Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hard Cider Run in Grand Rapids

I went out this weekend to Sietsema Orchards for the Hard Cider Run. It's a 5k race through the orchard and surrounding area, with cider waiting at the end.
Thanks to the weather, this ended up being about equal parts run and balance challenge. The first two miles of the course are largely on dirt trails with lots of up and down. It had rained heavily the night before, and was raining again during the event. All those dirt trails were really muddy and slippery. Keeping my balance has never been a strength of mine, so I did quite a bit of very slow jogging and walking - and even so I almost fell a couple of times. Traded places with a few of the other runners multiple times, in fact, as I was faster on the stable stretches but they had better balance in the mud.
Considering the weather, I was happy with my time of almost exactly 30 minutes. More importantly, I didn't injure myself. Turning an ankle, or falling flat on your face, would have been very easy. I didn't see anyone else with trouble either, fortunately.
The course was narrow in a lot of places, but that didn't matter a whole lot since there weren't many people running together. The event was broken up into a bunch of different start times, each a half hour apart. I was in the second one, and there were maybe 40-50 people. (My results page said there were only 545 total runners across the whole event.) That gave us plenty of space out on the trail, once everyone spread out after the start.
At the end of the run, there was (of course) hard cider for the runners. It tasted fine, although I'd want to go back and try it again to really form an opinion. Right after a run, I'm not sure my taste buds are at their best! Got a nice commemorative glass and shirt, too. Good fun, and I'll certainly consider doing this again next year.

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