Connections and Gratitude 

[I had some remarks prepared and printed. But since they were not laminated, the rain made them unreadable on Loop morning. So I shortened them due to the karmic message in their disintegration. But for your post-race enjoyment my original remarks are below should you be interested:]

Welcome, Thank you to all of the volunteers. Thank you to the park staff. Especially the park manager, Jeff Main.

Some safety announcements: Follow the marked course. That is the clearest & straightest path. Watch for underwater obstacles – water level varies greatly. Be safe out there – and keep an eye out to help your fellow runners, especially when crossing the rivers and through the mud.

If you wish—at the beginning of the race—you can wear an extra layer over the shirt your number is pinned to which you can toss to the side as you run by the teepee. It will be there for you near the teepee (or inside if it is raining) when you finish. Make sure your bib is NOT pinned to this article of clothing or you will not get a finish time!

Please exercise caution and common sense at the stream crossings. Ease into each crossing slowly and do not enter them full stride. The exit of the first stream crossing can be slippery on the rock ledge. Help the runner in front and the one behind if possible.

If you are unable to continue for any reason, do not leave the course. We have sweeps that will be following behind the runners. Wait for them and they can help you out.

Please upload your photos from today to share with everyone. Results will be posted live. Links on website. Photos from today will be uploaded as we receive them. If you take photos please share!

Birthdays: shout out to Eric Turkewitz (63) Paine to pain race director! (Registration opened yesterday for Paine to Pain), Freddy Jones (53), Gabrielle House (29). Also Carol Gordon, photographer! 

Jim Fixx (The Complete Book of Running, 1977) – today would have been his 91st birthday. His son John Fixx is here today and he brought with him the Connecticut middle school cross country state champs.

Tom Casper: Wonderful man, taken from us too soon this past March. He created photographic memories he shared with runners over 12 years photographing the Loop, Run the Farm, and Raven Rocks Run. Many of you enjoyed his photos at the wall, the pit, pre-race, post-race, and on the courses.

Connections: at the last loop, a runner struck up a conversation with another runner during the race. “Where do you live?” We live in Bedford “Oh I grew up in Bedford. What area?” Oh I grew up in that area. What road?” Oh I grew up on that road. Wait, what house?…. That was the house I grew up in. My dad built that house!” You never know who you are running with, or on line for bagels next to, or walking to the start line side by side with. Make the connection, say hello. During and after your run don’t forget to make some connections. It makes the world a better place when we are connected more.

Gratitude: grateful to you, the runners. You make the event what it is. Grateful to the volunteers who come out and make the event possible. Make sure to thank them. Grateful to my wife Ciorsdan and family Orion & Sawyer; Special Shout out to my son Griffin & future daughter-in-law Kathryn. This time next year they will be newlyweds, getting married on April 20, 2024. (Note: next year’s LOOP DATE 4/28/24!) Grateful to Tony and Judy for creating this event and shepherding it through the years and keeping it going. It is not easy!

Introduce Joe Cloidt, trail guru.

Joe Cloidt introduces Danny Martin who will do the traditional Irish/Navajo Blessing.

Danny Martin introduces Tony Godino, race founder – who will start the race.