Thank You 2021 Volunteers!!

L to R: Three New Runners founders, Mark Medin, Steven Stein and David Brot.

Well, that was fun, right?  And exhausting.

And we ran out of volunteer shirts.  How did that happen?  Because come race day, volunteers poured out from the community. More than we’ve ever had.

Paine to Pain was a huge success because of you.  You.  You did it. Time and again the runners told me how wonderful our volunteers were. Helpful. Smiling. Making sure stuff happened.

I say this every year and I say it again:  This race doesn’t happen without volunteers.

You guys are it.

The race has lots of moving parts, no pun intended. But when things needed to get done, you just did them.  I only found out later.

I did my best to meet and greet so that runners would have a great time, and you guys did all the hard work while I once again stood up there and got the credit as if it were possible for one person to do it all. It isn’t, and I didn’t. We all did it together.

Anyone can come up with plans. But it’s the execution of those plans that takes work. And you executed.

Here’s my annual review of the various “jobs” that we had to take care of. While my recap of the race has the look and feel of the runner’s perspective, this is what “backstage” of Paine to Pain looks like:

Updating web site

Designing shirt

Distributing shirts

Designing medal

Distributing medals

Planting/removing signs

Online registration

Creating covid policy

Vaccination checks

Bike marshals for Broadview

Setting up start/finish line banners

Ordering tents, tables and chairs (start and finish)

Placing tents and tables

Shopping for start/finish line goods

Manning intersections

Organizing close to 200 volunteers

Data analysis to determine in August how many will show in October

Wave assignments

Bib distribution

Creating income statement

Writing checks / tracking invoices/payments

Finding restaurants to donate food

Getting that food to the finish

Ordering water/additional food/utensils/cups/plates for finish

Feeding people / staffing food stations

Manning three aid stations (and arranging water for them)

Medical coverage for three aid stations and finish line

Finding and coordinating sponsors

Firing muskets and establishing colonial theme

Music – start line and finish

Establishing massage stations

Securing and transporting baggage

Maintaining email list and sending out mass emails

Laying out, and then sweeping  ~500 flags

Supervising cheerleaders

Announcing arriving runners to the finish

Obtaining permits

Obtaining insurance for every municipality and sponsor

Coordinating four police departments

Coordinating parking

Race day communications via ham radio

Finalizing results and fixing scoring errors

Clean-up and pack-up at the end.

That’s a lot!  It’s pretty remarkable for an all-volunteer running club!

All of your effort shows. Year after year the glowing reviews come in that you guys nailed the execution of the race, and each year we exceed the stellar reviews of prior ones. I’m not sure how you top A+, but you managed. it. Again. It’s the volunteers that turn a mere footrace into a piece of performance art.

It. Doesn’t. Happen. Without. You.

There. I said it again.



Free 2021 Race Photos!

As promised, this link takes you to the 2021 race  photos.

They are suitable for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. There is a download link at the top of the screen for each picture.

In addition, if you really like a shot and want one to hang one on a real wall, as opposed to a digital one, you can buy hi-res shots.

And one new feature this year to help make searches easier (not all bibs are seen) is facial recognition to search for your pics.  This is purely optional, of course. Just follow the directions here to upload a selfie.

— Eric


2021 Race Reviews

Here I collect all the good things people say about the race and preserve them  before they vanish into the mountains of internet pixels that flood the intertubes, never to be found again unless we run for public office. They come from champions and mid-packers, rookies and veterans.

(If you want results, go here;  For the Race Director’s Recap, go here; For the photos, go here.)

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

(Comments that came in via email were reproduced with permission.)

