So, You Have Questions…

Q: When is the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack?
A: The race will be Sunday, September 27, 2020. Race starts at 9:00 a.m. (final time to be confirmed)— but due to potential guaranteed traffic bottlenecks and tight parking we advise runners to arrive at least 45 minutes beforehand. Sarah’s Scramble 1.5 mile run/walk begins at 8:30.

Q: What is the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack?
A: It is a unique and challenging 10K trail race held in Mountain Lakes Park in North Salem, New York. If you’re familiar with the Leatherman’s Loop, Run the Farm, and A Mild Sprain trail races, then you should know what to expect. The course starts on a paved surface then transitions to wide gravel roads and more technical single-track paths throughout the course. If you’d like to run the course in advance, we’ll be scheduling course checks throughout the summer. Visit for more information.

Q: Why haven’t I heard of this race before?
A: That’s easy—because it’s new! Some of the trails in Mountain Lakes Park are fairly new and only recently has there been enough contiguous trails to host a 10K race. Even though the race is new, we’ve benefited from the experience of the organizers of the Leatherman’s Loop and Run the Farm to make sure the course is challenging and the event is fun. If you’ve enjoyed those races, we think you’ll like the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack as well.

Q: How do I get in touch with you or sign up for updates?
A: Click here to sign up for our email list or click here to contact us via a web form. That should do it.

Q: I sent you an email and never heard back. What’s up?
A: Sorry about that! We get a lot of emails (especially around race day) and sometimes one or two slip through the cracks. Try re-sending your note. We usually respond within 48 hours and frequently sooner. If it takes us any longer, re-send and remember — honey catches more flies than vinegar!

Q: What should I wear to the Bushwhack?
A: It is up to you and depends on the weather. Check the local weather report prior to race day and wear what you feel comfortable running in. On average, we would expect temperatures to be in the 50s or 60s for race day but Mother Nature may have other ideas. There are no significant water crossings nor mud flats (unless there is a significant amount a rain prior to race day). If there is rain before or during the race, some portions may become muddy so you may want to bring a change of shoes and socks with you. You can wear a warm up shirt/jacket to the starting line and drop it as you pass the beach within the first quarter mile of the course.

Q: How do I get to the park?
A: Driving directions and map are here. If programming a GPS, the address of the park is 201 Hawley Road North Salem, NY 10560. Enter the main gate and follow the main road to the Hemlock Lake turnoff. Follow the line of cars and watch for parking directions from the parking wranglers. We ask that you drive slowly when entering the park since the kids’ race will be starting at 8:20 and we’ll be making our way to the start using the road at 8:00. While the entry road is paved, you’ll be exiting the park through the lower gate and following a gravel road to get there. You don’t need all wheel drive or anything but it can bet a little bumpy.

Q: How early should I arrive?
A: The Bushwhack starts at 9:00 a.m. We recommend arriving by 8:20. You will need time to park, get yourself ready, pick up your bib and shirt, put your shirt back in your car, check the course map, meet up with friends, and make your way to the starting line. There are port-o-sans near race start.

Q: Is there overnight camping at the park?
A: Possibly. You should make a booking well ahead of time through the park (the night before the race may be very popular!). Yurts, cabins and lean-tos are available through the Westchester County Parks Department. See more here ›› or visit the parks department to learn more ››.

Q: Do I need special shoes for the Bushwhack? Will my sneakers get ruined by the course and mud?
A: No and No. Regular running shoes are fine for the Bushwhack. Trail sneakers are a nice plus and will help with traction. The trail is a mix of gravel roadway and dirt paths, there are several boulders and a flight of rock stairs that you’ll need to navigate. If there is rain prior to the race, those may become slippery so extra care should be taken in those areas. Most of the trail is single track dirt or wider and unless there is significant rainfall before the event, there are no significant water crossings or mud flats. That said, there are a couple of streams that you’ll be crossing so depending on the weather, there may be some water crossings.

