Paine to Pain – Registration Opens!!! (Very briefly)

September 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: 2017 Race 

karenmurrayWe’re doing it again!

Registration has just opened for Paine to Pain 2017, with a tentative date of October 8th!

And we are once again doing it for the stupid-cheap price of $30! Yes, you read that right:


This comes with two big, fat, hairy caveats, of course:

So you once again get stupid-cheap in exchange for a bigger risk of no-show due to injury or conflict because you have to go to the baby shower of your third cousin, twice removed, who you see once every two years at a funeral but you have been told that it’s a family obligation and you will be forever and a day remembered if you foul this up and don’t go to it.

Yes! I know that was a run-on sentence! Do I look like an idiot?!?  Don’t answer that! It was a rhetorical question!  I’m just excited! Can’t you see all the exclamation marks!!!

Registration is open for just three days! Did you get that?

Just. Three. Days.

Register here.

And don’t forget to read my Race Director’s Recap (and Prize!!) for this past year!

And download your free online pics! Stick ’em on Facebook. Stick ’em on Instagram! Stick ’em to your toddler’s tushy!

And remember, if you blow this stupid-cheap early registration we will re-open on April 22nd, Earth Day, at our usual early-bird rate of $50. Still cheap! But not stupid-cheap! Stupid-cheap is a 40% discount off regular cheap!

And we once again thank our wonderful sponsors from this past year’s ridiculously successful race:




Supporting Sponsors:

In cooperation with:

Again, Register now!

The 2016 Reviews Are Coming In!

September 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: 2016 Race 

fdnyYou know what? It’s fun republishing reviews when your event goes off well. And did Paine to Pain 2016 go off well? Hell yeah! (And we got the free photos to prove it!)

Comments come from all places: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and (if I have permission) from email. If I find additional, I will add them. And the comments are open if you’d like to leave additional, favorable (cough, cough) comment below.

And my recap of the race, and the awarding of the Race Director’s Prize, can be found here.

Another challenging outing at #PaineToPain today. Amazing to see how this race has grown from a small handful of local trail runners into one of the premier races in the area. Thanks for a great one. (Zach Ikkanda, via Instagram)

Today was amazing! I was amused and impressed by the running juggler, blown away and inspired by the blind runner, encouraged by the lovely cheerleaders, and then rewarded with yummy food! Looking forward to next year. (Noreen Goodnough Hochman, via Facebook)

heather-metzThank you for another great P2P! I would like to thank the volunteers, the officers, medical, and the race director!! I always look forward to running this race! (Heather Metz, via Facebook).

Just a quick note to say thank you for a terrific run and event! Everything was well organized. Yesterday was my first trail race – I had a great time. I know these events take a tremendous amount of work – your efforts are apparent.
To Eric, the NewRo Runners and everyone else who put today together, thank you. There is no better race around. Just when you think the race can’t any better, Eric somehow finds a way to raise the bar on the food and to find a really rocking band. One of my favorite days of the year. God willing, I’ll be there again for 2017. (Jim Aiello, via Facebook)

Really cannot say enough good things about #PaineToPain half marathon. Good course,, fun volunteers. Would very much like to run it again next year. (Wolfsbane_arooo, via Instagram)

I’m looking forward to running P2P again in the future! (Kevin Gross, via email)

Had a great time and the high recommendations from my friends were certainly met. Looking forward to next year’s running. (Justin Wood, via email)

No mud but a most excellent time . Thanks to Eric and the NewRo volunteers. Always lots of competition. See you next year! (Paul  Greenberg, via Twitter)

Eric Turkewitz, P2P’s Race Director, does an awesome job organizing what is widely considered one of the best trail races in the eastern US. I plan my early fall racing calendar around it. (Tim Decker, via Facebook, who ran the Bronx 10-miler at 8 am, then taxied to New Rochelle to run P2P!)

smemories-28Let’s just start off with the fact that the food was fantastic!

Granted this place is only open one day a year, but the $30 (w/ early reservation) Prixe Fixe, all-you-can-eat spread is not to be missed.

I started w/ a few servings of an outstanding 2016 chocolate milk. Has a beverage ever hit the spot like that? Next on the menu was a few servings of mac-and-cheese and chili. With autumn just underway, these two faves certainly put the comfort in “comfort food”. Did I stop there? Nope. You can try and keep me from an Italian cold cut sub but it’s not gonna work. The sub was easily an A+ with my slice full of roasted peppers, salami, prosciutto, capicola, and provolone. Great Pheidippides, that was good.