Wish my time was a bit better but all gratitude to @PaineToPain and all the volunteers. Truly a race like no other and proud to have been a part of the biggest field yet.  @RHfree26  via Twitter

The toughest 13.1 miles I have ever run. And it was amazing. — lrb732 via Instagram

Another one in the books. @PaineToPain puts on a top notch event. With help from his amazing team and great volunteers.– Dan Tower, (P2P 10-Year Club)

Thank you for putting on such a great event yesterday. We are new to the area, but I run on the trails all the time so was thrilled to be able to take part in a race on the “home course”. Such a great atmosphere and I loved learning about the history of the race. Thank you for all of your efforts and leadership in connecting the area’s trail network!  — Terrance Li (6th place male, overall)

Thank you so much  the amazing race and extremely thorough course markings!  I knew a few of the other women in the race who have done much more trail racing than I have and they both thought it was one of the best-marked courses they’ve been part of. loved it, and will definitely plan to be back next year as long as I’m healthy. — Jeanne Mack, Women’s Champion

I’ve said it before, and it remains true, it just gets better each year. — Ed Dee (P2P 10-Year-Club)

Still don’t understand how I got a race, shirt, water bottle and massive lunch for $35 — David Mann

The course was great! The trails were great! The volunteers were super great! And the post race mal was yummy. — dashing_kumi, via Instagram

This is such a fun and well organized race, and the medal is always creative — he spins! Congratulations to the organizers of  #painetopain — madden_lisa, via Instagram

Nine-time Paine to Pain Half Marathon Trail Race finisher. I keep going back because I love it. It’s that simple. Eric Turkewitz does the most amazing job as race director and some how year after year pulls off a great race experience for all. In case you couldn’t tell I highly recommend it to all of my running friends. Hell, I’ve even recommended it to people that have stopped me on the street to admire one off my Paine to pain race Tee shirts.  — Michael Wolf, via Facebook

Eric, this was my first Paine to Pain. I run…but I’m not a runner. Does that make any sense? I heard about this race two years ago from my actual runner friends and I was finally able to get it done. I just wanted to say that I thought this was an awesome race from beginning to end and that includes all the information given on the website. It was all there. The volunteers were awesome as were all the first responders on the course. This really is a little hidden gem of a race that I will definitely do again and tell others about next year. Thanks again to you and your team for all your efforts.  — Carlos Orduz, in the comments on the recap.

Another great Paine to Pain trail half marathon in the books! The weather was near perfect and the course was fun, as usual. I even pulled off a negative split! Thanks to the race organizers (not just you, Eric, but that, too) for another great race.  — Murray Rosenblith, PPTC

Eric – my second race, and so looking forward to the next one. As the last photo on your recap shows, the finish line entertainment was overwhelming. Thanks again! Tim (#267 and yes, I did get a course PB, which I was checking for) — Tim Wynne (in the comments on the recap)

Paine to Pain Half Marathon Trail Race, the ultimate trail half marathon of the East, is a STELLAR race! Thank you to Eric Turkewitz, the ultimate RD, for putting together this course and carrying out your vision!! The energy on this course is amazing! Thank you to ALL the volunteers!! — Karen Murray, 3x 50-state marathoner

New Rochelle Girl Scouts had another great year at Water Station 3! Thank you Wayne for being our captain and to our Girl Scouts and Leaders Cindy Byrne Kristin Saglibene Macy Hussey Carobene! We were inspired by all the runners and grateful for their enthusiasm. Congratulations to everyone involved with P2P! —  Cindy Mahoney, P2P veteran and Girls Scout leader for water station #3.

I had an absolute blast.! It took a Herculean effort to get the race together. It’s a labor of love and I can’t thank you enough for all the hard work and dedication of you and your team putting on such an amazing event.  After all the tribulations of COVID-19 and the devastating effects it had on your neighborhood and the surrounding area the P2P was the light at the end of the tunnel.  Thanks again for all of your hard work and I can’t wait for next year. — Mark Wellman

Thank you for a fantastic event! What a fun race, and everyone involved had a great attitude.  As someone who grew up running around Leatherstocking Trail with my friends, this was a treat! Wish I hadn’t lost to my training partner, Phil Comerford, by 42 seconds but there is always next year 🙂 The medal, the shirt, and the race pics are keeping me happy. Going to sign up for next year at the stupid cheap price! — Benjamin Trachtenberg


As more comments come in, they will be added. If they are good.

