Pavement is for weenies.
You know it. I know it. And the thousands who’ve finished Paine to Pain know it, having run with abandon over miles and miles of our wooded trails like psychotic dogs chasing squirrels.
With that in mind, three pieces of news!
- Registration is now open! For one of the great trail races not just in this area but in the country. About 90% of this course is in the cool shade of the trees, just four short train stops from midtown Manhattan.
Is the race any damn good? In my completely unbiased opinion as race founder/director/grand poobah, it’s the greatest run since Han Solo did the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
Or read the two-page spread on the race in Trail Runner Magazine. Uh, huh. That’s right. National press, baby.
Hell, ask anyone that’s run this massive half marathon trail loop through five different parks what it’s like. Yeah, we’re cocky. And we like to set the bar of success really high, just to see if we can leap it, and hopefully still come down muddy if we’re lucky enough to be rained upon.
- Our trails received a whopping $800,000 upgrade from Westchester County Parks while you were hibernating your winter away. Why? Well, it seems a lot of people have discovered this trail system that we inaugurated in 2008. (Cue the whispering trees: If you build it, they will run.)
What kind of improvements? They paved the whole thing!
OK, maybe not. The County has been working on signage, drainage, footbridge replacements, stabilization and associated landscaping. Work has taken place in four out of the five parks we use: Saxon Woods, the long-neglected Hutchinson River Trail, Twin Lakes and Nature Study Woods. Basically, this covers miles 4 through 12.5 of the race.
Due to the winter improvements, lions, tigers and bears have been completely eradicated from the trail and wicked witch sightings are down 75%. Also, less poison ivy and fewer ticks.
- Did I mention that registration is now open? It’s just $50 from now until the end of May. Will you get your money’s worth? Please. Stop reading this stupid blog post and ask a friend what the race is like, unless of course, you’ve already run it, in which case you should be telling friends about it. And passing along this link.
October 4th. Gunshot at 9 am. Don’t screw this up.
Weenies can stay at home.
Warm and muggy, with copious sweat and exhaustion. Yup. That is exactly the image any trail runner wants memorialized in a photo for the wall or Facebook. I know I would. Except that I didn’t run it because I was sitting on a lounge chair being fed grapes and fanned by scantily clad servants. You think it’s easy being Race Director?
OK, I digressed, but that image was worth it, no?
Lucky for you we got the real deal on images, as our race photogs from Sport-Memories were out there on the course again for the 4th year in a row. They came armed with hi-res digital cameras, as you would expect from any quality shop, and they’ll pretty much make anything you want. Though printing your image on a servant may be asking too much. (I tried.)
And yes, a portion of the proceeds will go toward maintenance of the trails.
We had the photographers at the following places, hoping to catch as much of the drama (and facial expressions) as possible: The start line, the Leatherstocking Trail, Saxon Woods, the finish line, the pre and post-race gatherings and the awards.
Most photographs are indexed by bib numbers, but there are some in the “lost and found” since some numbers weren’t always visible: because they weren’t on yet, had already been removed, were covered mid-race, or they’d been eaten by a hungry runner. Yeah, another image.
The Rock Club — the top rock climbing gym in the NYC area;
New Rochelle Chevrolet — whose Corvette pace car burned rubber up Broadview;
Westchester Road Runner — the top running store in Westchester; and
Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital — there when you need it.
If you see me on the trails, don’t forget to say hi.
I always like doing this post, because the idea of a little running club putting on a big trail race is a rewarding challenge, and the reviewers let us know if we’ve pulled it off.
This page is not static. The comments are open, I’ve added additional selections that came via email (with permission), and I’ll provide links to other blog posts if I find them.
Having already done my own race recap, let’s see what other folks had to say, without being overly narcissistic about it:
Thank you to all of the volunteers, staff, sponsors, community members and racers who came together to make this event happen again.
After hearing about Paine to Pain for years, I am so glad I finally got to run it.
It’s the most organized and communal feeling running event I’ve ever been to and the organizers should be proud.