But for some reason, I was still ravenous…so slid on over for half an everything bagel with cream cheese. And gotta leave room for dessert right? So to wrap up my brunch, I had a satisfying yogurt smoothie.

As always, the staff was friendly, helpful and fast (they all wear running shoes!). They take care of all the small details which made it a pleasure to come back for my seventh time.

Sounds great right? There’s one catch to this amazing, annually held brunch. You must run 13.1 miles to get it. But it’s well worth it.

A few tips. Get there early. Line starts to form on Broadview off North Ave in New Rochelle around 8:30AM at . Gratuities in the form of heart-felt thanks and gratitude to management and volunteers are a MUST.

See you in 2017.

(Dan Tower, via Facebook)


Steven Berger powers toward the finish line at the high school.

Awesome seeing so many amazing runners on a gorgeous fall day at the Premier Northeast Trail Half Marathon! Another successful year! Thank you Eric Turkewitz, all the NewRo Runners, Iona and Monroe College and other volunteers. NR cheerleaders and whomever else I missed! Awesome seeing so many other run clubs! Team RWB, Brooklyn Trail Runners, Prospect Park. (Karen Murray, 50-state marathoner, via Facebook)

Thanks to Eric and the team for making my first race in the US so memorable. Thanks also for the shout out at the start line. The organisation and support for this race is truly amazing and I hope one day to return to better my time.(Robert Hirst, Great Britain, via Facebook)

Fantastic day for a trail half marathon. Paine to Pain was a superbly run event; great trails; fun course, loved the track finish with my little Champ. Oh, and probably the best post-race food I’ve experienced at a race. (Rich White, via Instagram.

A big thanks to Founding Father Eric Turkewitz for organizing this event and allowing me to joggle it. I’d also like to thank all the good-humored volunteers for making this an amazing race experience. Congratulations to everyone who completed this event, it was a pleasure running with you. (Chris Pert, who, incredibly, juggled his way through P2P and describes how he did it.)

This race is super organized and well-run (Leibar @ Running Break)

2016 Race Director’s Recap (And Race Director’s Prize!!!)

September 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: 2016 Race 
"King Luis" Francisco brings it home for back-to-back wins at Paine to Pain

“King Luis” Francisco brings it home for back-to-back wins at Paine to Pain

On Sunday we didn’t just crown a champion, we coronated a king. What else can you say about a 4x Paine to Pain runner who has amassed a record like this:

2013 – 6th place (1:26:24)

2014 – 3rd place (1:24:18)

2015 – Champion (1:21:53)

2016 – Champion (1:21:58)

That runner is Luis Francisco of Mahopac, NY. And King Luis becomes the first male to ever repeat as champion. Luis was followed to the finish line by Pete Tedesco of Larchmont (1:23:27 on the gun) and Ben Collier (1:23:51) from a very substantial Brooklyn contingent that joined us in Westchester for our little jaunt through the woods.

On the women’s side, P2P rookie Chelsea Ellis of Port Chester grabbed the top of the podium (if we actually used a podium) with her 1:35:55, and was followed to the finish by Maria Sacchetti of NYC (1:37:23 on the gun) and Morgan Linger of Danville, NH (1:38:30).

There were other shining lights on the day, of course, other than Old Man Weather who decided to treat us to cool temps and clear skies . (Where was all that rain and mud I asked for?)

One of those lights was a bottle rocket of a kid, JonThomas Bierman, who was not only running P2P for the second time despite being just 13 years old, but managed to scalp a full eight minutes off last year’s maiden voyage by running 1:33 and coming in 25th overall. Methinks our front runners had best be worried if J.T. Firecracker keeps coming back, for this princeling of the trails may one day snatch that laurel wreath (if we actually used laurel wreaths).


Chelsea Ellis breaks the tape in her virgin effort at Paine to Pain.

One thing I noticed this year that was a bit different than others, was how long folks lingered at the post-race party. Hey, we’ve had good post-race weather before, so that couldn’t be the thing.

Was it the live music from Third Stone? That was the first time we’ve done that, and frankly, they were awesome.

Maybe it was the post-race food from A.J.s Burgers (cold pasta w/ vegetables), Texas Roadhouse (pork sliders) or Got Thyme (gazpacho!)? Maybe the cold chocolate milk from Hudson Milk or yogurt from Dannon? The giant subs from DeCiccos Markets? Or the chili provided by our own Finish Line Coordinator, Michele Stevens and family? Or the pace cars (and cookies!!) from New Rochelle Chevrolet?

Or the tremendous community support (more on that to come)?Or, perhaps, runners just wanted to see who would walk away with our engraved tankards and swag from Salomon?