Race Director’s Recap – 2021 (and Race Director’s Prize!)

They called it the “containment zone.” And by “it” I mean a one-mile radius in New Rochelle that included both the start line at Paine Cottage and the high school finish line.

That was nineteen months, and almost 700,000 American lives, ago.

Putting this race together gave me the sense that we were, in a way, figuring out how to safely deal with the virus.   I’m not smart enough to know if the virus is leaving for good, or if our vaccines will hold for future variants, or if we just learn to adapt to it for decades. But if we wanted a semblance of normal we had to deal with it somehow.

So  back in April, I thought that 100% vaccination for runners was the best way of adapting. Thank you one and all for coming to terms with what we have, and what we did, and helping figure out what may be the new normal.

I profess to more than the usual excitement (and anxiety) on race day as months of planning came to fruition. My “back-up plan” had been to put “13th Annual” on the medals and shirts instead of the year, because when I ordered the stuff in August, who really knew what October would bring? Would the basement of Paine to Pain Global HQ be stuffed with boxes for a canceled event?

But the (13) stars were properly aligned, and even Old Man Weather cooperated, waiting for the sweepers to finish and the food to be eaten, before he showered down upon us as we did the clean-up.

Those who were concerned about rain and stayed home — and yes, there were many and I know who you are!– missed out on perfect running weather.

Men’s 1-2-3 leaped off the line together.

I’m guessing that Matt Baffuto thought the weather was just great as the Paine to Pain newcomer blazed to victory in 1:18:40, just off the course record.  That’s a 6:00 pace on trails for those of you keeping score at home.

Coming in behind him was Corey Levin — who also finished 2nd in 2019 when he broke the course record. And 3rd was 19-year-old Jonthomas Bierman, who first rocked this course as a 12-year-old after I watched him toe the start line with the best the county had to offer. I knew back then he would podium one day.

On the women’s side, another newcomer, Jeanne Mack of Brooklyn, became one of only a few women to crack 1:30 when she brought it home with a thrilling sprint to close in 1:29:40. She was followed to the tape by Michelle Cabrera  and Julie Piddington.  Congrats to all! (Results are here)

Apparently the trail was in great shape — except for some wasps that got stirred up (no, I did not plan that) — and well marked by our team of Trail Pixies.

From your perspective as runners, I hope the the race looked logistically smooth. There are three big reasons for this:  First, we had more volunteers than ever. And races like this — OK,  none are exactly like this — just don’t happen without volunteers.  Aid stations, intersections, registration, timing, communications, parking, food ordering and  service, volunteer coordination, start line and finish line logistics, website, graphics, massage, the aforementioned Trail Pixies, and more.

Second, in addition to the involvement of four separate police departments, the municipalities have been amazingly responsive regarding upkeep of the trail. Specifically, the Parks Department of New Rochelle, the Conservation Department of Mamaroneck and Westchester County Parks. It appears vastly different today than the disjointed series of parks that I first ran 20 years ago, and when problems crop up, those municipalities quickly spring into action.

And finally, our benefactors.  You really can’t put on a race like this, at a stupid-cheap price like this, without the community pitching in to help. Salomon was a returning sponsor and New York Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute was a new one for training athletes (located in the old EMS across from the old Lord and Taylor on Rt. 22.).

Westchester Road Runner has provided amazing logistics during every iteration of this race, and has a well-earned reputation as the best running store in Westchester. The shirt and medal design honoring Thomas Paine came courtesy of a P2P veteran, Sean Mosher-Smith at Echo Design Lab, and our web mistress is a former sweeper running PSG Studio for small businesses.

That band rocking you at the Finish Line Festival?  Third Stone, led by drummer Dave Bergamini — one of the teachers at the high school.

