I was in Hollis,NH this morning for the Applefest Half Marathon, not to run but to help out with course setup and work the water stop just after mile 6. For the 2nd year in a row I had a fine crew from the Hollis-Brookline High School sophomore class helping out (Harry Potter theme this year). Heck, they were so good I didn't hand out a single cup of water and instead decided to take some pictures.....a LOT of pictures!
700+ pictures, the most I've ever taken. If you ran Applefest chances are I got a photo of you right after the 6 mile mark. Previous years I've been at mile 10 or 12 and at times the race can look like a death march. Not this year. The first half of Applefest is mostly flat or downhill so the runners were in fine spirits by the 6 mile mark. Lots of smiling, happy runners!
Patrick Moulton was the first runner through, with Scott Rowe about 1 min 20 sec back (at the 6 mile mark). They stayed that way until the end (results).
The race has sold out every year since 2003 (1200+ runners this year), but this year I noticed only 900 finished. Seems like a pretty high dropout rate. Odd.
Applefest does have some special meaning for me personally. I started running again (after nearly 10 years of being a slug) in August of 2000. My first mile back was around a 12 min pace. About 7 weeks later I signed up and ran my first half marathon (Applefest). What the heck was I thinking?? I finished in a respectable 1:41:44 (7:46 pace) and promptly told my wife never to let me do that again. Later that month I signed up for my 1st marathon (Vermont City). I've had this running problem ever since. I blame my wife :-)