Does any other race treat you like this?

And we had more massage and physical therapists than ever before. (Thank you MS Strength, Symmetry PT and Finish Line Physical Therapy!!)

I’m not just aimlessly plugging sponsors, of course, because every single one of them brought something to the table.

Finally, you know what comes after talking about a few of our sponsors? Giving out the Race Director’s Prize!

This award is given in my complete discretion as dictator Grand Poobah, basically based on my mood. <cue up maniachal laugh> And isn’t that a totally awesome power to have?

A little history of the award, which is a free ticket back to P2P. Our past winners:

2011: The award was created on a whim when Jillian Perrius turned a cartwheel down the home stretch.

2012: To Kristin Iverson Koch who flashed me a big smile over bloody knees when I saw her in the finish area.

2013: To Erica Weisberg who added at least 15 minutes to her time when she stopped to assist an injured runner.

2014: To P2P veteran, Michelle Robotham, who was volunteering, and stopped traffic with her body when she saw cars  pouring on to the course.

2015: To  Lori Trimble, a P2P veteran who ran the legendary mud run in 2011. And returned to run this as her first race after surgery. She had just donated a kidney to her brother.

So who gets it in 2016? I have three runner-ups:.

The first  is Tim Decker of the New York Flyers, who ran the Bronx 10-miler starting at 8 am, hopped in a cab, showed up to our start an hour late, and became his own special wave of sorts by racing Paine to Pain. Crazy, right?

You know else gets an honorable mention? John Mazzei. A couple years ago he tried to run this race barefoot, and I don’t mean barefoot style. He fell short back then and had to slap on some emergency footwear. But on Sunday he came back to complete his mission. More crazy.

A final runner-up was Chris Pert, The Bronxville Joggler … doing Paine to Pain while juggling? Seriously? And finishing in 2:01? Personally, I have this desperate need to FOCUS ON THE DAMN ROCKS AND ROOTS. Or I fall. Chris clearly has a skill set I don’t have. And knows how to entertain folks in the process.

But you know where this award must lead, don’t you? It leads to Pam McGonigle, who happens to be both blind and a superb athlete (4x Paralympian, gold medal winner) who ran our trails in 2:04, finishing a remarkable 12th out of 54 in her age group.

pammcgonigle-painetopainShe ran the race tethered to her selfless guide, Nick Speranza, running in his 8th Paine to Pain, as he called out the rocks, roots and other tripping hazards of the course he knows so well. Nick also built out the team with two other guides (Bill Foley and Greg Shoroko) to assist in case he got hurt. (It was he who had trained Pam’s guide dog, Maida, to run with her.)

But if you think Pam running Paine to Pain, and doing it quickly, is a remarkable story, let’s add some whip cream to this sundae story: She stopped running after the 2004 Paralympics and only started again four months ago.

And now the cherry on top: She has never run a half marathon. And she has never raced on trails. This gal was a miler on the track.

Yes, I am flabbergasted also. When she crossed the finish line, I immediately looked at her knees, elbows and shoulders, looking for the inevitable blood or dirt from having taken a tumble or three that I knew must happen. But nothing. Zip. Nada. She was spotless.

When reached by email after the race, Pam had this to say:

My success hinges on the commitment of guide runners.  I am nothing without them so I am grateful for the personal sacrifices they make to help me complete a race.  Nick is extraordinary in his ability to guide run.  The communication and trust required in that environment is phenomenal.  I have run with many guides, some of the best in the world, mostly on the track and roads (since I am traditionally a miler) and I can tell you that Nick is one of the best guides I have ever run alongside.  I had total trust in his ability to get me though that course.  Never a doubt.  I believed in him and he believed in me and therefore we succeeded.

I found the people at the race very welcoming and supportive.  It was truly a pleasure.

The endorphins are still working and I’m figuring out my next race.  I can see where one gets addicted to the challenge of the trail.  I suspect it won’t be my last such race.  🙂

It’s worth noting that Nick stumbled and almost fell once on a rocky section in Saxon Woods during the race. But he didn’t have to worry.  Pam caught him

While I am sure she trains and runs for the pure joy of athleticism, she ends up as an inspiration to others — especially those who found themselves being assisted by Empress Emergency Services at an aid station, or in the Montefiore medical tent due to wipeouts.  Whether she wants it or not, Pam stands as testimony as to what humans are truly capable of, if we set our minds toward that goal.

So this year’s Race Director’s Prize is a twofer: Both Pam and Nick come back next year as my guests.

But others in her 40-49 age group better watch out, for they might find Pam gunning for that podium. If Nick can keep up with her.
Still to come: Free photos, a blog post of race reviews, and a note of thanks to our volunteer. Stay tuned!

