It was around 40 degrees when the first races started. The chilly race day weather contrasted with the many green leaves still hanging on the trees. The partly sunny weather helped warm things a bit, but not by much!
The wet fall season so far — combined with the overnight rainstorm in the wee hours of Sunday morning — led to some slippery conditions on the course.
This year TWO course records fell! First one to go was the Overall Kids 2k (7-12 year old) record was captured by returning runner and past winner Matt Califano. He crushed it with a 6:20 finish, topping the prior record of 6:33 held since 2015 by then 12-year old Eamonn Sullivan. This record is extra significant for a couple of reasons: One – this year’s race was muddy and slick on the trails, meaning Matt had to work even harder than usual to keep up speed and maintain footing on the curves. Two – the person whose record he beat won the overall 5 mile race this year. Both of these things bode well for Matt’s running future as he graduates from the kids race.
The second record to fall was in the second race. Ayla Goore of East Orange, NJ beat the 5 year old girls record in the 1k younger Kids Run The Farm race – set back in 2013 – by 13 seconds with a 5:20 finish. A great run by Ayla especially since it was a tough day to break course records! Ayla has a great shot at breaking the younger kids overall course record (currently 5:00 flat) next year when she turns 6.
The overall 5 mile race records stood this past Sunday. Gerry Sullivan’s 2010 dominant inaugural race performance remains the gold standard for Run The Farm 5 milers to strive towards at 30:48. If you noticed Gerry and Eamonn Sullivan share a last name that’s because they are father and son. Eamonn has Gerry’s record in his sights and keeps getting faster every year. Gerry is cheering him on the loudest.
Kerri Lyons‘ 2014 performance stands the test of time at 34:53. The closest any other woman has come to this mark is Deanna Culbreath (36:20) in 2013 and no one has come close since the record was set.
754 runners crossed the finish line between the three races.The combined kids races had just over 350 finishers for the day. Most of the runners were pre-registered, but a few braved the suddenly cold weather to sign up on race day.
We welcomed our first blind trail runner to Run The Farm on Sunday. Pam McGonigle and her guide dog Maida not only ran the race, they also came in third in the F50 age category! Pam was assisted by friend Nick Speranza who has helped guide Pam in past races including the North Face Bear Mountain 50k ultra-marathon this past spring. Compared to that, Run The Farm was a short sprint! Pam’s guide dog Maida was specially trained as a running guide dog by Guiding Eyes for The Blind in Yorktown Heights.
We want to thank our gracious hosts at Muscoot Farm, especially Brenda, Jonathon, Brad, Joan, Mary and everyone who helped out at the farm to get it ready for our Ninth annual event.
Mary Roberts — who works at Muscoot Farm — was running the race and came upon an injured runner. She cut her race short to seek assistance for him. Jonathon Benjamin, Muscoot Farm manager helped Mary transport him back to the farmyard where he could be assisted.
There is no other place like Muscoot Farm. It is one of the beauties of the Westchester County Parks system. Muscoot is unique in its purpose and mission in New York State and possibly the country. The authentic 1890s-era historical working farm has enriched the lives and education of generations of kids. Many local parents fondly remember going to Muscoot Farm when growing up in the area — and it is fantastic to be able to take our kids to the farm as well.
Thank you to all of the race volunteers who come out and help with the registration, setup, timing, handing out farm bucks and medals, distributing bagels, patching up injuries, making sure runners turn onto the correct trail, setting the course, sweeping the course, and cleaning up so other park visitors enjoy the same experience we all had.
We also had a team of volunteer photographers (Stuart, Diane, Carol, Sawyer, John, Ciorsdan, and Rob) out there who took photos of you all (and your kids) on Sunday morning! An outline (in progress) with links to all of their photos is here.
The 5 Mile Races
Eamonn Sullivan (31:32) of Cold Spring finished first by over 2 minutes ahead of second place finisher Alexander Horn (34:00) of Brooklyn, NY. Right behind him third overall went to Charles Bennett (34:01) of Ossining, NY. Kevin McMorrow (34:11) of Wingdale, NY and John McElroy (34:42) of Danbury, CT rounded out the top 5.
Lindsey Felling of Larchmont, NY won the women’s division in 37:08 for the second year in a row. Louise Mullan (38:05) of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY finished second. Past winner Catherine Huang (39:57) of Brooklyn, NY finished third. Michele Zandona (40:58) of Katonah, NY finished fourth, and Deborah Young (39:37) of Yorktown Heights, NY was fifth for this year.
