A Letter of Thanks to the Volunteers

Volunteer and runner, Damon Maher
Volunteer and runner, Damon Maher

Thank you P2P Volunteers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

2015 Race Reviews

The 2015 spinner medal
The 2015 spinner medal

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry from Singapore
Henry from Singapore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race Director’s Recap – 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

·      Greenlife  – Mamaroneck (smoothies)

·      Simple Eats with Chef T (chocolate granola)

·      AJ’s Burgers – New Rochelle (sliders)

·      Texas Roadhouse – New Rochelle (pulled pork)

·      Modern Restaurant and Lounge – New Rochelle (pasta)

·      DeCicco Family Markets – Pelham  (giant subs)

·      H&R Bialys – New Rochelle (bagels)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Race is On! (Sorry Mother Nature)

Mother NatureDear Mother Nature:

Really, that was your best shot?  You tried to scare us with those crazy forecasts, but you barely touched our little racetrack. We’re scouting like crazy looking for downed trees and massive flooding, but alas, it appears you were just giving everyone a big head fake.

Sure, we got a little water, and our streams might be busier than usual, but on a scale of 1 to 10 on what we expected, our trails right now are an 11.

Our runners are smart enough to bring an extra pair of shoes to change into, so even if the little streams are still flowing in the morning it won’t be a big deal.

And temps in the 50s?  Are you kidding me? That’s just awesome.  We don’t need 70s. We don’t want 70s. Our folks will just bring dry shirts and sweatshirts for the finish area while they hang out and eat our great food.

We’ve even got locker rooms for them to change!

So to you, dear Mother, a big old Bronx Cheer.  You can’t scare us away.

Better luck next year.

P.S. Race day registration is available from 7:00-8:30.

2015 Pre-Race FAQ

Hurricane ForecastAs of this writing, Thursday night at 9, the forecast is for rain and wind followed by a calm race day. But forecasters always screw things up!  Possible storm tracks are to the right. So keep an eye on this site for updates.

The race goes forward, rain or shine, unless our permits get pulled. My personal prediction? Epic.  Yeah, you got that right, like the 2011 race we still talk about, with mud-covered runners streaming across the finish line covered in glory.

Now for the details you’ve been waiting for:

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

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

If you don’t pick up your packet beforehand, please leave ample time before the race for parking, packet pick up, port-o-potties, bag check and schmoozing. We don’t really care if you schmooze, we just want you to get there early and not walk up at the last second and demand attention.

Will we once again see pace cars from New Rochelle Chevy leading runners up Broadview?

2.      Wave Start: Six waves, with four minutes between each, and an estimated 150 runners per wave. The race is electronically timed and we know from your chip where you’re supposed to start. Don’t screw that up.  Your bib numbers and wave assignments are already on the website. You need to know your wave to claim your number.

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

3.      Number Pick-up: We strongly encourage runners to pick up race numbers and shirts prior to race day at Westchester Road Runner at 179 E. Post Road in White Plains:
Friday: 5-8 pm
Saturday: 10 am-4 pm

       The first 200 will receive a free copy of Trail Runner Magazine.  In addition, Westchester Road Runner is offering 20% off non-sale shoes and clothes, at the time you pick up your numbers.

The store will also recycle old running shoes to charity. Rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn them in a year, get rid of them. Someone else will be happy you did.

You must pick up your own number and nobody else’s. Please bring ID. The only exceptions are (1) picking up for someone with your same last name or address or (2) authorizing someone to pick up for you by emailing or texting them a photo of your drivers’ license along with a note saying they can pick up your bib and shirt.

4.      Number transfers are not permitted. Veteran P2Pers will remember that if you transfer a number, a kitten will die. And it will be your fault.

This is a fund-raiser to improve the trails you are running on. This is what we have done for the trails and what we hope to do in the future.  If you transfer a number you foul up the results, and could deprive another person of an award.  This is just one of the reasons for the no transfer (and no refund) policy.

5.       Tech shirts are guaranteed to those who registered by September 30th. If you don’t get a shirt at check-in, you can pick one up after the race on a first come, first serve basis (depending on the number of no-shows). Our shirt policy can be found at this link. I believe that we ordered enough so that everyone will go home with a shirt.

6.      Late Registration: If you have a friend that still hasn’t registered, well isn’t that lazy? And kind of pathetic for an endurance athlete.