See you all next year! (Bobby Asher, Mens’ 2014 Champion)
The trails were perfect, the walkways so new and great, and the support along the course was a 10 out of 10! Ending in the stadium is always a blast! You did a fantastic job! Next year please work on the humidity . . . (Caroline Goldmacher-Kern, via email)
Such a wonderful event! A hard race, but loads of fun! Will be back next year. (Zhen Liu, via Facebook)
Boy! That was my first half on a trail and I struggled, a lot, but I had so much fun and enjoyed every bit of this experience. Big thanks to all the volunteers who patiently waited to cheer all the runners, and to those who worked tirelessly to organize this race. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do the unthinkable and scream my heart out at the finish line. (Arpit Gupta, via Facebook)
I just wanted to take the time to thank you for making my first half marathon the greatest experience! This was one of the most challenging things I have ever done but also the most rewarding. You guys are awesome and just wanted to let you know! Hearing my name called crossing the finish line was an amazing experience so thank you for that! (Ashley Lepino, via email)
Once again, I would like to thank you for a wonderful event. There isn’t another race on the planet – let alone a half marathon! – that I would consider entering having run only 4 days following a 6 week injury layoff. Ultimately the fact that I hadn’t run over 1 hour since June came back to bite me from mile 9 (ish) to the finish (ish), but I still had a great time.
I ran this race for a variety of reasons. First and foremost – you have always been exceedingly welcoming and accommodating to me. During my 2 years in Flagstaff, AZ, both you and Matt Lewis made sure that a.) I was aware when the race would be and that I was more than welcome, and b.) you went out of your way in 2012 to send me a race shirt and my number. When I left New Rochelle in 2011 as the course record holder I certainly felt proud; when 2012 came around I felt like family. Gestures such as this aren’t lost on me… (Matt Walsh, 2011 champ, course record holder, profiled in Runner’s World)
Best. Race. Shirt. Ever.
As usual, an A+ event.
Thanks Eric, your team, ALL the volunteers, and runners. (Dan Tower, via Facebook)
I had great time at race today. My 1st trail 1/2 marathon. Thank you all! (Annica Lin, via Facebook)
thanks for a great run today! it was our first time doing this trail race, but it won’t be our last:) we loved everything about it from the challenging, beautiful course to the amazing volunteers, and the fun finish around the track. wonderful organization. this will be on our yearly calendar as long as you have it!!!! (Charlotte Johnson, via Facebook)
Always the toughest, most fun, race of my running year. And, oh, my aching Achilles! Carried off the infield of the NewRo HS track on Sunday, hobbling on two crutches the next two days, down to one crutch for the two days after that, now (Friday) with the swelling starting to subside, sign me up for 2015! (Damon Maher via email)
Congrats on another great year. You and your staff and volunteers absolutely get it right. (Gerry Sullivan, 2008 Champ, 2x runner-up, who ran a warm-up lap before the race.)
This was the most organized, well communicated race I ever ran. I loved all the prerace emails. Even the signs as I pulled off the ramp from 95 were so helpful. Then I thought the course must be easy because so many people were running. It wasn’t easy! (Lorie Sheinwald, in the recap comments)
Thank you to all the police officers and volunteers who kept us safe! And made me laugh, I’m talking to you volunteer in the sombrero!! (more at Meggies Journey blog)
Another great race is now in the books. Thanks, again, for adding the whole rain forest theme on top of the challenging terrain. And, thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors! (Jay Radner via Facebook)
I know I say the same thing every year, but here it goes one more time. Nothing but thanks and admiration to everyone involved in putting the Paine to Pain Half on. The volunteers, the sponsors, the local communities and the police. What a great, “small” race. The hometown feel from the local restaurants to the New Ro cheerleaders really makes it feel like home. Eric, take a well deserved rest. You put on quite the event again. I’m already looking forward to next year. Just let me know when we register. (Jim Aiello, via Facebook, who is first to register every year and has already done so for 2015)
thanks for a great race yesterday! i grew up in westchester and never knew abt those trails-i’ll be back! (Kimberly Behrman, via Twitter)
From the Preview Run two weeks before the race: even though it was my first time on those trails, i run on the roads that bisect the course practically every weekend. to say it was an eye opening experience to see what great trail running (a good mix of hills, single track, and technical terrain) was literally just a few feet off the main roads would be an understatement. (Run Dangerously blog)
Awesome race! First half marathon…first trail…still on a high!! Loved the personal touches throughout! (Suzanne Dolan, via Facebook)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is my favorite race. Many thanks to you Eric and to all the volunteers.(Jason Kelly via Facebook)
I’ve been struggling to get this race on my calendar since 2008! First time today & I couldn’t be happier; challenging but fair course, fantastic volunteers, unmatched post-race festival. Can’t wait for next year (Tim Guscott,via Facebook)
But this was an amazing course! It reminded me about why I love running the trails every once in a while and the fact that these trails are in my neck of the woods is a huge bonus.
