Leatherman’s Loop 2022 Announcement

Dear fans of the Loop,

      It is with a strong sense of joy that your event organizers  announce that the 34th Leatherman’s Loop will take place on Sunday, April 24th, 2022. That means it’s been three full years between #33 and #34. Let’s celebrate..!

     As always, entry is only possible through the Loop Lottery. Be assured that most everyone will get in. The lottery will open on January 7th and close at midnight on January 10th… Lottery Drawing will take place Friday, January 14th. A newsletter with a reminder will be sent out in December. 

Help us to make the 34th Loop extra special.

                                   …Tony and Judy and Rob

Leatherman’s Loop Founders Newsletter, Vol. 11: The status of the Loop in covid times

The status of the Loop in covid times

    The Leatherman’s Loop has survived in spite of many challenges. Over the years the course has been devastated by a couple of microbursts, the Sandy storm, a small tornado, late Spring floods, Beaver activity and a rare plant called Rattlebox. In every case the organizers were able to work with the County of Westchester and park management to find solutions. But we hit the covid wall last year. No amount of course rerouting could get around it. Not much has changed in a year and there will not be another Loop until we can gather in the field with no pandemic restrictions.

    Keep me in your heart (for a while) was the last song that Warren Zevon recorded. I am asking you to keep Rob and Danny and Judy and myself and all of the Loop volunteers in your hearts for a while. We will certainly keep you in ours. In the last newsletter I mentioned the delicate thread which has stitched the loops together over the years. We are still holding on to our end. I hope that you have yours.

    Between the pandemic and politics, most of our worlds have been shaken. In a way it feels wrong of me to be lamenting about the need to postpone a running race. And maybe it is. But gatherings where heartfelt connections with others take place are needed more than ever at this time.

   Take a look at the video below and the photo of Diego kneeling in the mudflats. Sample the nourishing spirit that comes through the images. Allow yourself to feel “the power of the Loop” and to be moved. We all need that and we will have it back.

    We are blessed to have Danny on board as our Spiritual Advisor. His wisdom and advice and his plan for what is needed during these difficult times are in the next part of this note. Take some time to sample his compassion and his love for the Loop.

                                   Blessings,

                                                  Tony

Diego Antman pauses before the sign honoring his late friend Doug Gorman

Thanks to Karl Tsokas and Chelsea Ellis for generously allowing us to use their 2019 loop video footage in this cut.

Link to Original Video on the Chasing Chelsea YouTube channel.


The Power of the Loop in COVID Times

From Danny Martin, Loop Spiritual Advisor

I think we all know that the Loop is much more than a Race. For many of us it’s a fun gathering, a time for connecting with nature. For some of us it’s even a spiritual experience. Most of all, it’s a reminder of how related we all are. That’s probably why we miss the Loop so much, especially in these pandemic times that have disrupted our relationships when we need them more than ever.

Some of us are trying to address this loss with mini-Loop experiences: smaller groups and partial Loops. I’d like to share something that builds on this spirit. It’s a project that a colleague and I have created called A New American WE that proposes a national conversation that will use our differences to actually help us collaborate. Differences, we believe, are not the problem, in spite of what we hear; rather it is our inability to work with them.

I want to draw your attention particularly to a PDF doc. on the Home page called ‘A Declaration of Interdependence:’  https://anewamericanwe.com/  I would suggest that the Loop is a reflection of this Declaration. For when we come together at the Loop we become the Founding Fathers and Mothers of a new American WE as we proclaim our awareness (the expanded self-evident truth) that we are all created equal AND we are all interdependent. That’s also what we mean when we say in our Loop Blessing:

I see beauty all around me:
In beauty may we walk.
In beauty may we see.
In beauty may we all be.

Of course, we are not blind to the challenges of turning this awareness into reality for we realize that many of us are hurting, anxious, angry and confused. We have lost trust in each other. We know that we can only heal and address these challenges by coming together with good intention and authenticity. The Loop brings us together like this, so, in a way, we are already part of A New American WE.

I was moved by the words of the young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman at the Inauguration. These are some of the things she said: without unity there is no peace or progress or nation; enough of us can come together for all of us; true American patriotism is called love; if we come together, we can identify the common objects of our love; we will write a new American story; we turn our gaze not to what stands between us but what stands before us; if we merge mercy with might we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous world. Doesn’t that sound like what happens at the Loop?

In short, you can experience the power of the Loop in these Covid times by participating in the New American WE project in all kinds of simple ways: by simply keeping the spirit of the Loop in your heart, for example; by taking a walk in the Rez; by reaching out to someone who needs a little support in some way in these difficult times; by trying to listen without judgment to someone who things differently to you.

 If you want to go a little further, take a look at the Loop piece on the website, https://anewamericanwe.com/21-day-mindfulness-dialogue-training-2/testimonials/ (scroll down to the bottom for the Loop section) and see how you can make a special contribution to the kind of America we need, the kind of America the Loop represents.