If they come to number pick-up on Friday or Saturday or to the registration area between 7-8:30 am race day, we’ll squeeze them in. But we will not oversell the race and swamp the trails with too many runners. Print out the entry blank on the website, fill in pages 2 and 3 and bring it with you.

7.      Parking is available in two parking lots and on the street. The lot in front of the High School will fill up early. The lot behind the High School on Clove Road is quite large, and has a walkway bringing you past the front of the school toward the start.

Don’t even think about parking on Broadview, as that is the racecourse. Click here for a printable map of the parking areas, which you can click again to enlarge. Please consider carpooling to alleviate congestion.

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

A taxi from the station should cost about $7. We expect many Manhattan/Brooklyn runners so keep your eyes open to share a taxi with other runners.

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

9.        Baggage Drop is available just steps from the start. You can check one bag, which will be brought to the finish. Your bib will have a numbered pull tag that we will pin to your bag. Please don’t leave valuables in the bags, as we are not responsible for them.

10.      Course Markings: We expect to lay down about 500 bright pink flags with our Colonial Runner logo, placed at trail intersections and occasional intervals. Some people will ignore the flags and run off course anyway.

11.      Toilets: Porto-potties at the start (get there early!), the 7.5-mile mark (Saxon Woods golf course) and the High School locker room at the finish.

12.      Water/Medical: Water and medical attention will be available at only three spots during the race, in addition to the start and finish. These aid stations are at miles 4-ish, 7.5-ish and 10.8-ish. Carry supplemental water if the weather is warm/humid.

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: Sweepers will discharge police and volunteers, starting in Wave 6 and finishing in three hours. Please stay in front of the sweepers! We estimate that middle-of-the-pack finishing times will be your regular 1/2 marathon pace plus an extra 15 minutes to account for the rough terrain.  If you’re slower than the sweeper you are on your own, but we will leave the flags in place so you won’t be lost, just lonely.

15.      Kid Races: We will have kid races again, brought to you by the Tailwind Track Club. Young ‘uns will run one mile on a course that takes them on a dirt trail around the twin lakes in front of the high school (with rocks, roots and uneven ground, suitable for tripping and falling).

The one-miler is free and will start around 9:30, after the 6th wave sets off. Sign them up online! Even younger kids will run/crawl on the football field and track afterward. Meet up at the Tailwind Track Club tent by the start after the 6th wave and listen for details on race morning.

16.      Post-Race: We have several restaurants providing food/ fluids. Do we know how to treat you well or what? Check it out:

  • Half Time Beverage (Mamaroneck)
  • The Smokehouse NY (Mamaroneck)
  • AJ’s Burgers (New Rochelle)
  • Modern (New Rochelle)
  • The Hudson Milk Co. (cold chocolate milk!)
  • Simple Eats with Chef T
  • Greenlife (Mamaroneck)
  • Texas Roadhouse (New Rochelle)
  • Decicco’s (Pelham)
  • H&R Bialy (New Rochelle)

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

Several massage therapists will be on hand to assist with post-race stretching, organized by Tony’s Kneaded Touch in Norwalk, CT.

17.      Post-Race Showers! We’ve once again arranged for the high school locker room to be opened so you can shower and change.  But don’t track in mud!

18.      No Dogs. We have dogs. We like their happy, wagging tails and like scratching their bellies. Sadly, we don’t get to make all the rules for the school grounds. That means Tucker, Princess and Snoopy have to stay home. (The fact that it is school grounds is also the reason we can’t have beer – so stop asking me! I tried!)

19.     Volunteers: This event is put on by NewRo Runners. Our entire race committee, race director included, is volunteer. We expect 200+ volunteers on race day. Please be nice to them, they are working hard. Kissing volunteers is enthusiastically permitted. Kissees must be 18 or older to participate.

20.      Free Photos: This year we have free photos for you.  Your kids, grandma or pot-bellied pig can pre-register for them at this link. This is the place you’ll go post-race to see if we got the shot.

Feedback: We started with 50 people in 2008 and registered over 900 this year before the weatherman starting scaring people away. 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! Get muddy and have fun!

