10 Takeaways from the 2017 Hardest Cider Run in Biglerville, PA

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hardest cider run race reviewDo you want do the Hard Cider Run? Well, if you’re a fan of challenging 5Ks, a competitive racing atmosphere, awesome runners’ swag, and, of course, hard cider — you’ve got to do this race. Check out my 2017 Hardest Cider Run race review — and seriously consider signing up for a race near you.

As I mentioned previously, the folks over at The Color Run reached out to me in June to run in the Hershey, PA Color Run. I happily obliged as it would be the first time I was able to represent Run The Money in person. It also gave me the idea to reach out to the awesome crew at Sour Fish Events and inquire about the Hardest Cider Run in Biglerville, PA.

And let me tell you — I’m so very glad I did! Working with Chloe to secure my spot and help promote this race and their upcoming Great Pumpkin Runs in Pennsylvania and Maryland has been nothing short of exciting.

But, enough about that. Let’s get to the Hardest Cider Run race review. That’s why you’re here.

Here are my takeaways. Enjoy!

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Dave’s 2017 Hardest Cider Run Race Review

Set an alarm

OK, I’ll admit. I screwed up with this one. I forgot to set an alarm for the morning of the race.

Wait, that’s a lie. I decided NOT to set an alarm because I wake up to an alarm at 4:15 am everyday. I figured my toddler would wake us all up by 6:00 or 6:30 am like usual. Instead, we all slept in until 7:00 am and had to scramble to get ready, get my wife and him breakfast, and get to the race on time.

We did — and everything was cool. But, I felt a little like Jean-Paul, the marathon runner who stays at Jerry’s place in Seinfeld. Only there was a lot less on the line — and I’m MUCH slower!

hard cider run race review
My son and I before the race.

Pre-race stretch session

I thought this was pretty cool and I’ve never seen it done before. They had a yoga/fitness instructor lead all runners in a warm-up session.

The instructor spent a few minutes getting everyone running in place and stretching out to get your blood pumping. Let me tell you — we all needed it.

That hill and course were no joke!

You better run hills regularly 

They advertised it — and they delivered. That hill was a bitch! My wife even overheard the guy who won our heat complaining about it.

What was rough about it was that it was within the first 1/2 mile to 3/4 mile of the start. And it rained the night before, so going downhill from that I almost completely wiped out. My thighs were exhausted!

So, be sure you’re doing hills as these Hard Cider Run 5Ks are no joke. This was certainly different from the Color Run in that people were running more — but definitely walking that hill.

Since I do a lot of hill and stair work when I do my lunch runs at my job, I was prepared. Let me tell you though — it was NOT easy.

Only one water stop? WTF?

The one downside in my opinion was the lack of water stops if you didn’t purchase the Hungry Apple option. I get not being able to have the donuts, but after that hill it was hard having to wait until the 1.5 mile mark to have a drink of water.

The donuts and water for the Hungry Apple folks were at every mile, which is great. I feel like having one more water stop would’ve been nice for those who had the standard 5K option.

Small issue, but worth mentioning. I like my water and don’t want to carry something during a race if I can help it.

Awesome swag!

I don’t think I received so much stuff for one race! I can’t recall even getting this much stuff for the full marathon I did in Philadelphia.

You received a medal, shirt, glass, hard cider, and free race photos. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

I’ll wear that shirt all the time — and enjoy many hard ciders, wines, and beers out of that glass.

Oh and the photographer got me holding my son before the race and giving a salute as I was coming out of the vineyard. Pretty fun and sweet experience there! Can’t wait to see those shots.

Obligatory metal biting photo #hardestciderrun @thehardciderrun @jackshardcider @hauserestatewinery

A post shared by Dave @ Run The Money (@runthemoneyblog) on

Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!

Jack’s Hard Cider was delicious. It was so refreshing to pour myself a glass of that stuff in my sweet HCR glass after the race.

I could’ve sat there all morning drinking that stuff and enjoying the beautiful weather. I’d definitely recommend it.

Just don’t do what I did on my 30th birthday in Ireland and use it as a chaser for Guinness. Bad experience — and that’s a story for another blog post!

Cheers to all the @thehardciderrun runners and finishers. We all earned that @jackshardcider after conquering "The Hill."

A post shared by Dave @ Run The Money (@runthemoneyblog) on

Food trucks and plenty of cider on hand 

They had two food trucks there and literally CASES of hard cider. You definitely wouldn’t leave hungry or thirsty.

We didn’t get to stay and partake of the food, but it had the makings of a nice post-race lunch. Or heck if you’re watching somebody run, you could grab some fine eats as well.

Sour Fish did a great job at making this a fun atmosphere for runners and spectators. I think that’s important and it shows they care about everyone having a great time.

It was someone’s first 5K!

This is something I wouldn’t expect to have the opportunity to include in my Hardest Cider Run race review, but here it is! I found out after the race that the 2017 Hardest Cider Run was the first 5k EVER for one of Run The Money’s Instagram followers.

I mean — how cool is that?

This gentleman is on a mission to lose weight and get in shape. Let’s give him a round of applause and encouragement. And he definitely should be toasted with some Jack’s Hard Cider.

Well done, sir!

#hardestciderrun completed my first 5k ever.

A post shared by David Hill (@grayman37) on

Beautiful course and overall fun event.

This Hardest Cider Run race review wouldn’t be complete without thanking Chloe and everyone at Sour Fish Events for putting on such a great race. This was really fun and I’m happy to be supporting it.

You all need to do a Hard Cider Run or Great Pumpkin Run. I’m telling you — you will not be disappointed.

The course at Hauser Estate Winery was just gorgeous. Challenging for sure, but beautiful. And the experience was resoundingly positive.

hard cider run race review
Less than a 1/2 mile to go!

I’d do it again next year!

I think that’s the best indication of a race or any event for that matter. Would you do it again?

I can definitely say I’ll be running the Hardest Cider Run next year. Trust me, that’s not something I’m throwing in here because I’m doing a Hardest Cider Run race review. I truly mean it!

Who’s with me?

hard cider run race review
Passed all those people with my patented “kick.” Really, I just wanted some cider! I’m in the red shorts!
Readers, have you run in a Hard Cider Run or Great Pumpkin Run? How was your experience? Please tell us in the comments! Cheers!

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