Thirty six years ago four running buddies laid out the course for the first Leatherman’s Loop race. We were all serious trail runners who worked together to create a “light hearted” course with some natural obstacles.
I give credit for the mud flats to Ken Littlefield who once fell in the deepest and nastiest part wearing white sport hill tights. We still laugh about that when we get together.
I give credit to Peter Thompson for both “the pit” and “the wall” sand climbs. Pete’s short choppy stride would glide him to the top with seemingly no effort. Not bad for a converted road runner.
I give credit for the pine forest and the resurrected deer trails to David Cope. Born to bushwhack, Dave preferred to run where a trail “ought to be” as opposed to where a trail actually was.
I guess that leaves me responsible for the stream crossings. In my own defense some of you remember that the first crossing was actually a log crossing. With good balance you could cross full stride. I loved that but it got washed down stream after the third Loop.
So the four runners who were at the start of the first Loop in 1987 will be there to send you off this year. Kind of completes a cycle and seems like a good time for Judy and I to step away from the management of the event. We have made many friends and have been loved beyond our wildest dreams for our efforts. Through my eyes, each of you radiates with the “beauty within us” that Danny Martin speaks about every year.
On race day April 24th, consider bringing some dry clothing and a picnic lunch along with your beverage of choice and stick around for a while after the awards are given out. The County is providing an extra tent with some tables and chairs at the meadow and there will be music.
It’s been three years since the last Loop so let’s celebrate together.