Pre-Race FAQ!!!!

September 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: 2016 Race 

NinaSteinbergThe forecast is for clear skies with a low of 50 and a high of 69. Sorry ‘bout that. My rain and mud dance didn’t work.

Now for the details you’ve been waiting for:

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: Wave 1 starts with a gunshot at 9 am, unless the musket misfires a couple times and I have to holler “Go!”

If you don’t pick up your packet beforehand, 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 frantically running up at the last second demanding attention.

Pace cars from New Rochelle Chevy will once again lead initial waves up Broadview.

  1. Wave Start: Five waves, with 150-200 in each, leaving at 9:00, 9:03, 9:06, 9:12 and 9:15. All prior races have gone off exactly on time.

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 now on the website. You need to know your bib number.

Some runners in later waves will be faster than those in earlier ones. This is deliberate, and helps to fill the gaps between the waves, since putting all of the middle-of-the-pack runners in the same wave is counter-productive. We hate congestion on the trails.

  1. Number Pick-up: We strongly encourage runners to pick up bibs and shirts prior to race day at Westchester Road Runner (our sponsor for all 9 years!) at 179 East Post Road in White Plains:

Friday: 5-8 pm

Saturday: 10 am-4 pm

Please pick up your own number and nobody else’s. Please bring ID. The only exceptions that allow you to pick up for someone else are: (1) they have the same last name or address as you or (2) you show a volunteer an email or text from them with a photo of their license and a note authorizing the pickup.

133888-084-001hYou will receive a free copy of Trail Runner Magazine.

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, make someone else happy with a donation.

  1. 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.

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.

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.

  1. Tech shirts are guaranteed to those who registered before 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.


  1. Late Registration: If you have friends that still haven’t registered, well isn’t that lazy? And kind of pathetic for endurance athletes?

If they come to number pick-up on Friday or Saturday, or to the registration area between 7-8:30 a.m. race day, maybe we’ll squeeze them in, but maybe not. As of Thursday afternoon we were at 96% capacity. We will not oversell the race and swamp the trails with too many runners. Print out the entry blank on the website, fill in the first page, sign the waiver on the second page and bring it with you.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Edmund DeeOr use our Facebook page to see if you can hook up with another runner. Maybe you’ll get lucky.

  1. Baggage Drop is available just steps from 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.
  1. Course Markings: Our trail pixies will lay down about 500 bright pink flags with our Colonial Runner logo, placed at trail intersections and occasional intervals. Some people will insist on ignoring the flags and run off course anyway.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 if the weather is warm/humid.
  1. 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.
  1. The 2015 spinner medal

    The 2015 spinner medal

    The course closes: Sweepers will discharge police and volunteers, starting in Wave 5 and finishing in three hours. Please stay in front of the sweepers! We estimate that middle-of-the-pack finishing times will be your regular 1/2 marathon pace plus an extra 15 minutes 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 won’t be lost, just lonely.

  1. Post-Race: We should have lots of good food. Do we know how to treat you well or what? Check it out:
  • Got Thyme (New Rochelle)
  • AJ’s Burgers (New Rochelle)
  • Texas Roadhouse (New Rochelle)
  • The Hudson Milk Co. (cold chocolate milk!)
  • Decicco’s (Pelham)
  • H&R Bialy (New Rochelle)
  • Dannon Yogurt
  • Half Pops


There will also be a medical tent staffed by Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital and EMTs at aid stations from Empress Emergency Services. We hope you don’t visit them, except to say thanks.

Several physical and massage therapists will be on hand to assist with post-race therapy or massage or stretching, including:

  • Symmetry Physical Therapy (Pelham)
  • Finish Line PT (NYC)
  • ML Strength (White Plains)
  1. Post-Race Showers! We’ve once again arranged for the high school locker room to be opened so you can shower and change.
  1. No Dogs. We have dogs. We like their happy, wagging tails and we like scratching their bellies. They are the darlings of social media. Sadly, we don’t get to make the rules for the school grounds. That means Tucker, Princess and Snoopy have to stay home. (The fact that it is a school is also the reason we can’t have beer – so stop asking me! I tried!)
  1. 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 enthusiastically permitted. Kissees must be 18 or older to participate.
  1. Free Photos: This year we once again have free professional photos from the race for you. Your kids, grandma or pet pot-bellied pig can pre-register for them at this link. This is the place you’ll go post-race to see if we got the shot.

Feedback: We started with 50 people in 2008 and are close to 1,000 this year so far. 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.