One Month to go (and 6 things to know)

Paine-to-Pain-PreviewOK, with one month to go for this race, we have 6 pieces of news:

  1. Free photos! You read that right, we’ll have photographers out there on the course and then we’ll give hi-res digital photos to you for nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Freebies! Woo hoo!!!
  2. The kids’ one-mile trail race is also free!  Yeah, we know, we’re pretty awesome. But you do have to sign the kid up so we know how many to expect. The kid event, which takes place right after P2P runners have started, will even have kid pacers at various speeds from the Tailwind Track Club that caters, yes, to kids.
  3. The Paine to Pain Preview is September 27th 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 (is this a great email, or what?). The run is self-supported, and running guides will lead various pace groups. In order to accommodate those that want to run shorter distances, the race will not start at the P2P start line. Details are here.  
  4. If you haven’t registered yet, do so now. Don’t screw this up because we may well sell this sucker out (which means no race day registration) even though we’ve expanded to six waves. Delay at your own risk.
  5. Ultra Runners – Interested in running 26.2 on race day? If you’d like to do a warm up lap before the race, please shoot us an email. (The warm-up lap is not a race, not timed and unsupported.)
  6. Volunteer sign-up has begun. As every runner knows, races don’t happen without volunteers. Period. This year we turn to an online sign-up system. If you aren’t running, we need you.
  7. Ha! You thought I’d give you only 6 bits of info but I’m giving you 7. More free! If you haven’t seen the two-page spread on us in Trail Runner Magazinehere’s the link.

The course, by the way, is in the best shape it’s ever been. And, I offer my apologies to those hoping for deep mud, even in nice weather.

Race day is my favorite day of the year! (OK, after my anniversary, and wife and kids’ birthdays…just in case they are reading this.)

Our Gold Sponsors (so far)

In cooperation with:



Iona College Men's and Women's Cross Country/Track & Field team-- preparing to be trail marshals, in 2011
Iona College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field team– preparing to be trail marshals, in 2011. Credit, MAAC Sports.

Let’s face it, a race like this doesn’t happen without volunteers. It. Just. Doesn’t.

We need you, badly, in order to pull this off.  Let me count the ways:

Water stops, number pick-up, sponsor coordination, finish line coordinators, start line coordinators, trail marshals, road crossing marshals, set-up, clean-up, trail flagging, flag pick-up, race sweepers, parking coordinators, wave managers, graphics, communications, food management, massage therapists, etc.

Yeah, it’s a lot. Each year we hope to get about 200 people on race day, some of whom are trail/intersection marshals right near their own homes.

Its fun. It’s easy.

And since this is all done for a non-profit, and proceeds go back into maintaining and improving the trails, it’s rewarding.

To sign up, please click here.

Paine to Pain Expands to Six Waves

Twin Lakes
A view of the trail in Twin Lakes taken this May, just past mile 11.

Due to high demand, we are expanding Paine to Pain from 4 waves (5 min apart) to 6 waves (4 min apart).

We will continue to place roughly 150-175 in each wave to avoid bottlenecks on the trail.

And you know what? Even with that, we may well sell out given the huge increase in registrations we have seen over past years.

So, if you or your friends have not yet registered, I would strongly suggest passing this note to them so that they don’t get shut out. [Register here]

You’ll find a description of our wave management system on this page.  You will see a description of how we avoid bottlenecks by spreading like-speed runners in different waves. Dumping all of the 9-10 minute milers into one wave would, obviously, defeat the purpose of waves.

Mid-Summer Blast

Vintage P2P hat
A vintage Paine to Pain hat says goodbye to David Letterman this year.

Tick, tock, tickety tock. The calendar tells me we’re not only racing through the dog days of summer, but that Paine to Pain is racing up fast on us: October 4th!

Given that registrations are now 80% more than last year, methinks you ought to hit this registration button if you aren’t already in.  Will we sell out? Do you want to find out the hard way?

Why the enthusiasm? Could it be the 2-page spread on us in Trail Runner Magazinethis year? Or maybe it’s word-of-mouth from seven years worth of great reviews?

And an incentive to register today: Race fees increase on August 15th.

And now for the news: This past year the County put $800,000 into our trails. It seems that, for some odd reason, these trails have been getting a lot more use these past years and they figured upgrades were needed. Many drainage issues were fixed and weed encroachments abated.