I run many races that give the finishers medals and while I have earned every one, there is that occasional medal that holds more weight and this is one of them. (Scoops on the Run blog)
Thanks for another great year! My favorite run out of the 100s I run regularly. This year the wave starts were terrific and worked out well. Volunteers are always awesome. Thanks so much for doing this each year. (Carolyn Murphy, in the comments)
As always, the best local race I’ve ever run. Can’t wait for 2015 in not 90% humidity. (Josh Lieberson,via Facebook)
What an amazing event. It was different, hard and I had a blast. See you again next year. (Erika Rodriguez, via Facebook)
Great race! Thank you to Eric and all those that helped make this event so great. The challenge and camaraderie can’t be found anywhere else. (Neil McClure, via Facebook)
Thanks to all the volunteers who help to make this a success every year! It was a great race…hard, but great! (Heather Metz, via Facebook)
The comments here are open if you’d like to add more…
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”
So said the Tom Hanks character to the Geena Davis one in A League of Their Own as a player wanted to quit the game.
Was this year’s edition of Paine to Pain hard with the 200% humidity? Well I didn’t run it this year, I watched you.
But 2x Badwater champ Pam Reed came up to me after the race. “That was hard.”
It made me smile. We didn’t call this the Buttercup Classic, after all.
But the question is why? Why would we race through the woods to the point of exhaustion, and perhaps beyond? Isn’t sitting on the couch with a beer and chips quite a bit easier?
Is it the little kid in all of us that wants to run with abandon through the forests?
Or is it because running is an exceptionally primal activity, particularly in the woods? Is this, perhaps, a couple million years of evolution at work? Sleep, make babies and run through the woods to catch our food? Are we seeing a little bit of that whole Born to Run thing in action?
And it makes us feel alive. Invigorated. With a pounding heart, screaming legs and sweat pouring off the body. Part of the living breathing world. Very much a counterpoint to the day-to-day, artificial air environment in which so many of us work and live.
I waited at the finish line for you after sending you up Broadview on your journey. The Rock Club tent was chock full of climbing gear and fun. Massage therapists (Thanks Tony!), local restaurants, Hudson Milk, New Rochelle Chevy, REI…waiting…waiting…waiting. We watched the young ‘uns come tearing into the track from their one-miler, led by a crew of kid pacers from the Tailwind Track Club, to finish in the same place you would. I got continued updates about where you were from our WECA ham operators out on the course.
And then we heard the roar of the cheerleaders! Our winner, Bobby Asher, flew from the woods into the home stretch, made the turn into the stadium, swooped through the final turn and took top podium honors. He was followed closely by Miguel Cuaya and Luis Francisco taking second and third respectively. (All results)
Incredibly, despite the warm temps and soupy humidity, Francisco set a new course record in the exceptionally deep men’s 40-49 group with his 1:24:18, besting his own prior record by over two minutes. And Kevin Shelton-Smith seemed to scalp 8 seconds off the course record for men’s 50-59 set in our first year — though it was actually more impressive than that since the course that first year was a few hundreds yards too short and was subsequently lengthened.
Trail newbie Hope Sanders took top prize for the women, with strides that looked effortless. Easy. Though we knew otherwise. She was followed to the Fin-ish line banner by Bethany Brown and Clare Marsigliano. And we saw a new course record for the women’s 50-59 group, with Jennifer Darnell besting the old course record by over five minutes.
And then I watched you all chow down on gazpacho from Roasted Peppers, fresh baked bread from AJ’s Burgers, pasta from Modern, sandwiches from Cafe Mozart, and fruit from Stop & Shop. And maybe the water from DeCicco’s and soda from Zevia went down a little bit quicker yesterday than usual?
Sanders and Asher both get, in addition to their engraved tankards, and some incoming top-end hydration vests from Salomon Sports, a free ticket to Paine to Pain for as long as I am Race Director. All others that were awarded tankards — either overall or in age groups — should keep an eye on their mail in the coming weeks for a package from Salomon.
It started with Jillian Perrius turning a cartwheel down the home stretch in 2010. In 2011 Kristin Iversen Koch flashed me a big smile over bloody knees when I saw her in the finish area. In 2012, it went to Todd Esposito who flew in from Ukraine for this race. And in 2013 to Erica Weisberg who gave up 15 minutes of her time mid-race to help another runner who’d become injured.