Kids Run The Farm
We had over 350 runners between the two kids races this year. This another record turnout for the 12 & under crowd! Thanks to everyone for coming out! From the first runner to the last — the race is all about you!
Abigail Nager (7:43) from Katonah won the girls 2k (7-12 year olds) overall race. Abigail holds 3 different course records at Kids Run The Farm. She has the 6, 8, and 9 year olds record. She is definitely a runner to watch in future races. Julia Duzynski (7:53) of Yorktown Heights was just 10 seconds behind in 2nd place, winning the 10 year old category. Hannah Quigley (8:01) of Cortlandt Manor followed 8 seconds later taking the 12 year old category.
Matt Califano won the boys 2k with a time of 6:20 – setting a new course record in the process (see details and photo above). Matt was followed 27 seconds later by his twin brother Alex Califano (6:47) who took second overall and won the Boys 12 year old category. Chance Lynch (7:11) came in third overall and won the 11 year old boys category.
It was a tight race til the end of the 1k Kids Run The Farm (age 6 & under) Devin Legon (5:05) of Fishkill won the overall boys 6 & under race by a nose over Desmond O’Neill (5:05) of Jackson Heights. Miles Mesigian (5:22) of Ridgefield, CT placed 3rd.
Ayla Goore (5:20) of East Orange, NJ won the overall girls 6 & under race. Brooke Taffet (5:48) of Chappaqua took second in the girls race and took the 6 year old category. Charlotte Polk of Darien, CT was third and took the 5 year old category.
The Farm, The Music, The People
Our Musical Guests
For post-race entertainment we welcomed back The Leathermen bluegrass band. Due to the cold, they set up and played inside of the activity barn. John and the group have been long time guests of both the Leatherman’s Loop and Run The Farm. They always draw an appreciative crowd.
Trail Mix Update
The 2018 Trail Mix Trail Series has over 210 runners who are eligible to complete the series continuing from Leatherman’s Loop (April), A Mild Sprain (May), Where The Pavement Ends (Sept) the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack (Sept), and Paine to Pain (Oct). Trail Mix Results to date can be found here. These will be updated shortly with Run The Farm results once final results are certified later this week.
One thing we can tell you for sure about the Trail Mix Finale: The results are up in the air for both the men’s and the women’s series at this point.
The FINAL race in the 2018 Trail Mix Series is the Raven Rocks Run on November 11th, 2018 at 9am at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The course starts and ends in the same spot as the Leatherman’s Loop, but heads into the high hills of the Rez. Sign up now for this challenging capstone for the 2018 Trail Mix Series.
When we redeemed the farm bucks for real $ at the end of the day the Run The Farm “Farm Bucks Top 5 Vendor” Champs of 2018 were 1.) Dutch Desserts, 2.) Meredith’s Bread, 3.) New Castle Scone, 4.), Pickle Licious, and 5.) Healthway Farms. The vendors always love having the runners there — and loved the energy on Sunday!
The Muscoot farmer’s market continues through November 25, 2018. After then, most of the vendors move to indoor farmer’s markets. Then they will return to Muscoot in early May 2018.
We have many many volunteers who make this race a reality. Without them the race simply doesn’t happen. We invite you to check the volunteers page and if you know any of them say thanks ;)
Special thanks to the Westchester County Police and the Bedford Boy Scout Troop #129. Gary Cohn has been bringing the scouts to Run The Farm to act as course marshals and help with handing out medals and farm bucks since the race began in 2010. Thanks Gary and the Scouts!
An extra special thank you goes out to Mike Goldberg, Somers VFD Captain and the Somers VFD EMS crew for coming out and supporting the race and runners. The Somers EMS crew has been with for all 9 years of Run The Farm. They are always helping and assisting all comers. Sunday saw a few twists, scrapes, & bruises — we always send good healing vibes out to injured runners!
Lastly we want to thank the runners and families who came out to participate in this tradition. We are blessed to be able to celebrate such a great event with all of you.
PS: An early morning accident which closed I-684 southbound for 15 hours caused havoc for runners coming from the north trying to get to the race. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt in the accident. Race organizers decided it was prudent to delay the start of the races to try to accommodate runners arriving unexpectedly late. In addition, a scoring glitch in the kids race caused results and awards to be delayed until after the 5 mile race was complete. We are sorry for this scoring delay and promise we will do better next time. Please let us know your stories if you were affected by this and how it affected your day at the farm.