I’ve had the Run for the Apples 5 Mile on my radar for several years, having previously registered for it twice, but being unable to participate. I decided to add it back to the calendar this year; it’s fairly close to home, partially off-road, and is fairly inexpensive. I love fall running, so I thought this would be a perfect fall race.
Well, I thought it would be a perfect fall race until I woke up that morning to lightning and rain. The temp was in the low 50’s, but the wind and rain made it feel much colder. Thankfully, the lightning quit by the time I arrived at the apple orchard an hour before start time. Also, I was glad there were areas to huddle under shelter before and after the race, to stay out of the rain and wind.
The race started on time, with the course winding around the parking lot, along a street, then onto the orchard property. It wound through the orchard, around the fields, onto another street, then finished on the orchard grounds again. It was hilly, with one hill being quite long and steep; I did not expect that! But, the view at the top of the hill was gorgeous, overlooking a lake surrounded by fall colors.
As you can imagine with a rainstorm before race time, the course was very wet and muddy. I was glad I’d chosen to wear trail shoes, because the grip definitely helped on the slippery mud. I was also glad I’d packed an extra outfit, including socks and shoes.
The race finished on a slippery, muddy downhill, which I loved. I splashed through the mud and across the finish line, where water, apple cider, apples, and cookies were waiting. My finishing time was 1:00:49, which used to be my road 5k pace! I was very happy with my time, especially considering the weather, that it was partially on trails, and that it was hilly. To top it all off, I won 2nd place in the Athena division (women over 165 pounds)!
Overall, it was a nice race that I’d consider doing again, but preferably with better weather. It’s a well-organized, smaller race. Carrie Tollefson was even there, both running the race, then cheering on runners along the course.
Do you have a favorite fall race?