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.
For the second year in a row we hired 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. At our request we have something new this year: A hi-res picture will be emailed to you with the purchase of any print order received by the end of October (just 12 days away from this publication).
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 unforeseen issue of some of our elites who had names on bibs instead of numbers. Oops. My bad; didn’t think that through. There are also many whose bibs were obscured by hands or clothing.
The pictures you see below are samples of their work, though the resolution of what you will get will be very much higher. It’s killin’ us to crop these down to thumbnails.
Well, October 14, 2012 turned into a glorious day for running, with overcast skies and temperatures in the ’50s. Despite some overnight rain that slicked up the catwalks again, the ground was hard and fast, much to the dismay of those who enjoyed the 2011 mud fest.
While most race reports lead with the person first across the line, invariably male, we lead today with the women’s division. We lead that way because two women demolished the women’s course record of 1:39:31. Deanna Culbreath — who took top honors last year in her age group with a 1:47:34 — came screaming across the finish line with an incredible 1:31:39. Caroline Mullen, who would have won any of the four prior P2Ps, followed two minutes later with a 1:33:52. Shannon Sawyer took third in 1:40:55. All three women are from New York City.
Men’s winner Richard Marsico (1:23:26) of Mamaroneck covered himself in glory by taking top honors in the men’s field. He’d finished seventh overall last year with a 1:28:50 in the mud. He was followed out of the woods by P2P rookies Morgan Thompson of Long Island City (1:24:40), and Nicholas Pampena of Kings Park (1:26:51).
In addition to taking home our traditional, engraved metal tankards as awards, winners received hydration packs from Nathan, $50 gift certificates from Westchester Road Runner, an annual subscription to Trail Runner, and, as long as I’m the Race Director, our champions are comped in future Paine to Pain races. Age group 1-2-3 received engraved glass tankards, and many received hydration vests and handhelds from Nathan.
The day also saw its first ever slate of kid races, which took place while P2P was in progress. They were so much fun we hope to expand on them in the future.
All finishers (and kids and spectators) then proceeded to devour the great food and drink supplied by Fairway (food), Robek’s (fruit smoothies), Vita Coco (coconut water), PR*Bar (energy bars), Walgreens (water), and REI (energy gels and bars).
The day saw a record breaking crowd of 704 runners (692 finishers), with about 200 volunteers providing planning, logistics and support. The huge showing this year has firmly established Paine to Pain as one of the largest trail races in the nation. When the race started just four years ago, 50 people showed up to run and help inaugurate the new trail system. That growth has come almost entirely by word of mouth as runners spread the word of the new trail system’s existence. Reviews of this year’s race are at this link.
Now comes the part you’ve all been waiting for: Who gets the Race Director’s Prize? P2P vets know that this prize was created on a whim, the way any good prize should be, when Jillian Perrius turned a cartwheel down the home stretch in 2010 and was awarded a free ticket to 2011.
Last year that prize went to Kristin Iversen Koch, who flashed a big smile over bloody knees when I walked past her in the finish area. Killer. And this year?
One strong contender was Nina Steinberg, who ran her fifth consecutive P2P, an event for which she has already taken home four tankards (just missed this year) and volunteers on top of it all. That, my friends, is a tough act to follow.
Also in the running was John Mazzei, who attempted to run the race barefoot. Not barefoot style, mind you, but actually bare. He bailed out of that plan after a couple of miles on the Leatherstocking’s rocky terrain and slipped on the Vibrams Five Fingers he had for back-up. Does he get a prize for this? Well, the race started at the Thomas Paine Cottage, and Paine wrote “Common Sense,” and running barefoot over those trails …
The winner of this year’s Race Director’s Prize goes to Todd Esposito. His entry lists him as Henderson, Nevada, but he is currently living in Ukraine. He’s run this event before (2009), loved it, and decided to fly in Thursday from Kiev, see some family here, run the event Sunday, and fly back to Ukraine on Monday Sunday afternoon.
If you told me four years ago that someone would fly in from Ukraine to run Paine to Pain, I would have asked what you were smoking. And now that it has happened, I want to know what Todd was smoking.
Our winner gets a rare comp to this race. How rare? I’ve paid the fee each year, as did my wife when she ran it two years ago. When the RD pays his own way, you know it’s gotta be special. All Todd has to do is pay his own way back from Ukraine. Or Nevada. Or wherever else business sends him next year.
Update: Todd Esposito responds, via email, re-printed with permission:
Funny thing. I’ve ran this race twice. Both times I’ve seen runners in distress on the back 10km so I gave up my personal goal of running fast to help my fellow sufferers to finish the course (you’ll notice I’ve finished within 1-2 seconds twice of a fellow racer, not by chance). I’ve never had a chance to run my own race. With the Race Director’s Prize below, you guys give me the chance to do it next year. Good karma!!! High 5s all around!!!