While it’s tempting to give a couple of unnamed runners the award for their fashionable bloody-nipple addition to their race shirts, those efforts were merely second best to this year’s winner, Michelle Robotham. But you won’t find Michelle, a veteran P2Per, as a registrant this year due to a knee injury. She volunteered, but then came through in a most unexpected way.
It seems traffic had not been blocked on one of the local streets leading to the home stretch, and cars were pouring through onto the course. Knowing the neighborhood well, Michelle just took charge, blocked traffic with her body, and stared down some pissed off drivers while directing them to use an alternative side street until a properly appointed blue uniform with badge and actual authority came to take control.
I love the unexpected. And I love to see the injured get back on their feet and out on the trails again. If her doctor gives her the A-OK next year, Michelle comes back as our guest.
And if you’d like to see what others have written about the race, see this page of collected reviews and comments.
This is a copy of the pre-race e-mail blast for those that managed to lose it already:
The forecast is for unseasonably warm weather, rather than the cold, rain and mud that always makes things interesting.
Since we only have 3 water stops, we urge all runners to carry supplemental water.
With a bit of luck, this answers all your questions, though some of you will refuse to read to the bottom and send me questions anyway:
1. Start Time: The first wave starts with a gunshot at 9 am. If you don’t pick up your packet Friday or Saturday, please leave ample time before the race for parking, packet pick up, port-o-potties, bag check and schmoozing. We don’t really care if you schmooze, we just want you to get there early and not walk up at the last second and demand attention.
2. Wave Start: Four waves, with five minutes between each, and an estimated 150 runners per wave. The race is electronically timed and we know from your chip where you’re supposed to start. Don’t screw that up. Your bib numbers and wave assignments are already on the website. You need to know your wave to claim your number.
Some runners in later waves will be faster than those in earlier ones. This is deliberate, because putting all of the middle-of-the-pack runners in the same wave would cause congestion on the trails. And we hate congestion on the trails.
3. Number Pick-up: We strongly encourage runners to pick up race numbers and shirts prior to race day at Westchester Road Runner at 179 E. Post Road in White Plains:
Friday: 5-8 pm
Saturday: 10 am-4 pm
Those that pick up their packets there will receive a free copy of Trail Runner Magazine as long as our big box of 200 extra copies holds out.
In addition, Westchester Road Runner is offering 20% off non-sale shoes and clothes, at the time you pick up your numbers.
The store will also recycle old running shoes to charity. Rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn them in a year, get rid of them. Someone else will be happy you did.
You must pick up your own number and nobody else’s. Please bring ID. The only exception is picking up for someone with your same last name or address. Please do not ask for additional exceptions.
4. Number transfers are not permitted. Veteran P2Pers will remember that if you transfer a number, a kitten will die. And it will be your fault.
This is a fund-raiser to improve the trails you are running on. This is what we have done for the trails and what we hope to do in the future. If you transfer a number you foul up the results, and could deprive another person of an award. This is just one of the reasons for the no transfer (and no refund) policy.
5. Tech shirts were guaranteed to those who registered by September 1st. If you don’t get a shirt at check-in, you can pick one up after the race on a first come, first serve basis (depending on the number of no-shows). Our shirt policy can be found at this link. I believe that we ordered enough that everyone will go home with a shirt.
6. Late Registration: If you have a friend that still hasn’t registered, well isn’t that laziness pathetic for an endurance athlete?
If they come to number pick-up on Friday or Saturday, or to the registration area between 7-8:30 am race day, we’ll likely squeeze them in. But we will not oversell the race and swamp the trails with too many runners. Please check the website for updates on late entries. Print out this entry blank, fill in pages 2 and 3 and bring it with you to register at Westchester Road Runner or on race day.
7. Parking is available in two parking lots and on the street. The lot in front of the High School will fill up early. The lot behind the High School on Clove Road is quite large, and has a walkway bringing you past the front of the school toward the start.
Don’t even think about parking on Broadview, as that is the racecourse. Click here for a printable map of the parking areas, which you can click again to enlarge. Please consider carpooling to alleviate congestion.
8. Public transportation from NYC: Easy-peasy. Click this link.
A taxi from the station should cost about $7. We expect many Manhattan/Brooklyn runners so keep your eyes open to share a taxi with other runners.
Or use our Facebook page to see if you can hook up with another runner for a ride. Maybe you’ll get lucky.
9. Baggage Drop is available at the start. You can check one bag, which will be brought to the finish line. Your bib will have a numbered pull tag that can be pinned to your bag. Please don’t leave valuables in the bags, as we are not responsible for them.
10. Course Markings: We expect to lay down about 500 bright pink flags with our Colonial Runner logo, placed at trail intersections and occasional intervals. Some people will ignore the flags and run off course anyway.
11. Toilets: Porto-potties at the start (get there early!), the 7.5-mile mark (Saxon Woods golf course) and the High School locker room at the finish.
12. Water/Medical: Water and medical attention will be available at only three spots during the race, in addition to the start and finish. These aid stations are at miles 4-ish, 7.5-ish and 10.8-ish. Carry supplemental water due to the expected warm weather.
13. Mid-Race Drop-Out: If you get injured, or are too exhausted to finish, you should check in with a volunteer at an aid station. If you can’t make it to the aid station, tell a volunteer on the course. If you tell the police you are injured they will transport you to the emergency room, not the finish line.
14. The course closes: A sweeper will discharge police and volunteers, starting in Wave 4 and finishing in three hours. Please stay in front of the sweeper! We estimate that middle-of-the-pack finishing times will be your regular 1/2 marathon pace plus an extra 10-15% to account for the rough terrain. If you’re slower than the sweeper you are on your own, but we will leave the flags in place so you’ll only be lonely, not lost.
15. Kid Races: We will have kid races again, brought to you by the Tailwind Track Club. Young ‘uns will run one mile on a course that takes them on a dirt trail around the twin lakes in front of the high school (with rocks, roots and uneven ground, suitable for tripping and falling).
The one-miler is free and will start around 9:30, after the 4th wave sets off. Print out this waiver and bring it with you. Even younger kids will run/crawl on the football field and track afterward. Listen for details on race morning.
16. Post-Race: We have four restaurants providing food: Café Mozart and Roasted Peppers from Mamaroneck, and AJ’s Burgers and Modern from New Rochelle. The Hudson Milk Co. will give you cold chocolate milk after you finish. Bottled water from DeCicco’s. Fruit from Stop & Shop. Surprises from New Rochelle Chevrolet and The Rock Club. We expect to start an awards ceremony at 11:40-ish.
There will also be a medical tent staffed by Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital and an ambulance from TransCare. We hope you don’t visit them, except to say thanks.
Several massage therapists will be on hand to assist with post-race stretching, organized byTony’s Kneaded Touch in Norwalk, CT.
17. Post-Race Showers! We’ve once again arranged for the High School locker room to be opened so you can shower and change.
18. No Dogs. We have dogs. We like their happy, wagging tails and like scratching their bellies. Sadly, we don’t get to make all the rules for the school grounds. That means Tucker, Princess and Snoopy have to stay home. (It’s also the reason we can’t have beer – so stop asking me! I tried!)
19. Volunteers: This event is put on by NewRo Runners. Our entire race committee, race director included, is volunteer. We expect 200+ volunteers on race day. Please be nice to them, they are working hard. Kissing volunteers is permitted. Except for the high school cheerleaders. Kissees must be 18 or older to participate.
Feedback: We started with 50 people in 2008 and will probably register 700 this year. We have quickly become one of the largest trail races in the nation, without ever having been reviewed by any running magazine. The vast majority of our runners learned of the race by word of mouth. We encourage feedback regarding the event to know what works and what doesn’t as we continue to grow and continue to rely on word of mouth as our main means of marketing.
You can also follow ongoing details on Facebook and Twitter (@PaineToPain).
This year four local restaurants will join us at the finish line, so you are not stuck with rubbery bagels after you’ve cooled down:
- Modern Restaurant (New Rochelle) – cold pastas
- Roasted Peppers (Mamaroneck) – gazpacho
- Café Mozart (Mamaroneck) – sandwiches
- AJ’s Burgers (New Rochelle) – freshly baked bread
This, of course, is in addition to the fresh fruit coming courtesy of Stop & Shop.
Do we treat you right, or what?
Our food sponsors join another new sponsor, Salomon Running, who will have some extra race day swag for our more talented runners.
And don’t forget the kids’ 1-mile race (and shorter for the smaller ones), coordinated by Tailwind Running Club while P2P is in progress. This is a family affair. And there ain’t no charge!