Q: Is there a water stop along the way?
A: Yes! There will be a water stop at the midpoint of the race on the main service trail in the park. To minimize our work in cleaning up the trail, please drop your cups on the main trail before heading into the forest on the yellow trail, thanks.

Q: Will you still hold the Bushwhack if it is raining/sleeting/hailing/snowing/etc?
A: Yes! The race will not be postponed for any weather-related reason. Depending on race conditions, adjust your attire.

Q: Is there a kids’ race?
A: At this point, we do not anticipate having the kids’ race this year, sorry.

Q: Who was Sarah Bishop?
A: Good question. She’s the hermitess of West Mountain who lived alone in these hills in post-Revolutionary America. You can learn more here››

Q: Can we bring dogs on the course (or to the park to watch)?
A: Yes, BUT READ BELOW BEFORE COMING WITH YOUR DOG. If you run with your dog you ABSOLUTELY MUST 1.) start at the back of the pack and 2.) keep them leashed and close to you, especially at the beginning of the race where the crowds are tight. You know your dog best, so make sure they can deal with large numbers of people (and many other dogs). No dogs are allowed in picnic areas at the park! Park rules.

Q: Why do I have to keep my dog on a leash?
A: Once you see the crowds and spectators you will understand. Off leash dogs would cause a safety hazard and are absolutely not allowed. Also, it is a county ordinance at county parks that all dogs be leashed. And it was passed for good reason: even the best-trained dog may react instinctively when it encounters wildlife, thereby putting either itself or another animal in danger. Additionally, families as well as school groups hike the trails and some people are afraid of dogs.

Q: Are iPods allowed during the run?
A: We don’t have an outright ban but we discourage runners from wearing iPods or other music players for a number of reasons. You know yourself, though. Use your best judgement. The course is very crowded, especially at the beginning. You will not be able to hear anyone coming up behind you and yelling “on your left” or “on your right.” Plus, with the single track trails, the twists & turns, and the funneling of runners, this can be a safety issue. Lastly, you miss a vital part of the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack experience: the sounds of the race, the gleeful whoops of runners who have encountered the next obstacle, and the musical surprises on the trail waiting for the runners to pass by. If you use music as a motivational spur for your solo workouts, consider this: you are not solo on this run… The 400 other people around you should provide sufficient motivation and energy for your time on the trail during the race!

Q: When does registration open?
A: Registration will open in January.

Q: What does the registration cost?
A: Online race registration is $35; $40 on site on race day (if the race is not sold out). Special commemorative logo’s t-shirts can be purchased additionally when you register. Sorry, shirts will not be available for sale on race day. When you register, a portion of the race fee will go towards the county parks department for supporting this event. Proceeds from the event will go to Northern Westchester Hospital School Health and Wellness Programs to work with students to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles. The hospital invests over $100,000 in these community programs each year, the funds coming primarily from grants and community donations. The programs pay for many of the health education programs (nutrition, mental health, healthy relationships, physical activity) that schools have difficulty funding. For more information about the Northern Westchester Hospital School Outreach Program, visit the NWHC site.

Q: Why is there a credit card fee on top of the registration cost?
A: Every race charges a credit-card fee whether it’s included in the advertised cost or not. Your fee will help us cover the cost of the race and allow us to make a donation to support local Health and Wellness programs at local schools.

Q: Why is the Bushwhack registration limited? Why don’t you allow a gazillion number of runners?
A: We think this is a fantastic course and a unique event and would love to allow more than 400 participants but our limiting factor is parking. There just isn’t enough room to accommodate more cars in the park so we need to cap the race at that. The benefit, though, is that the course won’t be overcrowded so that those who do participate will have a more enjoyable time.

