The pre-registration deadline for the 1st annual Apple Festival 5k is Oct. 6. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
The pre-registration deadline for the 1st annual Apple Festival 5k is Oct. 6. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – The Apple Festival is just around the corner and will be filled with fall themed activities. New this year to the fall fun will be a 5k run or walk on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The first annual Apple Festival 5k will be put on by Community Health Professionals (CHP), and all proceeds from the run will go directly towards CHP’s patient hospice care fund.

“Our patient care fund is there to supplement patients who do not have the means to pay what they need to pay,” said CHP Event Coordinator Kim Mason noting that that can include medication, insurance, or care.

The idea was built off of a run last year that Good Earth held for their 40th anniversary. CHP was the recipient of the money raised. This year CHP kept with the idea and partnered with the Apple Festival.

“I wanted to make it part of something else going on in town,” said Mason. “One of my things when we ran it last year was that running through town you have a lot more obstacles.”

Mason said she envisioned a placed where runners could run without the worry of roads needing to be blocked off. She knew the fairgrounds would be the perfect place for such an event. She reached out to the fair board and got the idea approved.

“The Apple Festival is the perfect event to partner with,” said Mason. “Everybody loves the Apple Festival, and it’s a win-win because we are joining with them and it will help bring more people to the Apple Festival and will help us because they already have a fan base there.”

The race is a competitive race and is timed with the first male and female finishers winning a grand prize. Other prizes will be given out that were donated by local businesses and vendors but will be raffled off so that everyone has a fair chance to win something.

Mason noted that a 5k is the perfect way for CHP to raise money since they are a health organization.

“It is a great way to get out and walk it, it doesn’t have to be a run,” said Mason. “Even for the community aspect of it, grab your group of friends that you like to do things with, or get out on a Saturday morning with your family. Make it a family day.”

The event is a community event with CHP working with as many small businesses and local vendors as possible. Mason noted that community is important to her.

“My hope is in the future, we will bring in more runners, but that will also bring in more people to the Apple Festival, which in turn brings more business to the community,” said Mason. “We’re excited about the partnership; that means a lot to me to work together within the community.”

Pre-registration for the 5k ends Oct. 6, which guarantees runners a shirt in their size. Runners can still register after Oct. 6 but may not get a shirt. Pre-registration is $25 with a shirt and $15 without a shirt. Participants can sign up the day of the event for $20. To register visit ComHealthPro.org or fill out a registration form at CHP.

The shirt will be a 3/4 sleeve baseball style shirt to commemorate the day. Participants can pick their packets up starting Friday, Oct. 20 at the Grandstand from noon to 6 p.m.

The race starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, with check-in at the Grandstand.

The annual 1-mile Kids Fun Run will also take place that day starting at 11 a.m. Proceeds from this event go toward the Apple Festival.

“Come out and run or walk the 5k, and then you won’t feel guilty about eating three apple dumplings later,” joked Mason. “There’s a lot of activities that you can bring your entire family out to.”