2019 Race Reviews!!!

OK, this is the part where I collect all the nice things people say about the race and preserve them in one place before they vanish into the Everest sized mountains of internet pixels that flood the intertubes every day, never to be found again unless we run for public office. (If you want results, go here, and photos, go here.)

One of the best parts about this are that comments come in from both deeply experienced front runners and rookies alike.

(Comments that came in via email were reproduced with permission.)
Running doesn’t have to be brand-sponsored, mass-produced, or boring. @painetopain has been keeping running fun, unique, and competitive for years without podcasts, influencers, or needing a 5k PR/Running Crew to even get in. I was lucky today to break the course record for this tough trail half marathon by over 90 seconds and STILL only finish 4th in a deep field of athletes. I’ll take this any day over the nonsense that’s marketed on the internet. Thanks @painetopain for the opportunity!  (Erik Reitenger, Orchard Street Runners)

Thanks for a great race this morning, as always it was the most enjoyable race in NY State. I run many races, you guys put the best one together. Great work from the organization, again!  (Philip, via email)

Race was a blast.  Most fun I’ve ever had in a half-marathon. (Patrick Dooley, 2019 Men’s Champion, via email)

Amazing race today! The course was in perfect condition, wonderful volunteers, and finish line area was great. I loved every minute of it. (@AnthonyRun21 on Instagram)

Dan Tower, 10x P2P finisher

The 2019 addition of the @painetopain trail half marathon is in the books. Always an amazing day. Beautiful day to run. Looking forward to my 11th running in 2020  (Dan Tower, 10x finisher, via Instagram)

I’m a first time Paine to Pain runner (I’ll be back next year).  This was an all around terrific event.  Your team hit it on all cylinders (pre-race info, logistics, beautiful, challenging course.  Great post race venue and refreshments.  Lots of volunteers in strategic places.  Very cool (and innovative) medal.  Really outstanding job!  (Keith Drayer via email)

 Many thanks to you and all the people who make P2P such a great race!  I really enjoyed the warmup lap and the race itself – another great year (Sam Wertheimer, who ran a two laps of the course, via email)

What a great event Eric and his crew of volunteers put on yesterday at @painetopain in New Rochelle, NY. Conditions could not have been better and the corps of volunteers was simply amazing. So much positivity and encouragement. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time…AND the competition was fierce with four men under the course record of 1:21:28 (and a fifth missing by just :02). Loved sharing some miles with my former college rival, Corey Levin, and proud to come away with 3rd in 1:19:19. 📸: (who took these great photos?) @trailmixseries #trailrunning  (Will McDonough, 2x champ of the Leatheman’s Loop)

What do you do when, after paying the stupid cheap rate a year ahead, you find out your 50th high school reunion is taking place in Philadelphia (it could be worse) the night before this year’s Paine to Pain?! Of course you want to go to the reunion and see how everyone has weathered the years. Maybe even gloat a little about how good you’re doing, especially if you’re still a crazy runner pushing into your late 60s. And, of course, you don’t want to miss the race, which has become one of the highlights of your running year. Especially when the weather will finally deliver a day for a pleasant jaunt through the woods instead of the sweatfests of the last few years.

So, you party with your 1969 classmates and then hit the road at 5 am on Sunday morning, swing through Brooklyn to pick up some teammates (PPTC rocks Paine to Pain), make it to New Rochelle and slog your way through it all. It doesn’t matter that it was the slowest race so far. All the volunteers, people at the water stops, local police guarding the road crossings and intersections, other runners, were cheering us on. The trails were dry and dappled in their unique beauty. The cool northern air even dampened some of the fragrance of those bridge underpasses (and I don’t think it’s because of bears you-know-whatting-in the woods). I just thought of it as “forest bathing” (it’s a thing) at a 12-14 minute pace. In fact, my slowness this year just meant more time to enjoy the experience…even the parts that sucked at the moment. 

So thanks again to you all for one of the great runs of the year. I’m ready to pull the trigger on the stupid cheap rate for 2020 and do my best to keep the rest of my calendar clear for that weekend. (Murray Rosenblith, Pied Piper of the Prospect Park Track Club)

Your race is the highlight of my fall race schedule.  The weather was perfect.  The course was, as always, a blast!  Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the parks in Westchester and as race director. Looking forward to next year and to early sign-up for the cheap rate.    Best deal in town.  (Mark Wellman via email)

Thank you for another eggselent race. (@RunWorkRepeat on Instagram)

Once again the Paine to pain experience was spectacular! Thanks so much Eric Turkewitz and NewRo Runners for making my day special. See you next year. (Michael Wolf via Facebook)

My biannual visit to New Rochelle for this race is always special. From the 200-year-old musket firing to start each wave to the immediate hill you climb to get to the trailhead to the constantly changing terrain. Five beautiful parks await you as you slice away mile after mile. Outside of those delightful challenges (yep, the full shebang: tree roots, branches, leaves, grass, little mud, a couple of stream crossings, wooden catwalks and tons of stones), this was a great day for running. …Kudos to race director, Eric Turkewitz for another successful race. Great to see you again, as always. (@WilWorksDC via Instagram)

