April 25, 2016

The Leatherman's Loop 2016

There are running events that have inspired me and spurred me on as a runner. And then, there are running events that have changed me as a person.

When I ran my first Leatherman’s Loop, in 2012, times couldn’t be any harder. Micah had just died, my life was in ruins and I had kindly asked the Leatherman runners to please excuse me for not coming. They had none of it and requested instead that I and Olaf come present our recent running footage with Micah and honor our friend’s memory.

This would be the start of an amazing friendship and a lasting relationship with a group of beautiful people I now consider family.

Little Wings and two dweebs
I got to meet Christy Little Wings first. Instant love ensued. Then Dean, of course, who can make me burst into laughter at any given moment with a witty joke. El Copadre Tony, who welcomed me with the warmest of open arms, and Judy soon after. Born-Mas-Loco Kurt and his crazy homemade sandals. Jugglin’ Joe Cloidt, Karen, Gerry and his lightning bolt of a son Aemonn, Rob Cummings, Smilin’ Mike Poletta, Dave, Danny The Lion and the list goes on and on…

Every single one of these people reminds me why I run. All of them are beautiful, quirky, genuine, honest humans with colorful spirits. If your friends are a mirror of your soul, these people make me a beautiful person.

Pre-mud shot
The run itself is its own thing; a mudfest with waist-high river crossings, which begins each year by a prayer to Beauty. A wild rumble in the woods with yodlers and bagpipes to keep you smiling. An event that is nothing else than a huge party of runners who’ve been waiting for this as the starting gun to spring and to a new season of running happy, healthy and free. It’s nothing short of the best 10k you’ll ever run.

This year was extra fun because Rob surprised my good friend El Kodiak with an impromptu invite to join the fun as “The Stowaway” (that’s even what his bib said). We packed our stuff into my little truck and drove down together, taking every chance to be the happy idiots that we are. After having to show our passports to buy beer, making a wrong turn into back roads and off-roading with Dust-E in the back of a camping area, we finally arrived at the race site at sundown, just in time to see the awesome “Circle of peace”.

The top 2 on my podium in the girl + awesome divison
See, where other races will put up sponsor booths or podiums or a stage with music, the Leatherman’s Loop will always do something to inspire, to bring together and to make life a little better. This year, El Copadre’s family gathered to create an enormous “peace” sign with trail marker flags on the lawn of the Pound Ridge Reservation where the run takes place. Before the start was given, Tony addressed the crowd and, among other things, invited all runners to take some of these flags back home, saying “Take home a piece of peace”.

So we woke up to a gorgeous, sunny day, brewed some coffee and joined our friends at the starting line. We laughed and prayed and hugged and smiled and took off and splashed and splattered and sunk and rolled and sprinted and huffed and laughed some more. Simply, we lived one of these perfect moments that make life wonderful.

Beauty all around me as I run

I don’t know what I ever did to deserve being adopted by such an awesome family, but every April, my heart sings and my spirit dances with some of the best, craziest, authentic Human beings I have had the privilege to encounter.

Leatherman People, I love all of you!

El Copadre Tony, and the tribe.
(credit: Closer North)


  1. And we love you brother Flint and our new brother Marc! May we run in beauty. May we run in peace.

  2. First timer. Beautiful run ��

  3. This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing. It was my first of many future loops!

  4. This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing. It was my first of many future loops!