Every year runners in the , located at Cross Rivery, New York, are treated to a few surprises—from celebrity starters, to musicians popping up in the middle of the woods.
For those expecting waist-high water to wade through, or mud so mucky it sucks shoes off, the conditions may have been the biggest surprise of all.
"In 26 years, it's the dryest course we've ever had," said race founder, Tony Godino of Bedford. "It's going to be a fast-paced race."
Matthew Byrne of Scranton, PA, won this year's Loop with a time of 36:10, with seven-time Loop winner Tommy Nohilly of Goldens Bridge crossing just over a minute later, besting his personal time at 37:13. Ann McDonald of Mt. Kisco was the first female to finish with a time of 47:48. She was 43rd overall.
For highlights of the run, check out the video posted with this story.
The course challenged a total of 1,180 runners ages who traversed over rocks and tree roots, sloshed through streams and mud and climbed up a 45-degree incline known as "the wall."
The race was dedicated to the memory of Micah True—also known as "caballo blanco, or "white horse,"—a renowned long-distance runner who started the 2010 Loop race. True died of natural causes earlier this month while on a trail run in New Mexico. The pre-race ceremony included an audio clip of True's musings on the sport of running, whom race organizer Rob Cummings said "was a good friend and a singular, magnetic person."
To further honor True's memory, local equestrian Joan Dooley rode her white horse, Smudge, to lead the runners after the start. Their participation came about after the on the meadow last week, Cummings said. "Just as they were positioning the tree, and talking about Micah True, Smudge appeared out of the woods—Tony saw it as a sign," he said.
Runners from Wilton were Paul Welch (47:54), Jeff Todd (51:17), Vincent Dejana (51:47), Russell Friedman (56:20), Jeff Snyder (1:01:45), Bernd Klink (1:04:52), Stefan Klink (1:15:06), Mary Benson (1:05:08), David Cote (1:05:08), Debbie Lynch (1:20:59), Tracey Owens (1:21:02), Amanda Cunningham (1:24:51), and Carol Ryan (1:25:31).
For complete race results, click here.
Evan Karas of Katonah said the race was "awesome."
"The spirit of the people at this race was outstanding," he said, calling the course "fast and furious."
Did you run the Loop? What was your experience like? Did you run to compete, enjoy a community event or for other reasons? Post your comments below.
Craig Donofrio contributed to this article's version.