I was injured from a cycling accident going into this race and was not sure that I would be able to compete in the event. My decision was to see if I could walk the 7km sport loop. So with walking sticks in hand I decided to give it a go.
Registration was seamless, quick and efficient even though I showed up a little later then I normally do for a race.
The course starts off along a field for about 700 meters this allows the faster runners to pass and create separation. Then you head off into the forest of Woodnewton farm for some double track and single track. There were five climbs and overall my watch indicated 133 meters of elevation. The course was very well marked with flags and ribbons and distance markers. As you run through the mixed forest, you need to be aware of roots, stumps and loose stones. These can be challenging as the race goes on. I saw a few people get tripped but up luckily for one was injured.
There were two aid station on course plus another at the start/finish line and numerous volunteers on course. The race also had a race marshal out on a mountain bike ensuring everyone’s safety. This race was a cup free event so you need to make sure you have something to refill at the aid station. This was not an issues as most runners were using water bottles. I was impress with all the athletes trail etiquette, as most called out “on your left” as they approached. Many stopped for other athletes who tripped and very encouraging to other participates.
Music was playing. Volunteers, athletes and spectators were all cheering and they called out our you name as we crossed the finish line. They had bananas, watermelon, oranges, pretzels and cookies for you. What was nice about this race was each participant received a Cider Under the Moon pint glass. They also give you tickets for a fabulous BBQ and one for a refreshing cider from Slabtown Cidery. Although I was unable to stay for the awards and prizes, I heard that they had great draw prizes to give away.
This was a challenging race for myself since it was my first time trading in my walking cane for trekking sticks. I will certainly race this event again when healthy. It is a challenging course but still a fun event. It’s very well organized and they understand what runners need from a race. The Slabtown Cidery location is ideal for family and non-racers, as it gives them a place to enjoy themselves as others race.