Back in Kiev. Finished the race, had a quick sandwich from Fairway (GREAT post race tent), showered and jumped on a plane from JFK to Amsterdam to Kiev Sunday afternoon. NO rest for the wicked!!!
See you guys next year!!! Paine to Pain…to Kiev!!!
Holy smokes, what a day. I know, I know, you don’t want to know my opinion of this thing, you want the reviews of others. So, without further ado:
…All in all, a great trail half-marathon put on a few miles north of the NYC. For any New York runner looking outside of the NYRR bubble or just wanting to dabble into some trail running, may I strongly suggest Paine to Pain 2013? (StephenEngland @ RunDiabetes)
The name of this trail half marathon is utterly apropos. (A Fast Paced Life, with a long, detailed race report)
The race was AWESOME! Much thanks to all the volunteers from this P2P first timer. (Karena Marie Tsakirisvia Facebook)
I loved this race, so much fun. I’ll be back next year and I’m bringing friends.(Jason Kellyvia Facebook)
Congrats Eric Turkewitz and crew for another well orchestrated race. This is no small accomplishment for such a large field of runners. Perhaps, Eric, someone should put your picture on the side of a bus as a show of awesomeness.Oh wait…never mind 😉 (Christy Cuomovia Facebook)
A word about the race folks: from the race director and the timing crew, down to the myriad volunteers, and to the New Rochelle pep squad which cheered us on, they were spectacular! You would do well to find a race with half this amount of enthusiasm and support. (Papa Bear’s Beyond Central Park, much more at link)
This was my first running of Paine to Pain, and I loved it. The volunteers were great. The course is lovely. Most importantly, the logistics were really runner friendly; from the wave start, the good parking, the port-a-john situation to the track finish, finisher medals and Fairway bagels it all worked. (Jonathan Weinberger, via email used with permission)
…So in the end, was the 4 hour one-way trip to NYC worth it? Most certainly. It was a fabulously run event with a great course. There were no out and back sections or double loops. The enthusiasm of the volunteers and cheerleaders was just icing on the cake, not to mention the post race food, massages, stadium finish, quickly posted online results and photos…the list goes on and on. Thanks to everyone involved in making the race a success; I had a great time. [Two Feet from Anywhere, much more at link]
For a small race this was EXTREMEMLY well run. I had a great time, I grew up near twin lakes but never actually ran those trails, the first few miles through New Rochelle were much more technical then I had expected and the flats on the last few miles were a great way to pick the pace and finish the race running hard. Hoping to be back next year if it fits into my race schedule. (Daniel Lamonaca, via email, used with permission)
Awesome race Eric – that was full contact, violent running at it’s best!! I fought the trail twice and went 0-2. I’m not into medals all that much, BUT those are the best medals I’ve seen…a great race, great volunteers, great finishing area and your enthusiasm/love for the race is very contagious. You have a gem of an area to run which I imagine is very scenic (wouldn’t look up too much for fear of hitting that small root/rock perfectly with my left toe causing yet another fall). (John McClearyvia Facebook)
Great race today. Awesome organization, great post race, great shirts and medals. Next year I want # 0! (Tom O’Brien, wearing #1, via Facebook).
P2P #5 was great! Took a tumble in the leatherstocking trail but bounced back up and continued! I’ll be back for more next year! (Nina Steinberg, 5-time P2P runner and 4 times on the podium in her age group, via Facebook)
What an awesome race. I had a great time. Thanks for putting it together. It’s a wonderful addition to our community. The weather was perfect and the vibe at the finish could not have been better. Bravo! (Matt Phillips via email, used by permission)
I did have one fall, stubbed a toe and bled through half the race. It was great! Will see you all next year! (John Mazzei via Facebook, who tried to run the course barefoot before changing his mind and putting on the Vibrams Five Fingers he carried “just in case.”)
