Saturday, May 31, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Apple Blossom Half Marathon Hastings, Minnesota Sunday, May 18, 2014 On Sunday, May 18, 2014 I race walked the Apple Blossom Half Marathon in Hastings, Minnesota. The weather was wonderful as the temperature varied from 48 to 65 degrees with sunny skies and little wind. The course was very hilly and challenging with 10.5 miles of paved roads and the rest gravel roads. The roads were open to traffic and the participants were expected to use the side of the roads facing traffic on the rural roadways. The cooperation between the traffic and the participants was outstanding. There were four intersections where the participants had to cross the main road to enter a side road that were controlled by police officers. Water/Gatorade stations were located approximately every 1.5 to 2 miles and were created by families that lived along the course who not only provided volunteers but also the liquid. There were only 119 finishers in the half marathon. The associated other events attracted 350 other participants. The event has existed for over 20 years and is a well-organized, friendly, enjoyable, and challenging event. I am glad I did this event even though I did not get to see any apple blossoms due to the extremely cold long winter season that this area of Minnesota experienced. Perhaps I brought some of my nice Key West weather with me as this weekend was the first spring like weather that this area has experienced in 2014.