here: https://vimeo.com/310988974?share=copy) features some highlights from Loop videos made in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2011, and 2015 (2). Thanks to Dean Leggiero, John Cummings, Mitch Stein, Wilderness BobChristy Cuomo, Tom Anckner, and a few others for taking the videos. The short 3 minute video features Griffin “Buck” Farro, Danny Martin, Madison Haller, the Albertus Magnus girls track team, Kate Paletta, Hernando Munoz, Joe Stanley, Tom Nohilly, Kerry Arsenault, Stan “Leatherman” Telega, Bob GoldblattTony Godino, and many of the runners of the Loop in those years.

Thank you Rob Cummings for editing and producing the project.
A gallery of some classic Loop photos to get you thinking about the upcoming Loop.

Trail Mix Race Series and Sunday Runs

Trail Mix Series MedallionNot everyone who participates in the Leatherman’s Loop is a serious runner. For some of you it is the only race that you do each year and that is fine. Congratulations to the 94 runners who did complete four or more of the Trail Mix Series races in 2016. By doing so you are guaranteed a lottery selection for the upcoming Loop. Check out the Trail Mix Series and the Leatherman Harriers Sunday Runs websites.

Last year Nick Ohnell and David Vogel produced and hung a very large tapestry which thanked me for doing something that I love — but it is Judy and Rob and our team of volunteers that skillfully lace each piece of the Loop together. It is you the participants who bring the magic and the love into the Rez each year and for that I thank you.

                                          …. Tony

Further reading in the Founder’s Newsletter series, published at uncertain dates with a flexible schedule not known in advance…