Race report by Dave Phillips.
As I said in my race report last week this sounded so good that it had to be in preference to Stratford’s 10k a couple of miles down the road. Trouble is as it’s a charity event and low key it cannot be advertised as other races do. Plus 100% of the day’s takings go to the charity
So I drove the 5 miles to The Apple Farm next to Arden Fisheries, went round some very dodgy and isolated tracks until eventually the HQ field cane into view. A few cars, St John ambulance, 30 runners plus families, MacMillan Cancer Research volunteers, coffee and cake tents and a Pizza oven and canopy were being erected.
In all 75 people maybe but what friendship. Only 2 of us in club vests, a Kenilworth runner and me.
So 30 of us started off at 1000 hrs for the 3 lap course but what a killer it was in the area near Stratford’s Welcome Hills. No paths, no trails, no houses, nobody in fact no nothing except orchards and farm land that had not been farmed for ages. You just followed the tapes and arrows over the roughest terrain imaginable that was full of potholes-not good for my bad knee so again race walking was the order of the day.
The scenery was stunning and as we ran along the wide spaces in the orchards our only company was apples and pears. But the hills on each lap, added to the terrain made it very hard but great fun as we passed huge old derelict green houses, defunct tractors, many dying orchards and other relics of what was 10 years ago a very busy business with pick your own, farm shops, nursery, garden centre and farm. Happily it now has a new owner who also makes cider!!!
Finally with ½ mile to go I passed the lady who was walking slower than me so we jogged in together for last equal.
Then what a surprise. Our goodie bag had chocolates, nuts, a huge doughnut and the biggest medal I’ve ever seen-puts Liverpool Rock and Roll marathon medals to shame. And what was inscribed on the huge red medal? The Big Apple 10k! But that was not all. There was free cider made by the new owner of the farm and orchards so each of us was given a bottle. I chatted to the providers and they make it all locally but they warned us not to drink and drive as it was 14% proof! So this was just like my Claverdon Pork Pie and Cider runs. Their cider is called Titark’s Cider (tel 07517753777) and what great traditional farm house cider it is. But the friendship and hospitality continued as all you had to do was make donations to the charity and help yourselves to cakes, coffees, tea and believe it or not as many bottles of cider that you wanted for whatever amount you wanted to donate. No one cared. So I donated generously and came away with more goodies and bottles of 14% proof cider that I had never dreamed of.
And during all this time the pizza man was doing good business-all for charity.
So well done Katy Mcgowan for putting on this event and hopefully she will repeat it next year. She puts on many events for the charity so I’ll keep you informed and check it out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Phillips 1 hr 22mins.
Suffering now from the cider and knee that I’m afraid needs surgery. But when? After Snowdon marathon? Which year?