2012 Race – Summary of Information

A musket shot starts the race. (Photo credit, Tom Stagg via Facebook)

With a record 704 starters (694 finishers) we blew away last year’s field of 480 by a wide margin, amid perfect running conditions (despite the rain dance I did the night before hoping for a repeat of the 2011 mud fest). You can find the wrap up and Race Director’s Prize here.

Of note, this race has rapidly grown almost exclusively by word of mouth from just 50 runners four years ago. We have yet to run an ad in any magazine, or even been reviewed by any running related journal.  As with last year, we will again put up a page of race reviews as we find them, on Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Active, or email (hint, hint). (First reviews now coming in…)

Our thanks to an extraordinary crew of volunteers, about 200 of them, that pitched in together to help put on a community event that has quickly become one of the biggest trail races in the United States.

  1. Race results
  2. Photographs are here
  3. And the 2012 Reviews Come Rolling In…
  4. P2P 2012 Wrap-Up (And the Race Director’s Prize)
  5. Trail Improvements, Past and Future


2011 Race Results

2011 Reviews

2011 Is In The Books!

And the 2011 Reviews Come Rolling In

First off, if you haven’t read about the people responsible for this race, then click this link before you go any further.

OK, welcome back. Now, if we read too many more like this, it’ll go to ours heads. But don’t worry, we can handle it…compiled  from multiple sources…

Matt Walsh, 2011 Men’s Champion and course record holder (via Facebook):

It was a great, great race; probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time!

Marty Brown (via blog comment)

Racing on roads, trails, tris, etc., for the better part of the last 40 years…this was one cool race!! Innovative and challenging!!! With out a doubt the volunteers from check-in to throughout the course to finish (not to mention the cheerleaders!!!) were THE BEST I have ever encountered hands down! A proper letter of thanks is forthcoming!!!!

Ben Mandeville (via Facebook):

I ruined my shoes, got stung by a bee, walked for the first time ever in a race and missed a water stop. Epic run, can’t wait for next year

My Name is Phil (via Active.com):

I run a lot of trail races and have enjoyed many courses, but this is near the top and by far the best course in the New York City area. Great technical sections separate out the field and the flats make for some speedy times. The weather opened up and with the previous rain gave us some great muddy sections and a fabulous feel to the course.

Maggie Windsor (via Facebook):

I just want to say – almost a full week after the race and I am still excited about it. I keep talking about it to people who look at me like I am crazy to run 13 miles, let alone in the woods… as soon as the sign-up is available for 2012, I am there.

Gaetano1027 (via Active.com):

Excellent 1st time at this race! The trails were well marked and the MUD made it so much better. It should become a permanent part of the race each year! [Ed.  Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that] The overall mood was very uplifting and an awesome finish area and tons of food!

Tom Dente (via Facebook):

…congratulations on creating and organizing such a great race! It just keeps getting better. Thanks for making such a unique event for this area!

Yelling Stop Blog:

First, let me say what a great, well-run race this was. The course was terrific and well-marked, the volunteers were enthusiastic and numerous, and they even had cheerleaders at the start and the finish. …I really can’t think of one thing wrong with the race today, they even arranged for perfect weather.[more]

Annabel Saunders (via blog comment)

Really enjoyed the run. It went like clockwork – great pre-race instructions, polite co-runners, solid direction and much needed encouragement at road crossings, timely water stops, plenty of water crossings and mud, envigorating cheerleading at the finish, ample post-race refreshments, lightening fast results, and perfect weather.
We will be back with friends!

OliverNY (via Active.com)

Well organized and friendly race. Every year is an improvement: – trail marking was much improved from last year,- tag timing is a big plus,- two waves starts helped congestion.

Jodi Berkowitz (via Facebook):

A great, big thank you to … the countless volunteers who made it happen. It was a fantastic, muddy, exhausting experience!

Jenster26 (via Twitter)

Thank you @PaineToPain for a very muddy race, my first Half Marathon and hands down the funnest race ever!

Jim Aiello (via Facebook):

…thanks for putting on such a great event. It’s been so much fun watching how this race has grown from a local event to one of the class races in the area. I hope you made some funds for trail maintenance because we certainly chewed them up today. Great fun, let’s do it again next October.

TowerPower31 (via Active.com)

This race is a gem. The race has grown in popularity each year, but with the growth the race has kept its small, local feel. The trail itself is great. A nice balance between single and wider track w/ some technical features (roots, small rocks, catwalks, etc) but not overly punishing. The organization of the race is very well done. You can tell it’s managed by runners for runners. Post-race has great food and amenities to start a solid recovery. And lastly, the race volunteers were terrific. Helpful, encouraging, and abundant. Would not surprise me if this race gets to 1K runners in a few years.