Good luck out there on Sunday!

Paine to Pain Preview – 2016

September 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: 2016 Race 

p2p-logoheader-350hNewRo Runners, the group that organizes the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon, will host a preview run of the course on September 11th 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 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, tweet (@PaineToPain), Instagram (@PaineToPain) or mention 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 fountain along the way, inside 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 golf course) 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.

And our thanks again to our gold level sponsors for the race:

2016 Registration Now Open!!!

April 22, 2016 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: 2016 Race 

133888-084-001hOh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!




Last year we had 700 runners tearing ass through our necklace of woods like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner, and then fed you bagels and lox at the finish line! And other awesome food! And free photos! And a shirt! And a cool spinner medal! And even a free one mile race for your kids!!!

And the price on opening day?  JUST FIFTY BUCKS!!! Yes, just $50! Some races will charge you $30 just for a picture, but you get the whole shebang here for $50!

(DISCLAIMER: For those of you with English as a second language, “shebang” does not reference any weird sex thing after the race. For that, you’re on your own.)

Is NewRo Runners an awesome race club, or what!?!

With that in mind, three pieces of news!!!

1.         Registration is now open!  For one of the great trail races not just in this area, but in the whole 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 an even better run than Pam Anderson in slow motion on Baywatch. Yes, it’s that good! Even Mrs. Poobah agrees!

Read the reviews from 2015! Or 2014! Or 2013! Or 2012!

Or read the two-page spread on the race in Trail Runner Magazine. Uh, huh. That’s right. National press, baby. We baaad!

2.         Our trails received a whopping $800,000 upgrade from Westchester County Parks last year and what happened as a result?  They’re now in the best condition they’ve ever been! Since the beginning of time! Because the more they get used, the more local governments say, “Holy crap! That looks like a great resource we got here! Let’s make sure we keep it that way!”

3.         Did I mention that registration is now open? It’s still just $50 from now until the end of May! Will you get your money’s worth? Please. Stop reading this moronic email and ask a friend what the race is like, unless you’ve already run it, in which case you should be telling friends about it! Word of mouth is all we got!!

September 25th! Gunshot at 9 am! Don’t screw this up!!!

Weenies can stay at home!  Oh God, I’m so verklempt I’ve run out of exclamation marks!!!

Can I get a Hallelujah?

Registration Opens!!! (Very briefly)

October 20, 2015 by · Comments Off on Registration Opens!!! (Very briefly)
Filed under: 2016 Race 
The 2015 spinner medal

The 2015 spinner medal

We’re doing it again!  Registration has just opened for Paine to Pain 2016, with a tentative date of September 25th!

And we are once again doing it for the stupid-cheap price of $30! Yes, you read that right:


This comes with two big fat caveats, of course:

  1. It assumes we get our permits from the various municipalities for that date; and
  2. There is, as always, a no-refund, no-exchange policy.

So you get stupid-cheap in exchange for a bigger risk of no-show due to injury or conflict with your yet-to-be born nephew’s party celebrating that he’s now 3 months old and big enough for the baby jogger so your sister can race around town with him as she works off the pregnancy weight but won’t be able to use on Paine to Pain because it’s on trails!

Yes! I know that was a run-on sentence! I’m not a schmuck! Just excited! Can’t you see all the exclamation marks!!!

Registration is open for just three days! Did you get that?

Just. Three. Days.

Register Here

The rush to register last year was like the Running  of the Brides at a bridal gown sale! (And you thought trail running was risky?)

But if you blow this stupid-cheap early registration we will re-open on April 22nd, Earth Day, at our usual early-bird rate of $50. Still cheap! But not stupid-cheap! Stupid-cheap is a 40% discount off regular cheap!

And if you are new here, this is the recap of the race and these are the runner reviews that came pouring in for the 2015 race.

And we once again thank our wonderful sponsors from this past year’s ridiculously successful race:



Supporting Sponsors:


A Letter of Thanks to the Volunteers

October 7, 2015 by · Comments Off on A Letter of Thanks to the Volunteers
Filed under: 2015 Race 
Volunteer and runner, Damon Maher

Volunteer and runner, Damon Maher

Thank you P2P Volunteers!

Unfortunately I don’t know enough superlatives in the English language to express my thanks to the volunteers. As I have said many times, this doesn’t happen without you.

Time and again in emails to me, Facebook comments and face-to-face at the finish line, runners just gushed about the volunteers.

How do I top what the runners themselves have to say? I can’t.

While all of you deserve a shout-out by name, with almost 200 volunteers this year it is impossible, and you would stop reading right here.