There is a Native American (Hopi) statement about leadership in these times that says: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. But we become this WE only when we meet each other in an authentic way – at heart level – the way we do at Loop. If we do this in simple deliberate and consistent ways we will be able to end the present sad chapter in our common story and begin a new chapter in our American WE.

Leatherman’s Loop 2021 Postponed

Loop Runners:

We are sad to announce the 2021 Loop has been postponed. The spirit of the Loop invites closeness and a large communal gathering; both of these would be ill-advised this spring.

We are postponing the Loop for 2021 in the hopes that — if there are absolutely no restrictions on gatherings — we can possibly hold it in the Fall 2021 on a date TBD. We don’t know what the pandemic situation will look like in 9 months, but there’s always hope – and it would be a unique Loop. 

If no Loop happens in 2021, we are confident by the time April 2022 comes around the world will be a very different place. Never back to normal after the upheavals and losses of 2020 and 2021, but safer to gather in large groups again.

In the next week or so, you will hear from us again with a message of hope from the Leatherman’s Loop Spiritual Advisor Danny Martin. He will share his thoughts about the Loop and our place in the world and describe a practical way we can play our part in rebuilding our country.

.…Tony, Judy, Rob, and the organizers of the Leatherman’s Loop

PS: individuals in the Leatherman Harriers family still remain active and running on the trails in a safe and socially distant way. If you would like to join a great group on the trails, visit SundayRuns.org for information on our Sunday group runs. Sign up to get emails every Friday outlining the Sunday plan.

Loop Cancelled for 2020

Posts related to 2020 Loop cancellation:

June 2020 Update: refund window has closed. Thank you for your support and the charities we collectively supported thank you as well. The next Loop will start from a clean slate – no carryovers of registrations.

Leatherman’s Loop Founder’s Newsletter, Vol 10 – To Loop Runners

If all was right with the world we would be gathering in the meadow field tomorrow morning with no thoughts of social distancing.

In fact we would be high-fiving and embracing each other while soaking in the uniquely beautiful energy of the Leatherman’s Loop.

But all is not right.

You need to know that I understand how special the Loop is to many of you and that I will do everything possible to bring it back in all of its glory next year.

William Stafford opens his poem THE WAY IT IS with the lines “There is a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change.”

The spirit of the Loop has been stitched together from year to year by a delicate thread. That spirit has been driven deep into the mud and lives there. It is carried in the air by the playful music of the Mariachi band and the wonderful drone of the bagpipes. It’s in the streams and the pine forests It was with us when Atka the wolf refused to howl to start the race. And when Tiokasin Ghosthorse played his sacred cedar flute. And most certainly when Theo Harris sang Amazing Grace just six days after Boston.

The Stafford poem ends with the lines “Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.”

Judy, Rob, Danny, and I promise to hold our end of that spirit thread until we can once again gather in the field. I hope that you all have the other end.

Danny has offered to share his thoughts and his wisdom about the Loop and our current situation. To hear what he has to say click on this link.

My plans for Sunday are to listen to the blessing and head out into local trails.

….Tony


Start of 2011 Loop in the Meadow

Posts related to 2020 Loop cancellation:

Find yourself in a favorite photo or photos from a past Loop

Reminder – the 2020 Leatherman’s Loop is cancelled. Please visit this post for information.

We would like to put together an album of Loops past with your help. Here’s how to contribute:

  1. Check in the albums below for the past years you have run in the loop. Visit those albums and try to find photos of you or people you know at the Loop – pre-race, during the race, post-race, or any kind of prep work you were involved in as a volunteer.
  2. Download the photo(s) to your phone or computer and name it for the year and loop subject (so you can find it later!)
  3. Then post it to Instagram and/or Facebook
  4. Be sure to tag the Leatherman Harriers with hashtag #leathermansloop and the Loop year. Include a caption if you’d like. Also include a tribute if you’d like.
  5. We will take these and feature them on the Leatherman’s Loop page in the week following the planned day of the 2020 Loop — April 26.

You may not even know you have been caught in a photo at the Loop – for example – check these selected albums from the last 7+ years:

The Loop and Local Charities

Below is a list of charities that the Loop has supported in the past and hopes to to support again this year using our runner’s 2020 entry fees from the cancelled Loop.

These are two additional organizations that are focused on helping to serve community needs related to the pandemic we are supporting this year.

In addition to these listed above, we will be seeking out additional local or partnered organizations to help meet needs and hardships related to the pandemic. And we hope to support other groups dedicated to the health and well-being of our fellow citizens.

Thank you for your trust in our ability to take a negative and help make it a positive with your help and contribution.

2020 Leatherman’s Loop Cancelled

The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential for catastrophic effects within our communities, our country and our world. All efforts at this time are needed to help ourselves and each other get through this crisis. The Leatherman’s Loop has always been a celebratory event — but this is not a time for celebration.

There will not be a Loop this year — No postponement, no virtual race, no rolling registrations forward to next April. All of our focus and efforts at this time should be directed towards what we can do to help each other get through this.

For me, and for the first time ever the Loop seems small and insignificant in light of what may lie ahead for all of us. All of my efforts this year will be focused on what I can do and what the Loop can do to ease the hardships that will most certainly come up in the days and months to come.