Israel Good (via Facebook):

the Paine to Pain is a Baddd Boy. I loved it

Beth and Carl (via Active.com)

Amazing event! Most of the trail was muddy conditions due to all the recent rain but made it that much more of a challenge. And challenge it was! Highly recommend the trail half marathon. This was my 1st trail run. I’ m hooked! Many fine people obviously put a lot of time and effort into making the run an awesome experience. Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Jack Serra-Lima (via email):

I ran the Paine to Pain race today and have to say everybody did a really fantastic job and created an incredible event.  I don’t know who was in charge of the weather but that person needs to be congratulated as well.

Thanks for everything and I’ll see you there again next year.

Larry Hrbek (blog comment)

Great race!!! Perfect weather, great volunteers, fantastic course and lots of chances to get dirty….a perfect trail race. I had a super time in this my first Paine to Pain and you can count on me to be back with friends next year. This is everything an honest to god trail race should be. Thank you all.

Scott Sherman (via Facebook):

I echo all the thank yous. The race just gets better and better each year (although this was certainly the muddiest). To Eric and all the other people it takes to makes this happen, you are wonderful.

Kai McBride (via Facebook):

Thank you for putting on such a fantastic race. It was well organized, beautiful and clearly marked. The run was well supported with volunteers and it was great seeing the aid stations. Runners were very polite and I don’t think I was the only one who did a face plant! Muddy? Oh yeah. I’ll be back next year.

Penny (via blog comment)

It was awesome & super muddy this year. Thank you to everyone — volunteers, sponsors, and runners.

Wleexx (via Active.com):

Great trail race. The rain the night before made the race even more fun. Excellent post race food.

Lee Ann Zarger (via Facebook):

Awesome race. My second but surely not my last.

Peter Carpenter (via blog comment):

Awesome race. Extremely well organized. Everyone involved (staff, volunteers, sponsors) was fantastic. I just want to thank all those who helped create a truly great experience. I will be back next year!

YiShun Lai (via Facebook):

what a great race. second year for me, and just as good. volunteers were incredible, and we continue to be impressed with the amount of trail maintenance you guys do. thank you! hope we can help put some muscle into helping you with maintaining the trail before next year’s race!

Stacey Smith (via Facebook):

Thank you for organizing an amazing run! I am keeping the Cheerleader chants going in my head – “you can do it”; yea ” you can do it”; L.E. T. S. G.O, Let’s Go!. Great fun; great organizers; great volunteers; great friends! See you again.

Christine Dwyer (via email):

This race was AWESOME!  First time for my ½ marathon and very proud, lots of fun & definitely do it again next year – thank you for a fine job!

The Gigante (via Active.com)

Great race – tough, very muddy and wet this year (2011). Pace yourself in the beginning with the hills and rocks and you will be fine on the back half (if you like mud that is) Be prepared to need new shoes after!

Kevin Barrett (via email):

That’s a GREAT race you’ve put together.  My friend and I ran it together as part of our training for a marathon later in the Fall.  I was particularly curious about a Westchester trail race of that length.  Three quarters of the way through, we’d had so much fun that we decided we’d run it again next year.  I was particularly impressed with the extent and organization of volunteers throughout the course.  Well done.

I will add to this list to the extent any additional comments (that we like) come rolling in…

See also, 2010  reviews and 2009 reviews.

2011 Is In the Books!

I’m exhausted! And I didn’t even run the darn thing.

Congrats to all the finishers.  Unofficial totals are 655 registrants and 481 that actually toed the start line. Some cancelled due to injuries or family  committments (as we always expect will happen), but I think it’s clear that the mud from prior rains was a concern for some.

But based on all the  happy faces I saw in the finish area, they missed a great day racing this grand loop around lower Westchester. We apparently had very few injuries — for which one of our sponsors, Sound Shore Medical Center manning the finish line and aid stations, was no doubt happy — and none that appeared major.

My thanks to a superb group of volunteers that I think numbered over 100, including groups from Iona College out on the trail (cross country / track and field teams), New Rochelle High School cheerleaders at the start and finish, the Remington Flyers (Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle, who ran from the White House to Westchester earlier this year).