Out there on the infield you saw Athleta near the tents alongside local companies helping to work your aches and pains out, or assisting with training or nutrition: Finish Line PT, Premier Sports Recovery and True Fit Balance (with the cookies!).

Aid stations were filled by (#1) Orange Theory of Mamaroneck — coming despite the devastation of its business due to flooding from Hurricane Ida — (#2) True Fit, and of course, Girl Scouts at #3.

And communications were again provided by a band of ham radio operators out on the course, from the Westchester Emergency Communications Association. They alerted us to the course leaders and help us find injured runners to get them assistance if needed.

Finally, before we get to the, uhh, unusual Race Director’s Prize, some food:  Once again, New Rochelle institutions AJ’s Burgers and the Beechmont Tavern were at the finish line, with food supplemented by DeCicco’s, Trader Joes, H&R Bialy (the bagel place near Acme) and Mikey Dubbs with its delicious custard.

OK, who do I give the Race Director’s Prize to this year, that being a free entry to next year’s P2P?  Were there any outstanding feats of sportsmanship? The helping of an injured runner? A brave volunteer?

Reminder, the rules for this award are simple: I give it in my absolute discretion as Grand Poobah.

I had two runner-ups for the prize.  My daughter, who flew in from Texas to volunteer and has never missed a race. And my son who flew in from Miami to volunteer who has also never missed a race.  Could I give the awards to my own kids?

As I pondered that, the following story was handed to me on a silver platter. Sorry, kids.

In a departure from prior form, this year’s award is given anonymously, because the winner would spike my tequila with something awful if I revealed her name.

What form of heroics did she undertake?  Well, out there on the trail runners see clapping and hollering spectators. But a race director sees something different: volunteers and spotters who are there to assist.

This particular volunteer was in the woods. And she had to go.  Yeah, in that bear in the woods kinda way.

But she didn’t want to leave her post. So she did as the bears do. And trust me when I tell you that, for her, this is a very substantial departure from form.

I’ve been assured that no poison ivy was harmed in the process.

Now I know that she won’t run this race. So by the powers vested in me by me, because there’s no one to overrule a Grand Poobah, I hereby  grant her permission to gift her free entry to any friend or relative she wants. And I will make it up to her with an appropriate cocktail or three in the weeks to come.

My lips are sealed on her identity.

See you all in 2022?



Race Day Road Closures

At the right is a  map of the course, and if you click on it you will find a bigger version.

Dog walkers in the parks are obviously cautioned to keep their pooches on leash. In 2021 we are expecting approximately 900 athletes.

Drivers should expect the following road closures and delays on race day, with the race starting at Paine Cottage in New Rochelle and traveling counterclockwise for 13 miles to –> Mamaroneck –> Scarsdale –> New Rochelle–> Eastchester–> New Rochelle (high school is the finish line):

New Rochelle:

Broadview and Sicard closed and no parking:  7:00-10:00

Hillside Crescent closed and no parking:  8:00-10:00

Pinebrook Blvd  / Hillside Crescent:  9:00 – 9:35


Weaver: 9:00 – 10:00

Highland Drive:  9:00 – 10:00

Winged Foot Drive:  9:00 – 10:00

Avon Road: 9:10 – 10:10

Fenimore:  9:10 – 10:10

Old White Plains Rd by Winged Foot and Deerfield Lane: 9:15 – 10:15

Rockridge/Deerfield: 9:15 – 10:15

Old White Plains Road at Deerfield: 9:15 – 10:15


Mamaroneck Road by Saxon Woods: 9:45 – 11:15

Weaver Street / Hutch:  9:45 – 11:00

New Rochelle:

Pinebrook Blvd / Hutch: 9:45 – 11:30

Wilmot Road / Hutch: 10:00 – 11:15


Mill Road/Hutch:  10:00 – 11:50

New Rochelle:

Webster Avenue / Flandreau: 10:00 – 12:20

Clove Road and Flandreau (no parking): 10:00 – 12:20



P2P: Frequently Asked Questions

With a bit of luck, this answers all your questions for this Sunday’s Paine to Pain, though some of you will refuse to read to the bottom and send me questions anyway:

1.      Vaccination: When you registered you agreed to be vaccinated by September 15th. Bring proof of ID and proof of vaccination to claim your bib. This brief posting tells you how to claim that bib. Don’t show up without proof.  We will not laugh. And you won’t get a bib.