I saw you running barefoot. Didn’t you read his speech ? “These are the trails that try mens soles” (Beverly DeAngelis, via Facebook)
Great race! Thanks to all the volunteers, really appreciated the cheerleaders at the end, helped me finish strong! (Carly Jennifer Rothman via Facebook)
Great race! This was my first half (and first run ever over 7 miles actually) and I enjoyed every step of it. The trail was challenging, dynamic, and beautiful! Thanks for a great day, looking forward to next year. (Geoffrey Matous via Facebook)
I had a blast yesterday. 3rd Half in the last 12 months, but first Trail run. I under estimated how different it would be compared to street running. Thanks for putting together a great event. (Thomas Bickett via Facebook)
Top to bottom, a great race. Maybe most impressive to me is how the race has grown so quickly, yet the growth has been very sensible and very well managed. (Dan Tower, via Facebook)
I had a great time running Paine to Pain yesterday. It is a trail half marathon that starts and ends in New Rochelle. I had heard good things about the race, but this was the first time I ran it. Apparently, it has grown dramatically in the last few years, but if I had not heard that, I would not have known it. … I’d highly recommend this one. (TakeAHike via Runners World forum)
Amazing event yesterday! From top to bottom, what an incredibly well organized, challenging and enjoyable race. Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who were so helpful and friendly and congrats on putting together a great event! Looking forward to next year’s. (James Bueno via Facebook)
The weather forecast calls for clear skies for several days leading up to the race, in contrast to last year’s mud fest. I apologize in advance for the good weather.
With a modicum of good luck, this should answer all your questions:
1. Start Time: The first wave starts with a gunshot at 9 am on October 14th, rain or shine. Only a severe storm could alter plans. If you don’t pick up your packet beforehand, please leave ample time before the race for parking/packet details.
2. Wave Start: Four waves, with five minutes between each, with an estimated 150-200 runners per wave. While you can jump back a wave to start with a friend, or finish up at the toilets, you cannot jump forward! The race is electronically timed and we know from your chip where you’re supposed to start. You’ll get your wave assignment when you pick up your bib.
For an explanation of how (and why) we set up the waves click this link.
3. Number Pick-up: We 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
The first 100 to pick up their packets will receive a free copy of Trail Runner Magazine.
The store will also recycle old running shoes to charity, so bring in the shoes laying in the back of your closet for the last couple years.
You must pick up your own number and nobody else’s. The only exception is picking up for someone with your same last name or address. Please do not ask for additional exceptions. Please bring a picture ID to packet pickup.
5. Tech shirts are guaranteed to those who registered by September 15th. 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.
6. Late Registration: If you have a friend that still hasn’t registered, well, shame on them for waiting. But 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 try to squeeze them in if we still have openings. But we will not oversell the race and swamp the trails with too many runners. Please check the website for updates if you insisted on waiting until the last minute. Shirts are not guaranteed to late registrants.
Late registrations must be paid by check or with exact change.
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: There is a Metro North train (New Haven line) out of Grand Central at 7:37 that pulls in to New Rochelle at 8:08. 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. To find taxis, go up the mid-platform stairs to the bridge over the tracks. There is a taxi stand next to the northbound track and also next to the southbound track after you cross the bridge and go through the station house. There is more at this link, including taxi numbers.
Return trains to Grand Central are at 11:33 am, 12:33 pm and 1:33 pm.
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 yellow 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 3.8, 7.5 and 10.8. If you want more water, you better carry it.
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 15 minutes to account for the rough terrain. If you are slower than the sweeper you are on your own, but we will leave the flags in place so you don’t get lost.
15. Kid Races: We will have kid races for the first time. Young teens will run approximately 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 young teens start around 9:30, while P2P is in progress. Younger kids will run on the football field afterward. Listen for details on race morning.
There will also be a medical tent staffed by Sound Shore Medical Center and we expect several independent massage therapists to assist with post-race stretching.
17. Post-Race Showers! We’ve once again arranged for the High School locker room to be opened so you can shower and change. But if your shoes are muddy, please remove them before entering the building. We’d like to continue using the facility in the years to come, and trashing it will be, shall we say, counterproductive.
18. No Dogs. We have dogs. We like their happy, wagging tails. Sadly, we don’t get to make all the rules for the school grounds. That means Tucker, Princess and Snoopy have to stay home.
19. Volunteers: This event is put on by a local running club, and the entire event committee, race director included, is volunteer. We expect 150+ volunteers on race day. Please be nice to them, they are working hard. Kissing volunteers is permitted. But not the cheerleaders; kissees must be 18 or older.
Feedback: We started with 50 people in 2008, had 191 finishers in 2009, 300 in 2010 and 475 last year. As of this writing we have become one of the largest trail races on the East Coast, having surpassed 850 registrations. 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. This feedback includes, most importantly, our desire to avoid trail congestion with strategic wave assignments that break the middle-of-the-pack runners up into different areas.
Sponsors: This race would not be possible without our sponsors. They include:
Runners are invited to join us for this trail run, whether you are signed up for the October 14th 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 three paced 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 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 6.5-mile mark.
Your options are:
5.6 miles — Out and back on the Leatherstocking trail, which is marked.