On an individual basis, we couldn’t do this event without:

Greg Stern, my right hand man who handled so much in the way of placing volunteers, handling race logistics and working with sponsors;

Matt Lewis, our registrar and treasurer who fielded a thousand “what happens if…” questions from me that he punched into spreadsheets;

Wayne Rubin, who handled water station logistics with a crew, and improvised a mid-race solution when we had trouble with our third water stop;

Nina Steinberg (sporting bib #1) who handled a crew of people to flag the trail, and then proceeded to take home her fourth consecutive age-group tankard;

Jane Turkewitz, who not only puts up with me, but spent a huge amount of time trying to get our shirt graphics onto a small print area, and also worked with sponsors;

Joe Tait who put together a parking plan and getting signs and people out on the streets so that we didn’t have chaos;

Gregg Rubin, who worked the finish line and captained the stuffing of 600 goody bags,that were provided courtesy of Weichert Realty.

And a growing list of sponsors…if you haven’t checked your goody bags yet,  you will see some good swag. Water from Walgreens, PM Pediatrics (off-hours pediatric services) with those indispensable post-race towels and hand sanitizer, so you can put your mitts on the Fairway food (check the goody bag for a $10 off coupon!). Thanks to Robeks for the ice cold smoothies that were sucked down so fast by runners they had to go back for more.

Almstead Tree and Shrub was a very recent sponsor and cleared part of the Leatherstocking for us, just three days ago. REI was great with those  gels at the start. Clifbars in all the bags. Violight sonic toothbrushes went to the first 75 to show up at Westchester Road Runner (a founding sponsor of ours), and if you look around those goody bags you will see a discount coupon from Violight also.

And with winter coming on (but not today!) there are those Grabbber Warmers in your bags that my wife loves to use when skiing.

A full list of our sponsors for 2011:


I wish I could go to sleep at this point, but I have a van to unpack, signs to retrieve, and results to post. Stay tuned for that… And the results are in…




Are Shirts Guaranteed?

Updated for 2023:

One problem that bedevils Race Directors is managing the swag that gets ordered and distributed. Order too much? Big problem with money wasted and my basement fills with shirts. Order too little? Also a big problem, with unhappy runners.

The problem exists because we have to order weeks in August, but don’t know how many will try to sign up after that, and don’t really know what the no-show rate will be since that is largely dependent on the weather.

Our solution: After taking stock of our registrations in mid-August, we order our shirts. We know there will be some no-shows based on injuries and competing plans (which we account for when we set the price of the race).

If you registered by September 1st, you get a shirt when you pick up your bib.

For the later registrants, we hand them out at the finish line to those that didn’t get based on what we have left.  We do our best to have enough but no-show rates are inconsistent so we make no promises.

And if you know a better system for managing this kind of stuff, by all means let us know, and give us a hand with it next year. I will give you double my salary as Race Director.

Paine to Pain Practice Run – Saturday, Sept. 24

With Paine to Pain fast approaching, it’s time to line up a nice practice run as we did last year. This is purely a fun run — think of it as a guided running tour of the 13.1 mile course. It’s open to all, whether you are running the race or not.

This will be eight days before the race, on Saturday, September 24th, at 7:30 am.

But. The run does not start at the P2P start. It starts instead at the trailhead for the Leatherstocking Trail on Pinebrook Blvd. (about .9M mark of the race)

Starting here allows runners that don’t want to do the full monty to do the shorter versions. This includes the popular 10-mile version where you jump off the trail as you cross Pinebrook Blvd a second time (as you head south down the Hutch Trail), and simply run Pinebrook two miles back to the start.

Options include:

  • 5.5-miler – simple out and back on the Leatherstocking Trail
  • 10-miler – Leatherstocking–>Saxon Woods–>Hutch Trail–> Pinebrook
  • 13 miler – The full monty – Leatherstocking–>Saxon Woods–>Hutch Trail–> Twin Lakes –> Nature Study Woods –>New Rochelle

You can view the course map at PaineToPain.com. Yellow flags will mark the course on race day.

MEETING PLACE: Leatherstocking Trailhead on Pinebrook Blvd., New Rochelle (at the intersection of Hillside Crescent and Pinebrook). Park on Crescent if you are driving.

Meeting spot map

TIME NEEDED: Two pace groups. I will lead one (I run an 8 mile road pace, 9 mile trail pace) and Nina Steinberg will lead another that is 1-2 minutes/mile slower.

WATER/TOILET: At Saxon Woods golf club, about 6.5 miles after the start. Please carry a water bottle. There is no support of any kind.

And if you haven’t signed up yet, well, what the hell are you waiting for? We currently have about 500 registrants, and with wave starts, we still have room for you without overburdening the trail.

Register online at active.com or by completing the entry form on our website.

And yes, of course we are still looking for volunteers. Duh. You think these races run by themselves? Please email our Volunteers Poobah, Greg Stern, to help out.