The #painetopain trail half marathon is the most fun race of the year on the east coast. @painetopain thank you once again. (Alkis Valentin, founding member of the #FinishLinePhotoHallOfFame, via Instagaram)

Thank you to Eric Turkewitz, NewRo Runners, and all the volunteers and sponsors and vendors for a race organized with excellence, a sense of humor, and post-game food that included diabetic-friendly options. It was my first trail half, and will not be my last, despite falling flat on my face about midway. (Rachel Wolfe via Facebook)

Today I completed half marathon #2. The Paine to Pain trail run and let me tell you. It was painful. It was so incredibly hard and when I was running/walking up the big hills during the first 6 miles, one thought came to my mind. “This freakin sucks….. but I love every minute of it”. In case anyone’s wondering, yes the medal is an egg carton with patriots in the egg shells.(Apijar258 via Instagram)

I just ran my first Paine to Pain half this weekend (which I learned about from Instagram!), and wanted to thank you for putting on such a fun and well-organized race. The energy at the start, the fun and interesting course, and the excellent volunteers all made for great experience. I haven’t had that much fun at a race in awhile, and I know so much work goes into an event like that. So thank you so much! I’m bringing friends next year! (Emily Bunce, via email)

Thanks for a great race. Definitely coming back next year. (@jbasa713 via Instagram)

Beautiful day for some trails. Thank you to @painetopain & @newrorunners for organizing one of my favorite local trail races. Highly recommend Paine to Pain for anyone new to trail running or looking for a fast time – it’s a very runable course with a spectacular finish party. (Sarah Stafford, via Instagram)

Paine to Pain trail half. Avenging a bad race with my trail companion @griggs_on_the_run.  There were ups, downs, rocks, trees, logs, and even a small water crossing or 2. As an added bonus, I got to learn half a dozen ways to fold a buff from the race director himself @painetopain. Everything that a trail runner could ask for in his first trail half! (Monk_Runs_the_Woods via Instagram)


I came from Connecticut for this race. What a fun well-run (pun intended) event with a great vibe! Thanks so much to the the volunteers, especially the sweeper (whose name I can’t recall) and her super-dog Scout. Your encouragement really kept us going! (Elizabeth Geib via Facebook)

Lucille Renwick, P2P veteran and Sweeper Extraordinaire

I ran with Elizabeth [above] and agree our Champion Sweep and Scout were a highlight of the day. Would love to see a picture of them from the race. So many highlights – and the course marking was FANTASTIC. ‘Blocking’ the way not to go helped tremendously when tired! Girl Scouts were proactive with the water – another highlight – really can’t say enough good things. Love the race performance art. : )  (Fiona Russo, via Facebook)

Thank you for organizing the race preview 2 weekends before the race. It helped us greatly get used to the look and feel of our very first trail race. Thank you and Peter and all NewRo Runners volunteers for showing us the way.   
And thank you for organizing the race itself: it was as nice as we experienced it during the preview, as nice as some of our neighbors and runners bragged about it in the past years, and maybe a bit more: the weather could have not been better.
Thank you for your long, informational and very funny emails: they are the main reason Delia joined the race. Gene joined just because. (Gene and Delia via email)


Ok, the day was gorgeous and you guys did a bang up job as usual. May I kindly submit my “improvement requests” for next year:

  1. Make the weather bad. Do what you have to do. Get it done.
  2. Mix in some mud and dog poop along the way. Put it under the fallen leaves so we can’t see it. Mix it good so no matter how hard we try to get it off our shoes, it gets on our hands and in between our nails.
  3. Don’t invite back Douglas Palma. I’ve never met the guy and he is probably a stand up citizen. However, anyone that beats me by 1/100 of a second should not be invited back. Not cool, Doug. Not cool.

You guys ROCK!!! My hat goes off to you for a FANTASTIC DAY!!! (Todd Esposito, who once flew in from Ukraine for the race, but now only flies in from Vegas.)

Thank you for a fantastic race on Sunday. This was my second time running it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every road crossing was really well managed, the pink flags were well marked when I didn’t have someone to follow and the finish area worked great.  (Scott Rose, via email)

After years of mostly NYRR races, I cannot tell you how nice it was to participate in such an easygoing, chilled event. We picked up our bibs on the spot, did not line up for port-a-potties (because there was no line to be seen), and held on to our jackets almost until race time. “When does bag check close?!” I yelled. “You can throw your backpack my way as you cross the start line, and I’ll catch it!” the optimistic volunteer cheerfully announced, clearly unaware of my throwing skills. Let’s just say there are reasons why I’m not a hatchet-thrower. – PPTC Blog

One thought on “2019 Race Reviews!!!”

  1. This race was awesome. I don’t care that I finished 567th (568 can suck it! Just kidding). I don’t care that I twisted my ankle four times and tripped in a spectacularly ungraceful manner. I had a blast. The people were uplifting, the trail was beautiful and the vibe was so positive and encouraging, it gave my faith in humanity a boost. I had never been on many of those trails even though I’ve lived in Westchester for 20 years. Thank you, Paine to Pain!!

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