Thirty-three years of allowing the spirit of the Leatherman’s Loop to unfold has led to this crossroads. That spirit has always been fueled by you the participants. You are the only “sponsors” that the event has ever had.

Uncertainty now puts the future of the Loop in your hands. Your generosity is needed to keep the Leatherman’s Loop solvent — but more importantly to raise funds for charitable donations to local organizations that will be serving the needs of our communities during this crisis.

All registrants will be given the option to donate your entry fee or have us refund entry fees and shirt purchases. Before you make your choice, why not scroll down to view the selection of photos and videos from the race. I guarantee that your spirits will be lifted.

I had planned to offer these words from Rumi at the start this year:

“Between ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field – I will meet you there.”

Rumi

God willing we will meet like that once again in the field next year. Please know that I see each of you as examples of the very best that humanity has to offer.

…..Tony


PS: Please make your choice either via the email you receive from us via RunSignup.com or visit Runsignup.com/loop and look up your entry via the email address you used. If you do not make a choice by April 4, 2020 we will assume you are choosing to donate your entry fee and we thank you.

Please contact us at leathermansloop.org/contact-us if you have questions.

Loop Update

Everything related to COVID-19 is happening quickly — and based on the CDC guidance against public gatherings over 50 people, we are postponing the 2020 Leatherman’s Loop.

This is new to all of us and we thank you for your patience while we come up with a workable plan to move forward.

Our venue host, the Westchester County Parks Department, must agree to any date changes before we move forward. This can take time as they have many other things going on right now related to the pandemic — and race logistics might understandably not be their highest priority.

We will offer runners choices which will be flexible. But we are not currently ready to announce a plan. When we are we will send an email update and post a website update with clear alternatives and instructions. 

We anticipate having information about our plan out by March 26 if not sooner.

We are all in this together — and we know that runners in our Loop family will understand and respect our determination to put on a safe race. 

Take care, stay well, and hope to see you on the trails!

….. Tony, Judy, Rob, and the Loop volunteers

Lottery 2020 Reminder

Don’t let your chance to participate in the 34th Leatherman’s Loop fly by. The loop lottery closes at midnight on Tuesday January 14th.

Loop Lottery Registration

Check out the video and photos which capture the unique spirit of the loop.

Jackson McGuire emerging muddy & wet but smiling from Splashdown in 2019. The final 200 meters just ahead. (photo by Ted Erkkila)
Mike Paletta after 1999 Loop
Ran through their shoes
Business on top, ready for mud on the bottom
Danny Martin & Jere Hochman in 2011
Pre-dawn misty meadow
Joe Cloidt and Alan Wegener during the 2017 Loop at the first water crossing.
Mets great Craig Swan delivers the opening pitch for the 2000 Leatherman’s Loop start. Craig returned in 2012 to reprise his starting pitch.
Got Mud?
Tommy Nohilly finishes strong in 2010 going for one of his nine overall Loop wins.
Ray Viscome, a runner from Silver Lake, NY, ran the 2012 course in 1:00:32. He had run it once before (1999) and did it with help from running support buddies Rich Izzo and Thomas Bookless. His amazing time is even more amazing since he runs with an artificial leg and has to be carried across the stream crossings since the joint can’t get wet.
Craig Swan after the “First Pitch” start in 2012 running for his life away from the running crowd.
Finish line heart flag
Tiokasin Ghosthorse was the official race starter for the 25th Loop in 2011. He is a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation and hosts the nationally syndicated radio show First Voices Indigenous Radio
Micah True a.k.a. Caballo Blanco before the 2011 Loop. Micah ran in 2010 and 2011 and was the official starter for 2010. He was set to start the 2012 Loop when he died on a run in March 2012. We have retired bib #4 in his honor.
Kelsey Crawford, youngest female winner ever, smiles as she is cheered on by her mom Doreen, her sister Cameron, and her friend Amelia as she exits Splashdown in 2019.
25 Years of Leatherman’s Loop shirt designs. Shirt detail can be found here.
Tony: “While cutting back buckthorn at about the three mile mark of the course I found this matched pair of Nike trail shoes. They had been pushed to the surface of the mud flats by the spring thaw. I stopped to consider all of the possibilities. None of them good. Those of you who are running the Loop for the first time may want to do the same.” –Founder’s Newsletter – Issue 2 “The 25th Loop” 11 April 2011

The 2017 Loop video trailer above features some highlights from Loop videos made in 2002200420052011, and 2015 (2). Thanks to Dean LeggieroRob Cummings, John Cummings, Jr.Mitch SteinWilderness BobChristy CuomoTom Anckner, and a few others for taking the videos. The short 3 minute video features Griffin “Buck” FarroDanny MartinMadison Haller, the Albertus Magnus girls track team, Kate PalettaHernando MunozJoe StanleyTom NohillyKerry ArsenaultStan “Leatherman” TelegaBob GoldblattTony Godino, and many of the runners of the Loop in those years.

More stories, race reports, photos, and videos can be found here: