5K gives new meaning to grab-n-go
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — The 5K as fundraiser market is somewhat saturated, Katie Thompson said.
She would know. As co-race director of Freedom’s Run and the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon, two popular and well-attended Jefferson County, W.Va., races, Thompson is familiar with the running scene.
Still, as a member of the board of directors for Bushel & Peck, a grocery that provides consumers with fresh, locally-sourced food and goods, Thompson wanted to offer support using what she knows.
“My expertise is somewhat limited. I’m good at planning races and not many other fundraisers,” she said with a laugh.
In effort to support Bushel & Peck, Thompson came up with a way to put a unique twist on a race to host the Farm Fresh 5K. The run will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 30, at Charles Town Farmers Market in Charles Town, and will feature stations at which runners will pick up goods from Bushel & Peck, carry them with them along the course, and then take them home. Registration costs $40.
“It will be a normal 5K. People will run through town 3.1 miles, but we’ll have stations along the course where people will grab produce. I thought it would be really funny to see people running with giant rhubarbs and baguettes hanging out of their bags,” she said.
The five or six aid stations will feature different types of foods, Thompson said, such as sweets including chocolates and jams, meats, “zest” such as honey and spices, and “Big Bertha.”
“Big Bertha will be heavy items, like zucchini or sweet potatoes,” she said. “One of the aid stations will have eggs. (Runners) have to grab them along the way. We’ll have them still in the carton but it will probably be one of the last ones they get. They have to run carefully.”
Proceeds from the race will go to Jefferson G.A.P. Coalition, which stands for growers, artisans and producers. The coalition is a nonprofit that umbrellas over Charles Town Farmers Market and Bushel & Peck.
“The idea is to provide year round as much local food as possible,” Thompson said. “Bushel & Peck was created because the Charles Town Farmers Market is so incredibly popular but it only goes on April through October. The idea was to offer these products all year round.”
Bushel & Peck opened during October 2017.
Vendors, farmers, and community members have responded favorably to the Farm Fresh 5K idea.
“We are all interested in getting information about farmers out so they can build relationships, so people can see where their food is coming from,” Thompson said. “People are really excited. I think the most common response is that people laugh at the idea.”
Some running groups already meet at the Farmers Market on Saturdays to run, so Thompson thought it would be wise to build on that momentum, she said.
The race will be timed. She expects that some people will run hard, while others will be more focused on the food.
“We do have a one-hour limit. That would allow people to walk briskly,” she said. “We have a pretty active community. I think some people will take it very seriously and run through. Other people will be there because they think it’s funny. They’ll be grabbing produce as they totter along.”
The race will be capped at 75 runners to prevent overextending vendors and farmers.
“We want to make sure we understand what we are doing before we make it bigger,” Thompson said. “We want it to be a quality experience.”
At press time, the race was not yet capped.
While runners usually leave races with a T-shirt, those who run the Farm Fresh 5K will leave with a bag of fresh, locally sourced groceries and information about area farmers.
“Considering the things they’ll pick up at each station, it’s way better then a T-shirt,” Thompson said.
Top male and top female finishers also will each get a $50 gift certificate from Two Rivers Treads.
If You Go ...
WHAT - Bushel & Peck presents Farm Fresh 5K
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 30
WHEN: Charles Town Farmers Market, 100 S. Samuel St., Charles Town, W.Va.
COST: Online registration is $40 plus $3 fee. Online registration closes on Friday, June 29 at 4 p.m. Race day registration is $45.
CONTACT: Go to https://runsignup.com/Race/WV/CharlesTown/FarmFresh5Kwv.
MORE: Go to Farm Fresh 5K on Facebook or find bushelandpeckwv on Facebook
Submitted Photo: Byshel & Peck in Charles Townm W.Va. will host Farm Fresh 5k.