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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the harvard apple harvest ramble—now a terrific 10k in harvard

The Harvard Apple Harvest Ramble—Now a Terrific 10K in Harvard
The 19th edition of the Apple Harvest Ramble is a 10K, but has the same scenic and historic location, beautiful foliage along the course, and outstanding organization—part of the Harvard, Massachusetts Road Race Series!

The Harvard Apple Harvest Ramble—Now a Terrific 10K in Harvard

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Active Running

By Skip Cleaver
Posted Thursday, 30 September, 2010

It is now a 10K, and therefore more accessible and open for more runners than the 10-miler, run for the first 18 years of this classic event. If you have never been to Harvard you are in for a treat at peak foliage time, October 3rd. If you have never been to historic Fruitlands, then it is high time you enjoy that experience. History comes alive there amid the amazing natural beauty of the Nashoba Valley. Much of the course will be the same, and every kilometer will be a treat for runners of all abilities. Check the race Website at

Harvard is very close to large population centers and surprisingly easy to get to. Just a few miles off I 495, it is a short drive from Exit 38A on famous Route 2, variously known as the Johnny Appleseed Road and the Mohawk Trail. And you could not pick a better time of year—there will be spectacular scenic views the moment you turn in to Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road (just off Shirley Road, two miles from Route 2).

Hey, get this, seniors: those 65 and over get a $10 discount from the already reasonable registration fee.

Appropos for the season, Alcott’s Catering of Fruitlands will bring out their best autumn soup for all--a unique post race amenity; an epicurean delight ideal for the celebration of an innaugural 10K run at peak foliage.

They are making it as convenient as possible with number/packet pickup available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 30 to October 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Marx Running and Fitness Center, 423C Great Road, Acton, Mass. (Not far off Route 2.) Of course, number and packet pick up will be available race morning at Fruitlands from 9:00 a.m. to just before the race goes off.

The course is challenging and wonderful. Yes, there are some hills, but it allows much better views of the area, the valley, and the fantastic foliage. It is like running through a beautiful painting. Some may wish it were still 10 miles in order to enjoy the views and the rural landscape. But the 10K is by popular demand, and you better believe it will be popular. This race has always been about superior race organization and attention to detail: Established and organized by runners, for runners.

Fruitlands is worth the visit; it is a walk through history in a gorgeous environment. You can easily see why Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane chose this location for their Transcendentalist Utopia in 1843. It is now a cluster of historic buildings. The farmhouse they occupied from May, 1843 to January, 1844 is there as a museum and fascinating in itself (Louisa May Alcott was 10 when she lived there with her parents and siblings).

In addition, the 94-acre Fruitlands has an original Shaker structure and museum (tremendous Shaker collection of documents); a museum building dedicated to the Native Americans who first occupied this amazing landscape; a terrific art museum, specializing in American Art, Hudson River School; a restaurant, the Alcott Restaurant and Tea House, museum store; and beautiful walking trails. They often host special events and concerts—quite a significant contributor to the arts and to rural culture.

The Fruitlands Utopia Alcott envisioned failed, mostly because they were not able to grow enough food and because they were absolutely dedicated to no exploitation of animals and no use of animal products; and no use of cotton because it was the product of slavery and they were staunch abolitionists. That left few options, no draft animals for hauling and farming; and flax-linen did not do well in winter to keep the families warm.

Fruitlands has a fascinating history in a delightfully scenic location. That can be explored and appreciated later. But when you get there you will simply want to get out and run. This is the place; this is the time!



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