Last thing, if it rains, remember this: Mud is not a problem. It’s a feature.

Please RSVP to let me know if you are coming so I have a rough idea how many to expect. Eric [at] PaineToPain [dot] com.


Fairway Joins Paine to Pain as Food Sponsor

Fairway Markets. Just thinking of their new Pelham store and its 75,000 square feet of gastronomical goodies makes my mouth water. Any place that can stock 600 varieties of cheese is going to know a thing or two about food.

And now they are a sponsor of the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon, and will be providing food at the finish line. This should be a big step up from the food we had the last three years as we work hard to make this race even better than ever and improve the finish line festivities.

Fairway’s commitment comes fresh on the heels of adding REI as a sponsor just weeks ago, as they opened their brand new store in Yonkers at Ridge Hill.

Our pace of registrations has been steadily increasing as we get closer to October 2nd, race day. So if you haven’t signed up yet, head to our website or active.com and do so.

REI and Fairway join our already impressive roster of sponsors (listed below) that are providing necessary goods and services for the race. Make sure to visit their booths at the finish line or check for their coupons and other goody bag swag!

Sound Shore Runners & Multisport Club
Fairway Market (Pelham Manor)
Westchester Road Runner (White Plains)
Weichert Realtors, House & Home
JanMar Trophies (New Rochelle)
PM Pediatrics
Robeks (New Rochelle)
Clif Bar
Grabber Warmers
Sound Shore Medical Center
The Turkewitz Law Firm (NYC)
Breaking The Tape Productions
Westchester County Parks
City of New Rochelle
Town of Mamaroneck
Village of Scarsdale


We need more volunteers to make the race go as smoothly as it has the past 3 years. Water stops, registration, finish line, parking, hanging signs, marking trails, we got lots to do.

And if the thrill of volunteering isn’t enough by itself, we also offer to any volunteer a $10 discount off of next year’s race.

And, if you can coax someone else to join our merry band of volunteers, we will give you another $5 off next year’s race. (Max discount $15, don’t forget, this is a fundraiser for the trails.)

To volunteer for one of the great half marathon trail races in the northeast U.S., please contact our Volunteers Poobah: Greg Stern.

You can also follow us online with updates as we get close to the race by joining the Paine To Pain Facebook group, or following us on that Twitter thingie (@PaineToPain).

Early August Update…

With Paine to Pain now just two months away, we wanted to share with you some articles on trail running (for those who’ve done little), introduce our newest sponsor, link to reviews we received last year (for those of you who haven’t yet had the guts to sign up) and give you the volunteer contact info if you can’t run but want to help out.

If you haven’t registered yet, you can register online at active.com or by completing the entry form on our website.

First up is the news that REI — one of the great outdoor co-op retailers in the country – has now joined us as a sponsor. They just opened a huge, new store in Yonkers in the brand new Ridge Hill shopping complex off I-87.

Second up, a few articles to help with training for those tackling trails for the first time (or to give confidence that yes, you really can do this race):

Six Tips to Start Hitting the Trails (active.com)

Trail Racing 101 (Runners World)

Beginner Trail Running (multiple articles) (Trail Runner Magazine)

Blaze Any Trail (7 all-terrain tips for your off-road steps) Men’s Health

The Ups and Downs of Trail Running (Sky Runner)

Third up, some reviews from last year in case you haven’t yet registered for this year:

And the 2010 Reviews Come Pouring In… (Paine to Pain Blog)

Paine to Pain 2010 Reviews (active.com)

Batting cleanup, we always keep our ears open for volunteers, since we know how important they are to runners. Water stops, registration, finish line, parking, hanging signs, marking trails, we got lots to do.

And if the thrill of volunteering isn’t enough by itself, we also offer to any volunteer a $10 discount off of next year’s race.

And, if you can coax someone else to join our merry band of volunteers, we will give you another $5 off next year’s race. (Max discount $15, don’t forget, this is a fundraiser for the trails.)

To volunteer for one of the great half marathon trail races in the northeast U.S., please contact our Volunteers Poobah: Greg Stern.

You can also follow us online with updates as we get close to the race by joining the Paine To Pain Facebook group, or following us on that Twitter thingie (@PaineToPain).

Best Spectating Spot

Our crowds make the race look almost like the Olympics. Almost.

For those that want to watch family/friends run a portion of the race, fear not, for even though the race goes over the hills and through the woods we have a perfect spot you can drive to. That’s because the race goes past the Saxon Woods pool and soccer field area at the 6.2M mark. And that means a huge parking lot with easy access. This is your destination.