9-10 miles — Stay with the group until we head down the Hutchinson River Trail (after passing the water stop) and then bail out when we cross 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.
I know what you’re wondering: With Paine to Pain now less than six weeks away, has the race committee followed in the footsteps of the New York City Marathon and dumped baggage check?
Not to worry, not only will we have baggage check on October 14th, but we will also have showers at the finish, courtesy of the New Rochelle High School.
Do we treat you right, or what?
Also, Fairway is returning! Because even if you want to stay dirty and sweaty at the end, you’ll still want fresh fruit and food. Smoothies are also back at the finish, thanks to Robeks. And VitaCoco is a new sponsor, providing its increasingly popular coconut water. Don’t fret, we will also have regular H2O, courtesy of returning sponsor Walgreens.
Our objective here, of course, is not only to put on a fun event, but to raise funds for the local trails we use. Municipal parks departments have been cut to ribbons, so net proceeds of the race will be used to maintain and improve them. (The race committee, myself included, continues to be 100% volunteer.)
If you’re worried that all those trail racers might cause congestion on the course – we are expecting a record crowd of perhaps 700 or so – we have you covered. We will once again use chip timing as we send runners off in four waves, set five minutes apart. Our middle-of-the-pack runners will be sprinkled across different waves to help spread things out. We seed you based on your recent 10K and longer results, so the speed demons don’t get stuck behind my plodding feet. Your wave designation will be available at packet pickup.
And new this year: Free kid races! We are working on those logistics now, but hope to have various distances for toddlers, teens and in-betweens.
If you haven’t registered yet for the main event, you can do so online at active.com or by completing the entry form on our website.
And now, for the trail rookies in the crowd, or for those who need a little boost in confidence:
We are also proud to welcome this year Team in Training (training thousands of athletes as they raise money to combat Leukemia and Lymphoma) as well as Bike MS (whose event this year is October 21st, as they combat multiple sclerosis).
We could always use some extra helping hands, so to volunteer, please contact our Greg Stern.
Finally, we couldn’t do this race without our sponsors. Included this year (in addition to those above): Westchester Road Runner, Houlihan Lawrence, REI, Nathan Sports, PR Bar, Twin Lakes Farm, Breaking the Tape Productions and Sound Shore Medical Center.
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).
Registration for the 5th annual running of the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon opened yesterday, April 22 ands sign-ups have already started to pore in.
The race starts with a gun shot at 9 AM on Sunday October 14th, at the Thomas Paine Cottage at the corner of North Ave. and Broadview Ave. in New Rochelle. Registration is available on active.com.
Funds are being raised for trail maintenance and improvements. Last year we raised $5,000 for this purpose, inclusive of net proceeds from the race and voluntary (tax-deductible) donations.
Who knew the race would grow so fast in popularity? In 2008, 50 local runners showed up on short notice to dedicate our new trail system. We followed with 192 the next year, then 304 (sold out!), and last year 485 (with wave starts and chip timing). In a very short time we’ve become one of the most popular trail races in the northeast. Why? Because it’s a great racetrack, that’s why.
And registration can still be done for $45 if you register early. After June 1st it goes to $50. Want to wait until September 1st? Then the fee is $55. Want to wait until you can check the weather forecast because you’re a bit on the wimpy side? Then you pay the top rate (if space is still available) of $60. But don’t worry, it all goes to a good cause. And your humble organizers still do this on a 100% volunteer basis.
There is a $10 discount for paid Sound Shore Runners and Multisport Club members, for paid NewRo Runners members and for active military or veterans (thank you for your service), good before September 1st.
Westchester County and the local municipalities maintain the beautiful Colonial Greenway trail that hosts Paine to Pain, but due to shortages of both cash and manpower, we are helping out. You can donate on active.com when you register or on our donation page. Donations are tax-deductible and will go into a dedicated trail maintenance account. Yes, we know this is redundant of the third paragraph, but we’re trying to make a point.
To see what improvements have taken place in the past, and what we hope to do in the future, please see: Trail Improvements, Past and Future on the Paine to Pain website. If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to Sound Shore Runners Club and mail it to:
Matt Lewis, c/o Colonial Greenway Trail Donations, 70 Center Av, Morristown, NJ 07960
Age group awards will be based on chip timing. Overall 1-2-3 will be based on first across the finish line.
Of course, a race this size doesn’t run itself. With the potential for 750 runners this year (and more waves than last year), we need 100+ volunteers. If you (or a friend, spouse, kid, sibling, neighbor or other fun-loving sort) are interested in helping out, please email Greg Stern.
If you or your company would like to be a race sponsor, please let me know as soon as you can.