RUNNING: Apple Harvest gears up for 40th annual road races

RUNNING: Apple Harvest gears up for 40th annual road races

SOUTHINGTON — The Apple Harvest Festival Road Race is in its 40th year and showing no signs of slowing down in “middle age.”

As many as 2,000 runners of all ages are expected to compete in the various events on Sunday, Oct. 6, in downtown Southington.

“It’s such a special race,” race director John Myers said. “This is Southington’s main hometown race and it serves as a reunion for everyone to come back and catch up with one another.”

The crown jewel is the 5K, which attracts roughly 1,000 runners by itself.

That race covers 3.1 miles. There’s also a 5-mile race, which kicks off the show at 8:30 a.m. near Flair Restaurant on Columbus Avenue. The 5K starts 15 minutes later.

Returning this year is the 2-mile walk along the linear trail. That event starts at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Southington YMCA and finishes on the Town Green.

For the kids, “The Little Fritter” runs will race around the Town Green at 10 a.m.

There’s also the “Y Cup,” a 1-mile competition between Southington fourth and fifth graders. Derynoski Elementary School will be looking to defend its crown.

The Southington cross country team will be among the volunteers on the course. Members of the Southington High girls soccer team are expected to run in the race.

“We can get up to 2,000 people all together in the last few years,” said Myers, race director for the past 20 years. “It depends on the weather on the day of the race. Many people wait to see if it’s a nice day to see if they want to race.”

There will be music on the course and cheering crowds at the finish line on Main Street. Musicians interested in performing should contact Myers at

“It’s some great community spirit,” Myers said. “It’s very fan friendly and the runners love it when people are there to cheer them on.”

There are three fundraising teams involved in the 5K race: the Southington Middle School Athletics Association, Team Adam and Jim, and Team Lauryn.

The first group is a nonprofit that helps fund sports at Kennedy and DePaolo. Team Adam and Jim runs in memory of late Southington residents Adam Levin and Jim Maffiolini. Team Lauryn runs to raise money for a scholarship in memory of Lauryn Ossola, a Southington High swimmer who died in an accident in 2011 at age 23.

“It’s our hometown race,” Myers said. “People want to see each other and want to see what they can do on the course. We work hard to make it a nice race for our competitors. We have a ton of volunteers and sponsors. We also have police on the course. We put it all together and it makes for a nice little, small town road race.”

To register or volunteer, visit