But these were some… and it gives you an idea of the scope of what we were able to do as a group for a community event since many of them were leading a team of people:

Volunteers, race logistics, planning: Greg Stern
Registration, treasurer, mass email: Matt Lewis
Finish line and sponsor coordinator: Michele Stevens
Website maintenance: Penny Shima Glanz
Water stop logistics: Wayne Rubin
Parking plan creator/coordinator: Joe Tait
Trail Flagging and de-flagging: Nina Steinberg
Sign placement/removal: Karen Murray
Wave management and sweepers: Darren Peister
Kid races: Rich Alter and Tailwind Track Club
Mamaroneck Cheerleaders: Lisa Ferraro
Iona College Cross-Country & Track: Ricardo Santos and Tony Mihalich
Iona Prep and Ursuline: Dina Cannistraci
Finish line set-up: Sy Gruza
Communications – Kathleen O’Connor and Westchester Emergency Comm. Assoc.
EMTs at aid stations – Jeff Pitonza and Transcare
Finish Line medical – Dr. Gigi Madore and Montefiore Hospital

What Can I Do To Help? — Steven Stein, David Brot, Mark Medin, and a cast of many NewRo Runners, neighbors, friends and their children.

Edmund Dee

Volunteer and runner Edmund Dee escorts the army to the start. Dee is the one on the right.

And then there are the many, many people needed to implement the actual plans we put together – working bib/packet pick-ups at WRR, doing race day registration, setting up and managing waves, checking and organizing bags, positioning cheerleaders in Mamaroneck and Iona students on the trails, manning the intersections, manning the water stops, assisting sponsors, positioning ham radio operators around the course, stocking water (and running for more mid-race!), fetching food, serving food, shopping for goods, packing and unpacking boxes of race related goods, handing out medals, sweeping the course, breaking down, cleaning up, putting up with me, lending medical assistance, and, of course, doing the play-by-play as runners steamed home on the track.

Many of you were repeat volunteers who would see a problem and just fix it. When our water delivery came in at only 10% of what we needed, Michele Stevens quickly sent family off to Costco — while the race was in progress! — to supply us.

It’s the one thing people have stressed over and over: how great the volunteers are. But don’t take my word for it, read what others have written about you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

2015 Race Reviews

October 6, 2015 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: 2015 Race 
The 2015 spinner medal

The 2015 spinner medal

This is the page where I post feedback on the race, as I have done in prior years (2014, 2013, 2012). I’ve already given my own thoughts in this recap.

And now, on to the reviews, which I glean from blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and emails (if I get consent). The page will get updated as reviews come in. Assuming, of course, that I like the review. Otherwise, the hell with ‘ya…



I loved the race, loved the course, and was stunned by the support all along the way. (Laura Coogan, 2015 women’s champion)

Fun 13.1 mile trail run through the woods of Scarsdale, Eastchester, Mamaroneck and New Rochelle gave me flashbacks to ‪#‎MarineCorps‬ boot camp. (Carl E. Reid)

I still don’t know what I was thinking, registering for this race… but I’m pretty sure I’ll be back next year. Thank you!! (Leiba R, via Facebook)

Just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for putting together such an awesome race!! I loved the idea of doing a half marathon on trails. It’s like high school cross country on steroids! …Throughout the entire race, I just kept thinking – “This is so cool. I can’t believe we are still on trails. This is so cool.”  Looking forward to next year! (Kristen Dams-O’Connor via email)


Feeling the pain, but still grateful to and team for staging a great race. Nothing better than in the woods. (@thomashmatthews via Twitter)


Dave Lesser (Amateur Idiot) wishing he had trained harder…

As far as logistics go, this is probably the most organized race I’ve run. As I mentioned, there are plenty of police officers and volunteers directing car and foot traffic, before and during the race. There is a bag drop truck that meets you at the finish line, enough port-a-potties that lines are not an issue, and even showers at the end of the race…The post-race food was spectacular.  (Dave Lesser — Amateur Idiot / Professional Dad, race review)

Thanks again for an awesome race! It keeps getting better each year. Well marked course, plenty of friendly volunteers, awesome tchotchkes, a massage, and smoked salmon!…I clear my schedule for the PtoP as this is one of my favorite races of the year. I will run this race every year until my legs fall off. (Paul Greenberg, in the recap comments)

Great job again. Kudos to the organizers and volunteers. See you in 2016. (Bob Parisi, via Facebook)

I just ran my first P2P yesterday and wanted to extend my deepest appreciation for all that you have done and continue to do to make this race a reality.  My thanks to all of your race volunteers, government officials, police, rescue workers and others I’m sure I’m missing who work together to do something special for our community and to help pass on an appreciation for some interesting history that’s literally found in our own backyards.