Haven’t registered yet? Waiting for the Wussies Penalty Rate to kick in?
You can also follow ongoing details on Facebook and Twitter (@PaineToPain).
NewRo Runners, the group that organizes the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon, will host a preview run of the course on September 7th at 8 am. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early so that we can start promptly.
All runners are invited to join us for this trail run, whether you are signed up for the September 21st race or not, and whether you want to run the whole loop or just a section (see below).
The preview is not a race, but simply a guided running tour of the P2P course, hosted by NewRo Runners, who will do this run as one of our regular weekend group runs.
We will have multiple groups – which we coyly designate as fast, medium and slow, because tall, grande and venti didn’t seem right. The groupings will generally (and very loosely) be:
- Fastest – training for 3:20 marathon or faster (or 1:30 ½-marathon)
- Medium – training for 3:20 – 4:00 marathon (or 1:30 – 2:00 ½-marathon)
- Slower – training for 4-5:00 hour marathon (All runners should be capable of running a 2:30 half marathon on the street – please, no walkers.)
There are no fees, no services, and you don’t have to be a member of NewRo Runners to join us. Just send me an email or drop a note in the comments, on Twitter (@PaineToPain), or let us know on our Facebook page, so that I have a sense of how big our crowd will be, and let me know which group you think you might run with. You can always change groups on the spot, or mid-run if you don’t like the lime green shorts of the guy in front of you.
You can also run a shorter distance if you choose.
Important!! We do not meet at the starting line for P2P! We start, instead, at the trailhead for the Leatherstocking Trail. This is at the corner of Pinebrook Boulevard and Hillside Crescent in New Rochelle. (See map) There is parking available on Hillside Crescent.
There is one water stop along the way, at the Saxon Woods Golf Club, which has bathrooms as well, and is at the 6.8-ish-mile mark.
Your options are:
- 5.6 miles — Out and back on the Leatherstocking trail, which is marked. (Also the most difficult terrain of the race.)
- 10 miles — Stay with the group until we head down the Hutchinson River Trail (after passing the water stop) and then bail out when at Pinebrook Boulevard. This is the same street we started on, but two miles away. Then run two miles on Pinebrook back to the start. There are no turns to make after leaving the group.
- 13+ —The full monty. As an extra bonus, instead of running the Broadview hill at the start of the race, you get to run it at the end when you are tired.
Please let me know if you will be able to join us. You can respond via Twitter (@PaineToPain), on Facebook (Paine to Pain has its own page), the comments here, or via email.
And our thanks again to our gold level sponsors:
Another successful race done and we are winding down with just one more issue: Race photos!
For the third year in a row we have Sport-Memories as our official photography team. The team comes armed with hi-res digital cameras, as you would expect from any quality shop, and they pretty much make anything you want.
And yes, a portion of the proceeds will go toward maintenance of the trails.
We had the photographers at the following places, hoping to catch as much of the drama (and facial expressions) as possible: The start line, mile 2-ish, mile 6-ish, the finish line, the pre and post-race gatherings and the awards.
Most photographs are indexed by bib numbers, but there are some exceptions, and these can be found in the “lost and found” category. This includes the issue that some of our elites had names on bibs instead of numbers. Oops. Thankfully, you folks should have an easy time finding your pics — you are always near the front.
There are also many whose bibs were obscured by hands or clothing that you will find in the lost and found.
See you next year, or on the trails…
This is a truly FUN race. Eric, its obvious you and your entire team have a passion and vision for what this race should be and it comes through from the waiver to the musket start to the tankard-trophy’s to the post-race review. The dedication to lighthearted amusement is refreshing and even more important for a race where no one is going to set a PR.The other pervasive thought as I was running: This is not a race the NYRR would ever put on – which is what makes it great. The rocks, roots and other technical features that make the race so exciting would scare NYRR’s legal team shitless. And honestly if I had any clue what was coming, I would have been too (for totally different reasons – that course takes its pound of flesh). But for someone trapped in the NYC road race monopoly this was incredibly refreshing (or as refreshing as a half marathon can be…). The leaders even got to see some deer. —Matt Collins, 3rd place overall in a dramatic finish, via email.
It was also a pleasure to run Paine to Pain again. It’s a great race and that’s why I repeated. You can see how comitted you and your team are in the organization. The course is nice, the start not crowded (thanks to the waved start) and the post-race one of the best I’ve seen.