2.      Masks:  We urge you to wear masks in three congested areas – Bib pick-up, portable toilets, and the start of the race. When the crowd thins after 1/2 mile, you can make the decision on removing it.  There will be a garbage can at the entrance to the Leatherstocking (0.7M) if you wish to toss away the disposable kind.

3.      Bib Pick-up: While you can pick up your bib up at the start line on race day, we strongly encourage runners to pick up bibs and shirts prior to race day at Westchester Road Runner, at 179 East Post Road in White Plains:
Friday: 4-7 pm  5-8 pm
Saturday: 10 am-4 pm

In addition to your own bib, you may pick up for someone with your same last name or address. You must have a legible photo or copy of their ID and vaccination card or other vaccination proof.

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 donate old running shoes to charity. Rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn them in a year, donate them.

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

We anticipate a record crowd of about 900 runners this year. So please leave ample time for parking, bib pick up if you haven’t already claimed it at Westchester Road Runner, 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 be frantically running up at the last second demanding attention.

A pace car from Rye Subaru will lead the initial wave up Broadview.

5.      Wave Start: Five waves, with 150-200 people in each, leaving three minutes apart. All 12 prior races have gone off exactly at 9:00 a.m.
The race is electronically timed and we know from your chip where you’re supposed to start. Your bib numbers and wave assignments are posted here. You need to know your wave to claim your number.
Unless you are vying for overall 1-2-3, there’s no need to crowd the start.  While overall 1-2-3 is gun-time for the podium, age group awards are all chip-time.  A little extra room between runners is warranted.
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, and spread the crowd. We hated congestion on the trails even before the virus.

6.      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.

We sold a ton of bibs at stupid-cheap prices, but know many folks won’t be able to use them due to injuries or life events. We do the cheapo thing because it’s fun for us, fun for you and makes the race affordable to those of modest means. And we bake those no-shows into the price of the race. This is another of the reasons for the no transfer (and no refund or deferral) policy.

In addition, if you transfer a number you foul up the results and could deprive another person of an award.

7.       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.

8.      Late Registration: There is none.  Registration closed October 5th.

9.      Parking is available in two 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.

10.      Public transportation from NYC: Easy-peasy. Click this link.

A taxi from the station should cost about $7. We expect many NYC runners so keep your eyes open to share a taxi to hook up with others. Your mileage may vary on the hook up.

Or use our Facebook group to see if you can meet another runner. Maybe you’ll get luckier than you can imagine.

11.      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.
Emotional baggage, however, should be taken with you on the trail. There’s only so much our volunteers can do.

12.      Course Markings: Our team of Trail Pixies expect to 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.

13.      Toilets: Porto-potties at the start (get there early!), the 7.5-mile mark (Saxon Woods golf course) and the High School.  The locker rooms at the finish will be closed to us this year, however, due to significant recent flood damage and construction.

14.      Water/Medical: Medical attention and water will be available at only three spots mid-race. These aid stations are at miles 4-ish, 7.5-ish and 10.8-ish. Carry supplemental fluid if the weather is warm/humid. There is no energy drink this year on the trail. EMTs from Empress EMS will be at the aid stations.

15.      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.

16.      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 13 minutes to account for the rough terrain.  If you’re slower than the sweeper you are on your own (but we’ll leave the flags in place so you won’t be lost, just lonely).

