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Cider Frolic 2021 – the one that was a bit hot

Thank you to everyone who rocked up to the Cider Races! Andy Palmer runs down the highlights of the weekend.

In that heat? Oh. My. God.

We’ve been racing for 12 hours for a few years at many venues. Frolics, as we call them, are a timed event for solos, pairs and teams of three or four. They run over a looped course for 12 hours or until runners get too tired and need a sleep or beer.

In July we held the Cider Frolic at Myncen Farm in Dorset. A large arable farm with a cider brewery on site. PERFECTO.

The Friday saw the Cider Sessions, a looped race over 8 hours where people could run as far or as little as they wanted. Sharon Daw ran the furthest for the women, and Kevin Bale ran the furthest for the men. Sessions are usually slightly quieter than a Frolic, and allow you to run the distance you want at a time that suits you within the 8 hours.

Saturday was the big event: Cider Frolic over 12 hours. On the Sunday was the ever-epic kids’ race, and Piggy Plod 10k. So named because Myncen used to be a pig farm.

Cider Races standout results

It was warm; that is an understatement. There was some epic sunburn (it’s not sensible kids; wear suncream). Interestingly, that didn’t stop two runners banging out some superb milage. James Mills – frustrated with all his ‘A’ races being moved or cancelled – decided he was pulling out the stops to run as far as he could winning the men’s race. In the women’s race, after a few hours we knew there was probably going to be one winner, if the heat didn’t get to her. Anne-Marie Bayliss won the women’s race with 20 laps – 72.9 miles! The third furthest anyone has run at one of our Frolic-style races, male or female, and broke the course record at Myncen Farm. If you want a masterclass in how to run a lapped ultramarathon, Saturday was it. I hope Anne-Marie won’t mind me saying, but she looked fantastic all day: relaxed and calm. Even when she finished, she looked like she had just popped to the shops for milk. I do believe it was the furthest she has ever run.

Frolics produce, especially towards the end of the day, very competitive team performances. So next year we will be breaking down the prizes a little more to first women’s team, first mixed team and first men’s team.

Now to the Piggy Plod. The kids love these races; apart from parkrun, there are few trail races for kids outside of cross country. Outstanding performances from all the kids; both the boy and girl winners were the same from the Mini Unicorn race back at Moreton.

In the adult, the standout performance was Mark Stileman, who had forgotten his running shorts so ran in cargo shorts – getting round in 43 minutes and without much chaffing!

We thank Simon and Bill for letting us take over their farm for the weekend and will return to Myncen Farm next year.

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