Paine to Pain is the best race I’ve run in the US so far (along with Colchester Half Marathon). You get the feeling it’s been organized for and by runners. — Adrià Botofill (Mens’ Champion, 2013), via email
My toughest run ever! But I came, I saw, I conquered. — El Tiburon via Facebook
Tough race. Cool medal. — Lou Esposito via Twitter
Of all the half’s and full marathons, obstacle mud runs and everything in between, this is one of the most challenging courses, well, outside of the Rockies. The rolling hills and variation in terrain keep you focused at every step, there’s no room for error. Hats off to a very well organized event…the staff, cheerleaders, and many Iona college students were on the side of the trails cheering us on. Well done! — David Chan via email
I’d like to personally thank you for putting on an extraordinary race this past weekend. There had been so many people saying incredible things about your race, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity. To some degree I wanted to break my good friend Matt Walsh’s course record and on another level I wanted to nab some cool historically themed running stuff. I had been on pace to break the course record, but then I took a nasty spill and, as you know, led Adria Botifoll and myself off course. Perhaps it was the confusion that sets in when you are battered 11 miles into a half-marathon that led me off course, but the area was definitely well marked.
Despite the mishaps I experienced and the soreness and mild bruising I am currently experiencing, I can say, without a doubt, that I had more fun at Paine to Pain than I have had at any other race I have been to. Everything about the race was incredibly well done. And I am extremely appreciative that you brought attention to Matt Collins’ actions at the race [see race report].
One final note, the tankard is by far the coolest prize I have ever received for a race.– Nick DiBenedetto, 2nd place overall
This was my first race ever and I had a great time! — Perry Burr, via Facebook
Thank you for putting on such a quality race. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously and will make sure to spread the word for next year. Without guys like you, guys like us would have nowhere to run.– Jim Thompson, whose 13-year-old son Drew came in 24/637 overall.
Still on a high from yesterday’s jaunt through the woods. My first competitive running race was in 1969. I was a 9th grader in the 4X100m relay, taking the tight turns on the old flat, splintery Armory floor. And of the hundreds of competitions I’ve been in since then, over the full array of distances and course conditions, yesterday was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race. Excellent organization, lovely scenery, lots of support from the spectators, great interaction with the other runners. — Damon Maher, via email
I finished. I saw Eric afterward. The race, I said, was a ring of hell. Not the innermost, perhaps, but not very far out. — Joe Garland, Run Westchester Blog, Truth in Advertising: Paine to Pain Race Report
“Paine to Pain” trail half-marathon: one wasp sting, fell once, a couple of ankle twists, and nausea throughout…definitely end the race in PAIN. Cant wait to do it next year!! Tough but beautiful trail. — stephtwist6 via Instagram
Another stellar day orchestrated by Eric Turkewitz and the entire P2P crew. Huge thanks to ALL the volunteers and municipalities for the amazing support. By far my favorite race. — Dan Tower, via Facebook
Lots of port-a-potties near the starting line. And some pretty decent swag at the finish. What more could a guy want from his first half marathon? Oh, beautiful scenery and an easy-to-follow trail with, according to my GPS, over 1000 feet total climb. The Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon had it all, my friend! And I didn’t even mention my pre-race massage. Baller! — David Lesser @ Amateur Idiot, Professional Dad (review)
I had a blast and will be in every year now….Favorite part is Iona kids in the woods and cheerleaders and guy on Broadview playing Rocky theme as we started! — Dave Long, first time 1/2 marathoner and 1st time trail runner
WOW! What great stories those were. I had a great time and met some really nice people, from those at Westchester Road Runners to some of my fellow massage therapists at the finish line. Several people asked me why did I come all the way from the DC area for this particular race. Answer: Because it was there. See you next year! — Wil White, via Facebook
It was an amazing trail race that tested me in ways I have not been tested in a very long time! Thanks! – Megan Letts Frund, via Facebook
I decided to walk my pooch in the a.m. near the race start of the“Paine to Pain” Half Marathon, and write a short blog with a few video clips before appointments.. The enthusiasm was so apparent, the excitement, the energy and oh my – how those volunteers worked! — Spectator Gay Rosen, “Paine to Pain” Half Marathon 2013 – What a Marvelous Day!, with some video footage.
Proud to have finished the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon on Sunday. The most beautiful and enjoyable trail run EVER. I have two great booboos to show for it. — Kari Kohl, via P2P Facebook page
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