Leatherman’s Loop

Nothing pumps me up to run quite as much as race spectating.

Standing on the sidelines sends me into an excited frenzy – I become energized and adrenalized just watching people partake in sweat-filled, fabulous, running action. Especially when that action includes a muddy, wet, leatherman-y trail run. (“Leatherman-y” is a new word, yes.) Today, B, myself, and a big group of friends and family went to watch our good friend Sam participate in the Leatherman’s Loop 10k. According to the race website, “The Leatherman’s Loop is is a unique 10k trail run featuring river crossings, a quarry climb, beautiful pine forests, swamp land, and the Legend of the Leatherman.” IT WAS SUCH A FUN DAY.

Map of the Leatherman's Loop course

Even though I was bummed I wasn’t running, it was great to catch up with our wonderful, “we-don’t-see-you-enough” friends. I need more of them in my life. It was all laughter and light-heartedness and funny stories and pure entertainment. Despite the cold and rainy weather we had a blast cheering on Sam and all the runners – about 1,500 participants total. There were some super fast times! The first guy came in around 36 minutes-mud and water pits included.

It was one of those days where I couldn’t stop smiling.

Apparently Caballo Blanco started this race off in 2010 – after his sad and surprising death this year, the race organizers instead had a white horse at the starting line today. “Caballi Blanco” means “white horse” in Spanish. (Right? Or has my 9th grade Espanol failed me again?) Anyway, pretty legit, right?

See the horse? Don't I have great photography skills? And also, a dog.


Sam had a solid race and placed 4th in her age group. So proud!

Fast runner friend = less time waiting in anticipation!

I swear we were on a hill. I'm short but not as midget-y as I look in this pic. But anyway, yay friends!

I’m so ready to sign up for next year’s event. I’m fully prepared to run through icy cold water and crawl up steep hills; I’d much rather jump off the sideline and into the action! Just like after spectating the Kansas Relays or Drake Relays in high school and college, I left this race with my legs itching to run and my mind set strictly on racing.

Obviously I’m getting antsy for the Brooklyn Half. I know I have some work to do before I can PR, but for now, at least I’m in the game mentally, right? I’m still not sure how I want to approach it, though – do I treat it like a training run? If so, do I even taper? Do I go all in? What should mylong run be the week before? Do I take it easy and save the PR dreams for later? I plan to evaluate after my 10 miler in a couple weeks and see how my body takes those miles. It’s totally nerve-wracking. I’m not a patient person nor am I very good at accepting things I can’t change when it comes to running!

I took this week fairly easy, which is always frustrating to force yourself to do…but I’m hopeful that my body will feel more refreshed moving forward with this week – especially for my 4 mile race on Sunday in Central Park. Moving up in mileage seems to warrant more care now; back when I just wanted to finish, my body was fine and accepted the increasing mileage without any issues. Now that I’m working harder to develop speed and reach certain paces, I’m finding I need to be much more careful and diligent.

Today’s Runner’s World quote of the day is perfect for what I’m feeling:

“Watching the world’s best compete fires you up to achieve your own feats of greatness. When it comes to running, participation and spectating go hand in hand. ” -Kara Goucher

Even if I’m not watching the world’s greatest, simply watching people compete is inspirational. Watching a marathon gives me infinite amounts of hope and faith. I find strength in seeing others excel toward a goal and that strength propels me forward as I venture into my own endeavors. Especially when seeing my girl Sam dominating the Leatherman’s Loop!

Do you love race spectating? Are you running Brooklyn (if so, what does your taper week look like?! Have you ever done a trail run like the Leatherman’s Loop? Love running through mud? Enlighten me!

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. April 23, 2012 / 9:02 am

    The lethermans loop sounds so much fun, bet there is not a dull moment while running :)

    Good luck on your training !

    • April 24, 2012 / 7:33 am

      Certainly not! And thank you :)

  2. misszippy1
    April 23, 2012 / 9:39 am

    I do love spectating as well. If you can’t race, it’s a close second. So whether or not you taper should really depend on how much training you get in before that week and how well you want to do on race day. If it’s important to you, take a taper. If not, don’t taper and use it for training. You’ll get something out of it either way.

    • April 24, 2012 / 7:35 am

      Thanks! You’re right-either way, it will be a “useful” experience. I’ll evaluate a little closer to the race!

  3. April 23, 2012 / 11:54 am

    The map of the Leatherman run looks amazing – is it a model to scale?! How cool!! I think I’m going to do 8 the weekend before the Brooklyn Half and probably run two or three times that week at 4 and 5 miles. I think no matter what you do, make sure you go out with a goal to have fun… your time and everything else will fall into place. :)

    • April 24, 2012 / 7:37 am

      I dont think it’s exactly to scale, but I do know that some of the hills were so steep that you literally had to crawl up them, haha.

      Thanks for letting me know your pre-half plans! Definitely helps!

  4. April 23, 2012 / 2:19 pm

    I’ve never actually spectated a race! Aside from the kids races or standing at the finish of one of my races to cheer people on. I don’t know how I’d feel about it- I’d definitely want to be there running but I love the community feeling at races so I’d love just being around runners, I think. One of my friends spectated one of mine once though, and there weren’t really any spectators (it was a small race), so he and another guy ended up leaving and getting fast food breakfast and coming back in time to see us finish, haha.

    Good luck with training for the Brooklyn race. Regardless of whether you go for time or just to have a good time, running is an awesome way to spend a morning and you’re still doing so much better than those who don’t run, right :).

    • April 24, 2012 / 7:40 am

      You’re right, Amy! Regardless of what happens, I will definitely enjoy my morning running :) I’ll be thinking about those times when I couldn’t run…and all those people who still can’t. oh and you really should go watch a race sometime!! So fun.

  5. April 23, 2012 / 10:07 pm

    I love how you said “I swear we were on a hill, I’m not that short”….I seriously didn’t think you were short from the rest of your blog, it threw me off!

    • April 24, 2012 / 7:44 am

      Sigh. I’m 5’2 so I’m pretty short. BUT again, we were on a hill! I wasn’t standing up straight! Those people are tall!!! :) I just think that photo makes me look even shorter than I really am which is a tragedy obviously haha

  6. April 24, 2012 / 12:59 pm

    Good luck with your training! I’m signed up for Brooklyn but at this stage I don’t think I can run until I sort out injury/shoes etc.

    I don’t think you have to taper much for a half, but definitely take it easy in the days/week leading up to it. Maybe do you last long run a week out, and the day before a short jog to loosen up the legs.

    • May 3, 2012 / 8:25 pm

      Great advice :) thank you! Are you definitely out for Brooklyn? :(

  7. April 24, 2012 / 3:36 pm

    Race spectating is so fun! If there are two distances and I have a chance to spectate a little bit at the other, I always cheer TONS. I’d do a muddy-ish trail kind of race, but no obstacles or burning objects for me!

    • April 25, 2012 / 8:07 am

      Me too! I always try to come back around and cheer for the other runners. I appreciate when people cheer for me so much!!

      I’m not into the burning obstacles and such either. But all for muddy fun runs!

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