As most people were still asleep after a night of Halloween festivities, a few people were up bright and early. At 8 a.m. they made their way to Center Grove Orchard for a morning filled with serene farm life, apple cider, and running for a cause. Center Grove Orchard’s, second annual Pumpkin Relay took place Saturday, Nov. 1.
The race cost $40 ahead of time and $50 the day of the event. The proceeds are going towards the Arthritis Foundation and the Autoimmune Disease Association. These two organizations were selected in support of Center Grove Orchard’s employee, Jessica Campbell and her family. Campbell’s daughters both suffer from autoimmune diseases.
“Last year we only had 5 teams. It was a great first time trial experience to see how it would go,” said Deanna Black, Center Grove Orchard’s “Director of Fun”. This year there were 15 teams. All of the participants received a farmyard pass to spend the rest of the day exploring the orchard as well as a gift basket full of donations from local businesses. The races were timed and lager prizes were given to the first and second place winners.
“We thought this would be a fun way to entice a new group of people. Usually we are catering to 2 to 10 year olds and their families so this is for the older populations,” said Black. That is exactly what they did when they created a race were the runner holds a pumpkin as a button.
Participants got to choose the pumpkin they ran with. This gave them the decision on how much weight they wanted to carry, although most of the pumpkins were about the size of a pie. After the race the participants got to keep their pumpkin. This was a way to put the season’s left over pumpkins to use.
The organizers goal was to create a unique fun run. “It is not as common as I thought it was, only a handful of places do a pumpkin run. You never know maybe it will take off to something new,” said Black.