17.      Post-Race: We should have lots of good food, and live music. Do we know how to treat you well or what? Check it out:

  • AJ’s Burgers (New Rochelle)
  • Texas Roadhouse (New Rochelle)
  • Beechmont Tavern (New Rochelle)
  • Mikey Dubbs (New Rochelle)
  • Decicco’s (Pelham)
  • Trader Joe’s
  • H&R Bialy (New Rochelle)
  • Ultima Sports Recovery Drink
  • Third Stone (for the live tunes!)

There will also be a medical tent staffed by Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital. We hope you don’t visit them, except to say thanks.

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

  • Premier Sports Recovery
  • Total Form Fitness
  • Finish Line PT
  • True Fit Balance

Salomon returns to the finish line, with its excellent line of trail shoes, gear and other sports products.  Athleta will be there also.

And we welcome New York Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute! Regardless of your running level, they will help you make the most of your physical efforts.

Check them out while you cool down, nosh and relax.

18.    Ultra Runners!  Want to run a “warm up lap?”  Each year we get five or six hearty souls on take off around 6:30 to do a lap before the race. Email me if interested.

19.    No Dogs. We have dogs. We like their happy, wagging tails and we like scratching their bellies. They are the darlings of social media, though cats think otherwise.  Sadly, we don’t get to make the rules for the school grounds. That means Tucker, Princess and Snoopy have to stay home. The only exception is a guide dog to help you run the course.

20.    Volunteers: This event is put on by NewRo Runners. Our entire race committee, myself included, is volunteer. We expect 200+ volunteers on race day. Please be nice to them, they are working hard. Kissing volunteers is usually encouraged  — subject to age restrictions and consent  — but this year you’ll need to blow air kisses from a distance.

21.    Free Photos: This year we once again have free professional photos from the race for you. Hopefully we’ll get the shot that makes you look both tough and fabulous.

22.  Merch! Based on prior requests we made several P2P items for sale at Westchester Road Runner and at the finish line.  Net proceeds go toward keeping the registration fees as low as possible so that even those of modest means can participate. Available will be: Beanies (red and blue), enamel camp-style mugs,  hats and visors (both blue and red), tie-dye P2P shirts (without year), and car magnets.

Feedback: We started with 50 people in 2008. 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! 

Eric Turkewitz
Race Director and Grand Poobah
Paine to Pain Trail 1/2 Marathon
NewRo Runners
Westchester County, NY
Daytime phone: 212-983-5900
Eric @

Real job:
The Turkewitz Law Firm
228 East 45th Street – 11th Floor
New York, NY  10017
Eric @

To Claim Your Race Bib…

This is what you need to claim your 2022 race bib:

  1.  You must register online by October 4th. There is no in-person registration. None. Zero. Nada.
  2.  As in years past, you can pick up the bib of another runner if you share the same last name or household.  But you must have copies (digital or paper) of that person’s ID .
  3. Where, when?  You are strongly encouraged to pick up your race packet in advance at Westchester Road Runner at 179 E. Post Rd. in White Plains, NY on the Friday before the race, from 4-7 pm, or the Saturday before the race, from 10 am-4 pm.Pick up on race day is at the Thomas Paine Cottage Museum at 20 Sicard Ave., New Rochelle, from 7:00 – 8:30. Expect lines. This is also the staging area for the start.

Eric Turkewitz
Race Director
Paine to Pain Trail 1/2 Marathon
Westchester County, NY
Daytime phone: 212-983-5900
Real job:
The Turkewitz Law Firm
228 East 45th Street – Suite 1110
New York, NY  10017


Three Weeks to Go (and Seven Things to Know)

Labor Day in the rearview mirror, we’re now just three weeks to Paine to Pain. It’s update time! Please. Read. To. The. End!

  1.   There will be no in-person registration. Online only!!  Tell your procrastinating friends! Our volunteers will have enough to do checking IDs and vaccination certificates. Register here if you haven’t.  As the great Brian Wilson said, “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.” Or as we say, “Miss the wave and you’re a putz.

  And remember:

  No Vax = No bib. 

(If you forget your proof you will not get your bib.)