From the starting area, get on the Hutchinson River Parkway, northbound. There’s an entrance off Webster Avenue.

Head north approximately five miles to Exit 13B, Mamaroneck Avenue.

When you come off the cloverleaf ramp, go right (north) about 1/4 mile.

Make a left at the light into the Saxon Woods pool parking lot.

You will see a house at the far back of the lot, a bit to your left, on the edge of the woods. (The pool and playground are to your right.) The race comes down the hill out of the woods to the left of that house, crosses the driveway directly in front of it, and proceeds back up the hill to the right.

It couldn’t be any easier. Really.

To return to New Rochelle make a right out of the lot, go .2 miles and get on the Hutch southbound.

As you drive south to New Rochelle you will likely see racers on the trail to your right. Honk and scream. But keep focused on the road. You know what I mean?

Exit at 9A, Mill Road, New Rochelle (eastbound). As you exit you will likely see police and volunteers as you’re about to cross the race course at the 10.5 mile mark. Honk and scream again. Or hoot and holler. Your choice. Yell  a thank you to the stressed out volunteers.

Follow Mill Road east (right) a hundred yards and bear right at the light onto North Avenue. Proceed south on North Avenue  about 1.35 miles  and make a 45° right turn up onto Calton Road. You are near the start/finish. Now follow this map to the side streets near the finish and look for parking. We suggest you click to enlarge the map and print it out to take with you.

Find friends/family and tell them they look great. Even if they don’t. Grab a little food. Kiss your athlete. Twice.

You’re welcome.

Race Day Parking

If you are unfamiliar with the start/finish area, then read carefully for the places you can park and the places you can’t park.

For those using GPS, this is the intersection of Broadview and North Avenue, right in front of New Rochelle High School.

There is a map below, which you can click for a larger, printer friendly version:

    • There is one High School lot directly across from the start, behind the tennis courts;
    • There is a second, much larger, High School lot behind the school, off Clove Road (at its intersection with Parcot Ave.). A foot path from the lot passes directly in front of the school and will take you around toward the start;
    • You can park on many of the local streets as indicated on the map below, both near the start or near the finish;
    • But  you can not park on Broadview!! (start of the race) or Flandreau (finish). Unless you want to be tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.  These are colonial era punishments that we favor for those that try to clog the race course with cars. You’re an endurance athlete. Walking a couple of blocks won’t kill you.

Look at the map! Click on it! Then click it again to make it even bigger! Print it and take it with you if you are not familiar with this area! (Please?)


Public Transit from New York City (Easy!)

New Rochelle is close to the city on the New Haven (red) line.

[Updated October 4, 2023)]

New Rochelle is 22 miles north of midtown Manhattan — just 4 train stops away.

Getting to the race by public transit is pretty damn easy. A 35-minute Metro North train from Grand Central and a 1.5-mile taxi is all it takes. (The NewRo transit station also serves Amtrak and buses.)

The most up-to-date info is at the Metro North website. You have three train choices from Grand Central on the New Haven (red) line to get you to the 9 am start:

  • 6:36 (arriving 7:11) – Best choice – If you want to be relaxed.
  • 7:36 (arriving 8:11) –  If you enjoy being stressed that you will still be able to claim your bib by 8:30.
  • 8:36 (arriving 9:11) – Congrats! You missed the start! If you already have your bib, you can still run, but if the timing mats are gone (last musket shot at 9:12)  you are self-timing and doing a virtual race. You are not eligible for awards. There also may be no volunteers or water on the course, nor food at the finish, depending on when you start and how fast you run. If you make it to the finish by 12:30, you’ll still get a medal if we have any left.


By Train: Take Metro North train out of Grand Central on the New Haven (red) line to New Rochelle. From there you can catch a taxi to the start for about $8. (Destination: North Avenue and Broadview.) Look for other runners to share a cab with, as we always have a healthy contingent from NYC coming in by train.

To find the taxi stands at the station: Go up the stairs to the bridge at the south end of the platform. One taxi stand will be to your left. You can find a second stand if you cross the bridge, go down the stairs and through the station house.

If doing it by bike or by foot, just go 1.5 miles north on North Avenue.

The awards ceremony should start around 11:45-ish.

Return trains are every half hour:  11:32; 12:02; 12:32; 1:02; and 1:32

Taxi services to get back to the station:

Union Taxi  (914) 576-1600
Red Fox Taxi (914) 636-6006
United Taxi Company (914) 632-6888
Green Team (914) 576-1200

By Bus: Buses use the same depot as the train station, so getting to/from the station/race is the same. Schedules are too varied to put here, of course, as they depend on where you are coming from.