A festival, race, and hoax all in one

This past weekends weather was absolutely perfect in Upstate New York. Clear skies, bright sun and cool fall temperatures in the mid 50’s make running so enjoyable this time of year.  It doesn’t get much better than that. I just wish that this kind of weather would hang around until the end of December to shorten up the winters in Syracuse.   It’s not uncommon for Syracusans to see the white fluffy stuff fall from the sky before Halloween.  But we will not go there today because this beautiful weather is supposed to be hanging around for the next week.

registration tent

Apples for everyone!

Over the weekend my husband and I decided to run in the LaFayette Apple Festival 5k/15k.  This race was resurrected in 2008 from nearly a 20 year hiatus.

The race takes place a quarter-mile from one of the greatest hoaxes of all time the Cardiff Giant.

Cardiff Giant Hoax history:  On October 16, 1869, a 10 foot “petrified man” was discovered by two men digging a well behind the barn on the property of William C. “Stubb” Newell in Cardiff, NY.  One of the well diggers declared that “some old Indian has been buried here.” Newell and his cousin George Hull capitalized on the discovery of this giant by charging people money to see it. It was George Hull who hired the person to carve the gigantic man and manipulate the gypsum to make it look old and weathered.  Hull had the giant transported to his cousin Newell’s property in Cardiff, NY.

People came from all over NYS by carriages and lumber wagons to view this discovery.  It was  reported that Newell and Hull earned $30 thousand by showcasing the giant and eventually sold it to make another $35 thousand to David Hannom. Hannom moved the giant to city of Syracuse to showcase it in a more populated city.  Hannom refused P.T. Barnum’s generous $60 thousand offer for the giant who later created a replica and displayed it in NYC.

It turned out that a judge declared both giants fakes during the process that Hannom and Barnum were suing each other over who had the authentic giant.  Hannom coined the famous phrase “there’s a sucker born every minute”, over the anger that ensued with P.T. Barnum over the giant.

There have been books written about this hoax and references made about the Cardiff Giant appearing in Mark Twain’s book “A Ghost Story” and in L. Frank Baum’s poem titled ” The True Origin of the Cardiff Giant”.

On with the running story…

I wanted to run in the 5k to work on my speed and to see if I could post a better race time than my previous 5k time at the Baltimore Women’s Classic.  Tim opted for the longer race (as he normally does) in order to get in one last endurance run before this weekends inaugural Empire marathon/half marathon in Syracuse, NY.

I was ecstatic when I crossed the finish line in the 5k with a time of 24:45.  I knew that it was going to be close to breaking the 8 minute pace per mile mark.  Needless to say I was happy to see my 7:58 pace per mile when the official results were posted. It was the first time in a very long time that I have seen the number 7 preceding the seconds for average pace.  Granted it was only 2 seconds under 8:00 minute/ mile mark , but I was still happy. The two weeks of track workouts have obviously paid off. I was 40 out of 242 runners overall, the 11th out of 140 females and received a medal for the 1st woman in the 45-49 age group. I came home with some hardware.

age group hardware

The registration tent for the race was set up in the open field that would eventually be filled up later in the day with hundreds of cars parked for the Apple Festival.   For such a small low-key race, it was well-organized and relatively cheap considering all you got for your entrants fee.  The twenty-dollar race fee got me a bib number to race, admission to the Apple Festival, post race goodies and a little history. Fresh bagels and cream cheese, coffee, hot chocolate and of course APPLES and apple cider were all consumed by me after the race as I waited for Tim to complete the 15k.

After the race we both freshened up and put on fresh clothes before heading over to the festival.  I don’t know how some runners can hang around for hours in their sweaty running apparel.  The stench from dried up sweat is enough to make me gag.  I do think that the disgusting odor is worse when wearing the technical running apparel.

The festival was jammed packed with people shopping and eating.  Hundreds of crafters were set up showcasing their latest and greatest handmade product.  Food vendors were scattered all around the craft tents making it easy to satisfy any kind of apple craving or hunger pain that your heart desired.

Tim enjoyed an apple milkshake on our walk back to the car.  We decided not to eat at the festival and thought it was best to save our appetite for all the food we were going to enjoy at my sister-in-law’s birthday celebration.

Overall, it was a wonderful fall weekend.

What did you do over the weekend? Any fun hoaxes happening in your neck of the woods? I would love to read about your stories in the comments section.