Also, as runners from last year’s race know, a new bridge on the Leatherstocking was finished just 36 hours before gunshot. That bridge has now been officially dedicated as….wait for it….wait….wait….Paine Bridge. You’ll see a plaque bolted to it with our colonial runner logo and NewRo Runners name. (You are required to touch it as you race past.) The net proceeds from this race helped to pay for it.

The trail loop has never been in better shape. Ever.

And now your kids: We once again have a one-mile kids’ trail race. This year, anticipating a bigger crowd, we have online registration. The Tailwind Track Club a local youth running group, will supervise this fun run, with their members acting as pacers.

The one-mile race takes place while Paine to Pain is in progress, and includes trails. NewRo Runners is delighted to keep this as a free event, so long as one of the kids’ parents, friends, relatives, neighbors or goldfish is running the full monty. And no, we don’t actually check — you’re on your honor. But we will need you to sign a waiver since there are tripping hazards. Even shorter races will be run on the New Rochelle High School football field for the smallest of tykes.

We also welcome to the fold a new sponsor: Half Time Beverage! For those not in the know, they advertise the world’s largest selection of beer in a mammoth store in Mamaroneck, and another in Poughkeepsie.

While we can’t have beer at the finish line – we tried, but the high school is dry – they will be providing a lot of fluids for us at the end.

And we are rejoined by The Rock Club, the best rock-climbing club in Westchester, if not the tri-state area.  Which just so happens to be located in New Rochelle.

Returning once gain is, NewRo Chevy with its pace car to lead the runners up Broadview for the dramatic start.

And race bib pick-up will once again take place at Westchester Road Runner, the premier running store in Westchester, which also has the distinction of sponsoring us every single year since inception.

Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital will again be providing us with medical coverage at the finish line and Transcare Ambulance will man our three aid stations – we hope that you give them little work to do.

That’s it for now. You know why? Because most people don’t read to the bottom of emails anyway.  You’re probably not even reading this.  I’m writing for myself!

It’s a fast-paced world. All the more reason to take a deep breath and head off onto the trails for one of the most primal activities known to mankind: Running in the woods.

Tick, tock, tickety tock. Good god, why are you waiting to register? [click here]

Registration Has Opened!

Wave 1 takes off in 2014.  Bobby Asher, in red baseball cap on the left in the 2nd row, went on to win. Not a weenie.

Pavement is for weenies.

You know it. I know it. And the thousands who’ve finished Paine to Pain know it, having run with abandon over miles and miles of our wooded trails like psychotic dogs chasing squirrels.

With that in mind, three pieces of news!

  1. Registration is now open! For one of the great trail races not just in this area but in the country. About 90% of this course is in the cool shade of the trees, just four short train stops from midtown Manhattan.

Is the race any damn good?  In my completely unbiased opinion as race founder/director/grand poobah, it’s the greatest run since Han Solo did the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

Read the reviews from last year.  Or the year before. Or the year before that.

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

Pam Reed, 2X Badwater Champ, at the start of the 2014 race. Definitely not a weenie.
Pam Reed, 2X Badwater Champ, at the start of the 2014 race. Definitely not a weenie.

Hell, ask anyone that’s run this massive half marathon trail loop through five different parks what it’s like. Yeah, we’re cocky. And we like to set the bar of success really high, just to see if we can leap it, and hopefully still come down muddy if we’re lucky enough to be rained upon.

  1. Our trails received a whopping $800,000 upgrade from Westchester County Parks while you were hibernating your winter away. Why? Well, it seems a lot of people have discovered this trail system that we inaugurated in 2008. (Cue the whispering trees: If you build it, they will run.)

What kind of improvements? They paved the whole thing!

OK, maybe not. The County has been working on signage, drainage, footbridge replacements, stabilization and associated landscaping. Work has taken place in four out of the five parks we use: Saxon Woods, the long-neglected Hutchinson River Trail, Twin Lakes and Nature Study Woods. Basically, this covers miles 4 through 12.5 of the race.

Due to the winter improvements, lions, tigers and bears have been completely eradicated from the trail and wicked witch sightings are down 75%. Also, less poison ivy and fewer ticks.

  1. Did I mention that registration is now open? It’s just $50 from now until the end of May. Will you get your money’s worth? Please. Stop reading this stupid blog post and ask a friend what the race is like, unless of course, you’ve already run it, in which case you should be telling friends about it. And passing along this link.

October 4th. Gunshot at 9 am. Don’t screw this up.

Weenies can stay at home.