Just as fellow runners support each other on the trails with words of encouragement, I wanted to do the same for you and your team – “Looking good, great job, keep it up and most importantly THANK YOU!!!”  (Kurt Ryden, via email)

I just wanted to thank the race director, Eric, and all the volunteers on the course, at the start/finish line, and behind the scenes for a great race! As always, you do an amazing job! A special thank you to the person who found my car key at the start of the race and returned it. Because of you, I didn’t have to run home and my legs will be forever grateful . (Heather Metz, via Facebook)

Henry from Singapore

Henry from Singapore

I really enjoyed the race. Awesome singletracks, consistent markings, noisy volunteers, stadium finish, and even delicious post race grub! Loved to be a part of the local atmosphere especially, I was glad I made it out. You robably you don’t get too many singaporeans in your race that often too. Thanks again and Hope to catch you again for P2P next year! (Henry from Singapore, via email)

I just wanted to say thank you for a great race yesterday.

It was well run, well organized, and  well  marked – just well done on all accounts.

Volunteers, cheerleaders, bag organizers, people manning the aid stops – all were courteous, helpful and encouraging (being a member of the 6th wave I appreciated that!)

I had a blast  and am looking forward to doing it again next year….. just a little faster. (Chris Munch, via email)

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Great course, great weather, simply great to be part of. (Stephanie Raichelson, via Facebook)

Although I was technically wave 4, I stayed back until wave 6 to start with a friend, and I really appreciated how genuinely you addressed each group separately. I’d been hearing about this race for months, and I am so happy I was able to participate. I can’t wait for next year! (Liysa Mendels, via email)

A huge thank you to all the volunteers.  Their cheerfulness and hard work made this a truly great event.  THANK YOU!!!! (Jack Serra-Lima, in the volunteer comments)

MusketManI wanted to send a quick note to say thank you to you and all your amazing volunteers. I had a great time at today’s race and can’t wait to do it again next year. Everything from the course, to the witty pre-race emails was fabulous–thank you. (Rachel Meier)

What a great day for a trail half marathon. Good weather, amazing course, great people. Thank you Eric Turkewitz for yet another great day. The shirts weren’t too bad either. (Sean Mosher-Smith, shirt artist and finisher)

I just wanted to join the ranks in congratulating you on a wonderful event!  Thanks so much for your support and encouragement – I had the BEST time – the course was awesome and everything was so well run – all the volunteers were great…  I felt great and, though I was slow as molasses, had no problem at all finishing – definitely fed off the energy of the day. (Renee Hodys, via email)

Thanks for the fantastic race experience yesterday. You and your organizing team (plus volunteers) went all out to make the event spectacular, yet again. This race continues to be one of my most favorite ones ever (of the 200+ I participated in). (Andreas Stresemann, via email)

(This page will be updated with more quotes and links as I find them)

Race Director’s Recap – 2015

October 5, 2015 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: 2015 Race 

Tom and Nick Dente (age 13) at the Mill Road crossing, mile 10.

Yes, we had smoked salmon at the finish line. To accompany a smorgasbord of other culinary choices.  What? You were expecting just a bagel and banana?

Have you ever seen a race, let alone a trail race, treat you like that?  I didn’t think so. OK, I’ll get back to the post-race party and food in a minute, but first let’s talk about the race winners!

And the winner is, for those that missed it (cue the drum roll!)…

…. the trail!  Yes, folks, the trail itself took top honors as a result of being in excellent physical condition, despite the injuries Mother Nature attempted to inflict in the days before the race. Over and over I heard this at the finish line.

And you know why the trail was in top-notch shape? Because runners are using the trails, and when that happens, municipalities take notice and pump money into the resource. It’s a delicious cycle — the more people use them, the better they get. Yes, just like our bodies.  Weird, huh?

Now long time P2Pers know that the winners of the race gets a special award in addition to the engraved tankard and the cool stuff they got from Salomon: They get to come back as my guest for as long as I’m Race Director.  So the trail is invited to return as my guest.

Also invited back as my guests are our champions, Luis Francisco of Mahopac, NY and Laura Coogan of Brooklyn. (Boldface, just like the tabloids.)

Coogan ran a 1:31:50, racing easily to a win, missing the course record by only 8 seconds . She was followed to the podium by Kate Connolly (Portland, ME) and Amanda Tow (Bronx).