2.  Notwithstanding your vax status, we ask all runners to be masked for the crowded areas of bib pick-up, toilets and the start.

3.  The Paine to Pain Preview is this Sunday, September 26tr at 8 am. Come join NewRo Runners for a course check. You don’t have to be signed up for the race to participate. There are no fees. Do a short version or the fully monty. The run is self-supported, and running guides will lead various pace groups. In order to accommodate shorter runs, the race will not start at the P2P start line. Details are here.

4.  Free photos! You read that right, we’ll once again have professional photographers out there on the course and then and we’ll give you those hi-res digital photos for nothin’. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. More free!!! Woo hoo!!! We’ll try to catch your favorite side — the one with most mud if we’re lucky enough to get rain.

5.  We are again planning 5 waves. Why? Because this social distancing thing is second nature for us. While overall 1-2-3 is based on gun-time off the first musket shot, everything else is chip-time.  No need to crowd!

6.  Ultra Runners – Interested in running 26.2 on race day? If you’d like to do a “warm up lap” before the race, shoot us an email. (The warm-up lap is not a race, not timed, unsupported and will likely be dark when you set off. These are features, not bugs. The bugs are on the trail.)

7.  Volunteer sign-up is well underway! As every runner knows, races don’t happen without volunteers. Period. If you aren’t running, we need you! (Online sign-up at this link)

Also, we welcome back Westchester Road Runner of White Plains, sponsoring this race for the 13th consecutive year!  Bib pick-up will start there Friday before the race, from 5-8, and we hope to have some P2P merch for sale.

Salomon is back again, and you’ll see them at the Finish Line Festival.

We also introduce our newest top tier sponsor, New York Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute. Regardless of your running level, they will help you make the most of your physical efforts.

And if your injuries on race day are more hard core than muscle fatigue – and let’s hope that isn’t the case – Empress EMS will be out there on the course again at the three aid stations and Montefiore New Rochelle will (wo)man the finish line medical tent!

We’re lining up food and other sponsors as we type!! We’re excited!!  And when I say “we” I mean me!  But I hope it’s you too!

Race day is my favorite day

— OK, after my anniversary, and wife and kids’ birthdays…I’m required by law to say that …hi honey! Did you get to the bottom of this long email I just sent to a several thousand of my nearest and dearest?

Eric Turkewitz
Race Director
Paine to Pain Trail 1/2 Marathon
Westchester County, NY
Daytime phone: 212-983-5900
Real job:
The Turkewitz Law Firm
228 East 45th Street – Suite 1110
New York, NY  10017


P2P Preview – 2021

NewRo Runners, the group that organizes the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon, will host our annual Preview of the course on September 26th at 8:00 am. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early so that we can start promptly.

All runners are invited to join us , whether you’re signed up for the race or not, and whether you want to run the full monty or just a section (see below)

This is not a race, but simply a guided running tour of the P2P course, which NewRo Runners will do this run as one of our regular weekend group runs.

We usually get 50-75 people and I usually have about 10 trail leaders since there are no flags on the course.  If you know the course and can lead, please email me privately.

Rules for 2021!!!

First, please be vaccinated against COVID, as others won’t be too keen on running in your huffing and puffing slipstreams for miles on end.

Second, I am counting on distancing between groups of runners happening naturally as speedier runners take flight. Leaders will pause at major junctions so others in their groups can catch up. This is a guided running tour, not a race.

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 – Was training for 3:30 marathon or faster (or 1:40 ½-marathon)
  • Medium – Was training for 3:30 – 4:15 marathon (or 1:40 – 2:10  ½-marathon)
  • Slower – Was training for 4:15-5:00 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. We do this once a year as one of our always-changing weekly  group runs and invite others to join us so we can show you our playground.

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 itsy-bitsy, tiger-striped shorts of the guy in front of you.

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 some of the more challenging terrain of the race.)
  • 10 miles — Stay with the group until we head south down the Hutchinson River Trail (after passing the golf course) and then bail out at Pinebrook Boulevard.  This is the same street we started on, but two miles to the north. Then justrun on Pinebrook (going left) 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.

