Once I realized my 5k goals for 2019 are shot, well, so went my half-marathon goals… (That’s not me being negative, but accepting and realistic.) Since I hadn’t been running much during the week, I could hardly go out for the weekend long runs after my vacays ended in the middle of August. I set off with a goal to get my weekend long runs back. Now I’ve been up to 6-7 miles, almost every weekend in the weeks prior to my favorite half-marathon, the Brooksie Way. Other runners at the park had passed me and courteously asked what I was training for. “Ummm nothing, I guess? Just running. No races on my horizon.” In a typical runner friendly way, one guy slowed his pace to briefly chat, me and my return to running after a busy summer, he and his return to running for his reasons. Sure enough, both of us had recognized each other a few weeks later and casually commended each other with a typical running nod and thumbs up for getting out and running. Because I wasn’t ready to run the Brooksie Way, though sure, I could have finished, but not without enduring those torturous hills first, and knowing I wouldn’t be running that race on the 3rd Sunday of September, instead I discovered the Golden Harvest 5k. This was at Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill.

It would be quite a drive from home for me but I was able to spend the night before at my cousin’s house who lived closer and we drove to the race together. My friend also met us there to run.

While getting our bibs were a breeze, there was hardly any wind that morning. It made for a very humid race. When I finished I felt as if I had jumped into a pool! (In a way, I am a little thankful I didn’t end up being signed up for the half marathon or I’d also be running in the same humid conditions.)

The race itself was well-marked with volunteers at every turn. I’ve done one other “apple cider” 5k race but it was not at an orchard. Here, we did run on mostly dirt and gravel pathways that connected each of the farm areas. It was also a little hillier than I was expecting.

Source: http://www.ezrunevents.com/golden-harvest-run

My pacing was all over the place (8:25, 8;43, 8:17) and I tried not to think of that since I showed up to run just for fun. It didn’t help that I probably started too far back and, although I dislike weaving, I also didn’t want to get “stuck”. I do believe the course was short; my watch had me at 2.91 miles and I really do not think I was running 8 minute miles that day with my finishing time of 24:41. My effort was not that great…

According to the results, there were just over 350 participants. There certainly were a lot of families and walkers.

Not sure if I’ll ever wear this shirt out in public!

As soon as you finished running there was a short recovery walk over to the barn where they had dixie cups of cold apple cider and candy, cookies, and rice krispie treats. There may have been fruit, too, but my priorities are different so I didn’t notice!

I love donuts; besides a classic chocolate dip with sprinkles, cider mill donuts are unbeatable. I had to buy some for my group! I am so pleased with the cider mill donuts near me that unfortunately these were not a close match.

Lastly, it is noteworthy to mention that we promptly received a link via email for our free race photos.

Have you ran any apple cider 5k races?