Q: I never heard from you guys about registration and I signed up for updates, what happened?
A: We don’t know. You should have heard from us if we have your email address (you can sign up again if you are not sure – the system automatically eliminates duplicate email addresses). We email everyone in our email list with a note carrying the date and details of registration opening. Why wouldn’t our email reach you? Email addresses change, you typed in your email address incorrectly, sunspots interfere with the electrical grid, your kid deletes your emails, our emails to you get tagged as spam (Note: if you tag our emails as spam then your email gets removed and we can’t add your email back to our list!), etc. We don’t really know what happens to emails once they leave our account. (Open secret — no one really knows what happens to regular old emails once they are sent!) Add to your address book to help ensure you receive our emails and they are not tagged as spam.

Q: What!! I missed out on registration? How did this happen?
A: Make sure you are on the email list and join our Sunday running group which, incidentally, often runs on Saturdays, sometimes on Fridays and occasionally during the week. The Sunday Runners meet weekly on local trails for runs of between 5 and 7 miles. You don’t need to be an expert, just come out and run.

Q: Is there a waiting list?
A: Well, no. If we sell out of the 400 spots in the race, registration will close.

Q: Can I just show up on the day of the race and register?
A: We STRONGLY encourage anyone interested in racing to register prior to the race. Registration closes at midnight, the Thursday before the race. That said, there generally is same-day registration available at a cost of $40 (exact change required) although shirts will not be available for those who register on-site. Proceed to bib pick-up if you need to register.

Q: Can I run using someone else’s bib?
A: NO! Runners CANNOT USE ANOTHER RUNNERS BIB! Anyone we see doing this will have their names changed to TURKEY in the results and be banned from future races. People who do this play havoc with the results and are also cheating the rest of the running field by not supporting the race. As an example: In a recent race, a 20 year old male ran using a 50 year old female’s bib number. The results for the “woman” put her (really him) as the top finisher in the F50-59 category. This pushed the real first place finisher in that division to second. Another example is the 18 year old who ran and won 3rd place in the F40 category, pushing out the rightful 3rd place winner from winning their pie. This is not good sportsmanship. We only discover these problems after the awards were made. It may not seem like a big deal to you when you do it, but it is a big deal to us and the people who are wrongfully passed over. Just don’t do it please. If you can’t register for the Bushwhack or get closed out, please consider volunteering, coming to run during a course check in the weeks leading up to the race, cheering your friends/family on, or registering and running in another local trail race. Plus there’s always next year!

Q: I missed out on registration, can I volunteer?
A: YES! Absolutely! Please get in touch via email ( or the contact us form. The earlier the better since we will be finalizing volunteer assignments in mid September. Our crew welcomes and could always use new faces plus you’re get an “Official Harrier” t-shirt to identify you. If you have any unique talents (photography, food prep, good handwriting, crowd control, small aircraft operation, access to weather balloons and lots of helium, or have access to or own one of these, etc.) or preferences let us know you are interested in helping out and that will help us place you in a good spot. We’ll get in touch right away to confirm and then again closer to race date regarding race day assignments.

Q: Are there other trail races in the area?
A: The Leatherman’s Loop in April, Run The Farm in October, The Running Goddess in May, and A Mild Sprain a bit farther south in Yonkers are all excellent races you might want to check out. And look into the Trail Mix Series of local races.

Q: Can I cancel my registration or carry over my registration to next year?
A: No. Registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable. We don’t do deferrals. In essence, we hope you understand our simple approach meets our desire to do four simultaneous things:
• Put on a top quality event;
• Keep the registration fees modest;
• Maximize the efforts of our volunteers toward race-related duties; and
• Raise money to improve the trails and park.
Our all-volunteer organization does not have time for a rush of transfers and deferrals in the month or so before the race. People still ask, and the answer is no. If you are reading this, thanks for not asking since we will just have to tell you what is written here.

Q: I can’t attend this year. What is your cancellation policy? Can I defer my registration to next year?
A: No, we do not offer deferrals of registrations from year to year. See above.

Q: Can I transfer my registration to another person?
A: No. Registration is non refundable and non transferable. See above.

Q: How is the race timing done?
A: We use bibs and tear tags along with a computer timing system. Runners are timed when they cross the finish line and their tear tags are collected at the end of the finish chute. See this detailed explanation if you have more questions.