Eric @

P2P Price Increase Coming Soon!

OK, this is your Dog Days of August email blast, with the race now just over eight weeks away. Race Day is October 10th — Columbus Day Sunday.  (Or Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday, as preferred by an increasing number of folks.) I suggest you read. Every. Word.

While I usually try to goose these missives with some humor — maybe a Rosie Ruiz joke — I lead now with something conspicuously unfunny:

Mandatory Vaccination
You must be vaccinated to run this race!!! You gotta get that first jab by September 15th. I wrote about this in April — when the virus was on a steep decline and I was being extra cautious (hope for the best, prepare for the worst).  Now, with Delta, it appears that the caution was warranted. “I don’t wanna!” is not a valid excuse.  No vax = no bib. Yes, we will check. We don’t want runners bringing this virus home to immunocompromised grandmas.

COVID Race Day details to follow.
Exact details of how we’ll manage the congested parts of the event — bib pick up, porta-potties and the start line — will follow as we get close to race day.

Price Increase.
Now let’s talk money. The price is still $55, but it goes up August 16th. You opened this email on the 16th? So sorry. Just don’t say you weren’t warned. (Registration link)

How does NewRo Runners put on a race this good at such a cheap price? First, we don’t get paid. Not even me. Call it a labor of love. Or a hobby. Or giving back. Whatever you call it, this baby is non-profit. Anything left over goes into the trails or to local charities.

It Doesn’t Happen Without Sponsors
Second, we have sponsors that help defray the costs. This year Salomon and New York Presbyterian – Sports Performance Institute are major sponsors. And we again have the generous personnel support of Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital at the finish line and Empress EMS at our aid stations. And, as we’ve had since Year 1, Westchester Road Runner helps with logistics and pre-race bib distribution. And those are just a few that help make this race a reality.

Registration Cut-off
This year, based on the incredible pace of registrations, we expect our largest field ever, at 900+ runners. (In 2008, we had just 50, and to publicize it we put flyers up in train stations, store windows and on telephone poles.) But we will not oversell the race and swamp the trail with too many runners. We want quality, not quantity. You should not count on race day registration (or even registration through the planned online close Oct. 5) being available. Let your friends know.

Deferred 2020 Registrations
As of this writing, 103 of the 266 runners who deferred from last year have still not registered. You must register if  you want to run! If you’re one of those laggards, and you wait too long and we close registration, your deferral will be lost.

To claim your deferral, first sign in and go to your profile on RunSignUp.  Follow the instructions about halfway down the page under the heading “How to Claim a Deferred Registration” at this link to claim your deferral.

Logistics, logistics, logistics.
The shirts, medals, live music, free photos, exceptional food, enthusiastic volunteers, and most awesome and magnificent (and humble) race director are all sweet perks, and are all planned. But race logistics are always the bread and butter of this tour through the lower Westchester trails, and they always will be for as long as my reign shall last.

We hope to run five waves again, three minutes apart. (We were socially distancing before it was fashionable.) Obviously, consultations with local health officials and common sense may alter that part. If we get too many people signing up in the closing weeks we will close down registration. Once again, you’ve been warned.

Final notes for those who’ve never run Paine to Pain and are thinking of it: This is the most fun, best organized, and dollar-for-dollar best value for a race in New York. Ask any friend who has run it!  Not me, of course, I’m biased. Feel free to read the comments of others.

We just want to create the second best race in the NYC metro area. (Look out NYC Marathon, we have our eyes on you.)

The link to register is here!

Eric Turkewitz
Race Director and Grand Poobah
Paine to Pain Trail 1/2 Marathon
NewRo Runners
Westchester County, NY
Daytime phone: 212-983-5900
Eric [at] PaineToPain [dot] com

Real job:
The Turkewitz Law Firm
228 East 45th Street – 11th Floor
New York, NY  10017