Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wellington Cheese Festival 5K run

This post doesn't have to do with the farm directly but indirectly as it deals with farming, Wellington, and staying fit and healthy.

This past weekend (the 3rd weekend in July) Wellington had it annual Wellington Cheese Heritage Festival. You may be wondering what cheese has to do with Wellington. Well did you know that......

Wellington’s Cheese Heritage Festival celebrates our village’s history as the “Cheese Capital of America” back in the mid to late 1800s, when northern Ohio was prime dairy farm country and the railroad provided access to the larger world. At its peak, the Wellington’s cheese factories shipped over 6 million pounds of cheese around the world and during that time the town's population doubled to 2,210. Most of Wellington’s picturesque downtown and the grand Victorian homes on Main Street were built during its prosperous heyday when cheese-making was the major industry of southern Lorain County and many of the brick building were built to house the cheese. At one point in time, there were more than 40 factories converting milk into cheese in and near Wellington.

Wellington's most famous dairy cow was Molly Baun. Molly, a Holstein-Friesian cow, was purchased in Holland by Charles W. Horr, founder of Horr-Warner & Company, a leading manufacturer of cheese at the time. At three years old, Molly produced 17,000 pounds or 1,977 gallons of milk compared to the 3,000-5,000 pounds that other Wellington cows were producing. Everyone wanted a Molly Baun! She was the first purebred cattle in Ohio and was the start of the State’s breeding program. I think she was the first Holstein in the US and sadly this might of been the beginning of the mega-producing cows we see today.

It's kind of sad though, for as long as I can remember, there are now no cheese factories left in the area. How can you have sooo many then and have none now?!?! Not sure why as cheese is still a pretty popular item but it could be that when refrigeration came into being, there wasn't a need to preserve all the milk like they had to before then.

Some of the events that happen at the festival are:

-cheesecake bake-off with auction
-mac & cheese bake-off & an eating contest
-cornhole & Texas Hold 'Em tournaments
-Ohio wine tasting
-Colgate Country Showdown talent search
-live music/entertainment
-cheese and other booths
-5K/10K run

The boys decided a few months ago to start running to help get them into better shape....as they thought they were getting out of shape since they are now out of school and not playing sports like they use to. After starting, I mentioned to them that the cheese festival has a 5K so they decided to go for it and have been training since.

The race was Saturday morning at 8:30a. (I guess I won't be running in any 5K as that's way too early for me to be putting out that much effort--I was able to drag myself out of bed to see them run though.) They had check out times from last year and had been keeping track of their times while running so they thought they would do OK but today would be the first test. This was their first time ever doing any long race like this.

Both at the starting area (which was by the Middle School) getting ready. Nathan was stretching when I saw him but when I got close enough, he stopped.

'Lined up' and waiting for the say so to begin.

And their off

This picture was suppose to come later down the page...after the next 2 pictures.... but I realized later it was out of the line of events but by then it was too hard to fix...so I'm leaving it.
I took this while we (me & Jessica) waited for them to come into the stadium to finish.

Back to the race.... Here is Chad running by where Jessica was watching. You can see Nathan not too far behind.

Nathan finally gets closer. You can tell it's still at the beginning of the race as he's still got enough energy to smile for the pic.

Chad makes it onto the track first. He was one of the earlier ones to finish. I wanted to get a picture of him crossing the finish line but the camera was slow to cycle so I missed it. His time was 19.45. This was better than any time he had practiced.

Nathan makes it across a bit later. His time was better than he had practiced too. He didn't run beforehand as much as Chad (his lower legs can bother him some) but I also think Chad is a bit better built for longer distances.

Jessica (Nathan's personal cheerleader) with Nathan and Chad while they rest and wait to see if they get any of those prizes. Even though it was still early, it was starting to get hot and humid outside.

They didn't get any of those nice shiny things this time but did get a parting 'gift' of water and a cheese stick.....hay it's a cheese festival after all. They were both pleased with their times and are thinking of running again in the 5K in New London on Labor Day weekend. I'm glad they are out moving and keeping themselves fit and enjoying a sport together.

While I was uptown for the race, I decided to stop into the square to check out the sights of the festival and see what was happening.

They had t-shirts for sale. I thought about getting one but yellow isn't a good color on me so I just took a picture.

This is a shot of one end of 'booth row'. I know it looks like no one is at this thing and at this time, no one was. It was early and some were still setting up. The start was in a few hours.

Some of the things kids can enjoy.

Some of the things adults can enjoy. I wouldn't recommend enjoying this too much though.

They only had the tent up for the Wine Tasting and nothing else so no picture of that and not much else was happening as of yet so I went home.

If you missed it this year, hopefully next year you'll be able visit Wellington during it's cheese festival.

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