And the 44-year-old Francisco — who was 3rd last year in setting an age group course record, and took top spot earlier this year in the Leatherman’s Loop — swept his way on to victory with a 1:21:53, missing the 1:21:35 course record by a mere 18 seconds. He was followed by Troy Squire (Brooklyn) in 2nd and Richard Velazquez (Manhattan) in 3rd.

But wait, this story gets better for the speedsters!!! Coming inexplicably out of Wave 6 was Steve Crnic (Brooklyn), who must have passed hundreds of runners, because he finished in a chip timed 1:21:27! That’s a course record by eight seconds! Yes, all those exclamation marks are deserved!

Since our overall 1-2-3 is first to the tape, and our age-group awards are by chip, Crnic gets top honors in his age group but not the overall due to the discrepancy.

Interesting question: Would Coogan have broken the women’s record if she had someone on her heels to push her?

And how fast could Francisco and Crnic have gone if they went mano a mano out of the first wave?  I don’t know, but I want to find out. Since Crnic set a course record, he is also invited back as my guest for as long as I am the RD. (I just made that rule up! You know why? Because I can, as I did for Matt Collins in 2013.)

AJ's BurgersThat excitement, of course, was lost on the vast majority of you who ran in perfect weather, cloudy and in the 50s, and were then rewarded with clear blue skies and warm temperatures as you hit the finish line food tables.

I ordered that weather up special for you. You’re welcome.

Now, about those culinary delights. Since you were exhausted, you may have missed the names of the food purveyors we had out there. So, if you liked any (or all) of it, this is who fed you, so you can thank them with your patronage:

·      The Smokehouse NY – Mamaroneck (smoked salmon). And New Rochellians take note, in just two weeks they open a new food emporium with healthy gourmet food, Got Thyme, right between Starbucks and CVS at the corner of North Ave. and Northfield Rd.

·      Greenlife  – Mamaroneck (smoothies)

·      Simple Eats with Chef T (chocolate granola)

·      AJ’s Burgers – New Rochelle (sliders)

·      Texas Roadhouse – New Rochelle (pulled pork)

·      Modern Restaurant and Lounge – New Rochelle (pasta)

·      DeCicco Family Markets – Pelham  (giant subs)

·      H&R Bialys – New Rochelle (bagels)

·      Hudson Milk (chocolate milk like you had as a kid, in glass bottles via old fashioned milk boxes on your doorstep)

Our water came in courtesy of Half Time Beverage, who would have loved to serve beer if we were able to get permission to do so. Side note – they held a massive international beer fest the day before.

Now before I get to the Race Director’s Prize, which I give out annually ever since I saw a runner turn a cartwheel down the home stretch in 2010, I want to thank our gold levels sponsors: There was New Rochelle Chevrolet, who not only had cookies and bananas at the finish, but had that smoking hot ‘Vette with the vertical doors and other pace cars. There was Montefiore Hospital New Rochelle and Transcare ambulance, both of whom would be just as happy if you were not forced to see them.

And there was Westchester Road Runner, where many of you picked up your race packets. They not only provided a place to meet you, but logistical support receiving, storing and helping to distribute a truckload of shirts, medals, bibs, awards and other race-related paraphernalia that we ordered. They have been a sponsor since the day this race was born.

And you’ll find links to our other sponsors, for whom we are very grateful, on our main page — REI, Dumont Center (rehab), Dr. Elisa Kavanugh (podiatric surgeon), Athleta, Push Fitness (personal training), PennyWise Consulting (Internet tech), Tony’s Kneaded Touch (massage therapy), Stop & Shop, Westchester  Emergency Communications Association (ham radio operators) and M2 Asset Management.

Now on to the Race Director’s Prize!  This is a prize for which there are no rules. I give it out on whim, with the “it” being a free ticket to next year’s race. Last year it went to a P2P veteran who was volunteering, Michelle Robotham (bold face!), who stopped traffic with her body when she saw cars  pouring on to the course. And before that, to Erica Weisberg who added at least 15 minutes to her time when she stopped to assist an injured runner.

This year’s recipient is Lori Trimble, a P2P veteran who ran the legendary mud run in 2011. And she has now returned. Slower. What gives? Well, it seems that she recently donated a kidney to her brother.  Oh. That. Then she returned to run this as her first race back. Not a 10K or even a 5K. This.

For her determination and selfless conduct, Lori comes back next year as my guest.

One last shout-out, since I started this recap by talking about the trail itself. The trail maintenance that you all appreciated came from The County of Westchester, The Town of Mamaroneck, the Village of Mamaroneck and the City of New Rochelle. Their parks staffs can take a very well-deserved bow.

Coming soon: Photos!  And a page of race reviews from our runners.

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