Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wine Country Run Race Report

Our wine weekend started with a trip to the race expo on Saturday afternoon. There wasn't much to see and no race kit or free samples, but we each took home a pair of etched wine glasses, which was a pretty sweet deal. We took advantage of being in wine country and drove into Niagara-on-the-Lake for lunch on a patio. We also stopped by the Hillebrand Winery for a tasting.



After making the hour and thirty minute trek home, we spent the evening wining and dining at our friends' house. We pretty much broke every pre-race rule there is - ate a lot of junk food, drank copious amounts of wine and stayed up too late. We stumbled into bed around midnight, knowing we'd have to be up early to drive into Niagara.

We all felt surprisingly okay this morning as we woke up to a beautiful sunny day made our way back to wine country. We arrived at the designated area in plenty of time to pick up our chips, get organized and attach our "props".


(You'll have to look closely.)



We caught the shuttle to the start line, just 10 minutes or so up the road at the Malivoire Winery where we had about an hour to relax before the start. We enjoyed the scenery and used the time to discuss race strategies wine consumption strategies. It was hot and sunny and we were all relieved to have decided against the half marathon and settled on the 10K.

Soon enough it was time to head down the road about 400m to the starting line. We were stoked and ready to go. And we were off! First stop: Malivoire Winery! Yep, we were already stopping for wine within the first moments of the race. We had to make a pretty significant detour off the route and run all the way up the driveway into the winery for our tasting. Most people ran right by and in fact, we were the first people in there. We were not missing out on any tasting opportunities! *The Malivoire Chardonnay Musqué turned out to be our favourite and we actually drove back to the winery after the race to pick up a couple bottles.*

After sampling a white AND red, we were back on the road. The route was absolutely beautiful with vineyards lining both sides of the road. It certainly wasn't an easy course and it wasn't long before we hit the first monstrous hill.


And it wasn't going to be the last...



We continued on our merry way and pretty soon it was time for our next tasting! The Tawes Winery had some incredible landscaping and this time I sampled a rosé.




Immediately after Tawes, we faced our next major uphill. This one was a killer.

But soon enough, we were rewarded with more wine: Vineland Estates was up next.



And then, you guessed it, another hill.




I was ex-haus-ted and sweating like crazy. Not to mention, feeling a little tipsy. It's amazing how quickly a few sips of wine will go to your head when you're running!

Next stop was Featherstone Estate Winery for some more cool and refreshing white.




Shortly thereafter, we headed into the Ball's Falls Conservation Area for some much-needed shade... and yes, more wine! This one was just set up on the side of the road and I have no idea what kind of wine it was. Oops!









Pretty soon we were heading into the finishing chute and the 4 of us tried to do some crazy jumping thing as we crossed the line - it will be interesting to see how/if that turns out.

1:12:31
Overall: 176/422
F25-29: 21/30
# of wine stops: 5


It was a personal worst by a long shot, but not too bad considering all the stops, alcohol consumption, the difficult course and hot day. It was by far the most fun I have EVER had in a race and this will definitely be a tradition. What a weekend!



Thanks for reading this long-winded report and I apologize if it was incoherent - but, well, I'm sure you'll understand why. Cheers!

37 comments:

Jenn said...

That sounds like SO MUCH FUN! I am totally going to try it next year.
I wonder how many stops they manage to fit into the half? Hehe.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Haha!!! Sounds great for you, i remember seeing those stickers at the expo!! Love it. I'm sure you will sleep just fine tonight ;)

Fair Weather Runner said...

OMG all i can say is that i need to get myself up to canada for some races, they sound SO much more fun than the ones we have here ;)

Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

Marlene that's the funniest race report I've ever met! How hilarious, and is there anywhere that does a "will run for chocolate" race? :)

KongoOtto´s wild running said...

Sounds great. Reminds me of a famous european race in france: www.marathondumedoc.com and another one in a german wine region: www.marathon-deutsche-weinstrasse.de
Enjoy the wine

Zorbs said...

I believe the wine near Balls Falls was Henry of Pelham.

lindsay said...

excellent run! how could they bypass a wine stop? shame shame. sounds like such a fun time although i have such a low tolerance i don't know if i would have made it to the finish line ;)

Road Warrior said...

wine tasting with a side of 10K. I love it!

joyRuN said...

HOW FUN!!! I need to try one of those soon :) Sounds totally & completely awesome.

Toni said...

Sounds like fun! I don't know if I could finish after 5 wine stops, congrats!

Stephanie Nichole said...

OMG! I'm SO jealous! Good job that looks awesome.

Denise said...

that is my kind of race!! Seriously, I need to look into this. You look like you're having so much fun!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

How fun - you find all the fun events!

D10 said...

Looks like you guys had a blast! I think I would have passed out before the race finished! Great job and fun pictures.

trialsoftraining said...

this was one of my favorite race reports to read!! LOVE the pictures and the "props" you wore! I can only imagine how fast that alcohol travels through the veins while you're running, ha, I might have to look into this race for next summer! ;)

Jess said...

The time may have been a personal worst, but the pics show a great time!

MCM Mama said...

What fun! That sounds like a race I'd love to do! And, woohoo, I finally got around to "following" you and I'm your 100th follower!

littlesack said...

This sounds like SO much fun and I am so glad you had so much fun! I am definetly going to look into something like this in my area. (and yes, it is crazy how a little bit of alcohol gets to you while exercising- during my alumni game all the alumni drink and it is diffuclt playing soccer with alcohol swishing around in your tummy).

RunningLaur said...

Wow that's one tough course! Hooray wine!!!

Marky Mark said...

You clearly took the right approach to this event! We enjoyed it a lot including the wine afterwards. I'm wondering what yhey decide to do next year-11am was a bit of a late and hot start time, especially for the halvers--but you can't serve wine before then.

The wine glases are great!

X-Country2 said...

This is the greatest race in the world. Seriously.

Runner Leana said...

Marlene, the race sounds like so much fun! I think that 1:12 to run a 10K plus stop for 5 tastings is actually a really good time! Nicely done. I wish I lived closer since it would be a blast to do this race one day.

JenZen said...

What a fun, fun race!!! Loved all the pics and the props are too cute. All those wine stops - I'd be lucky to just finish. I'd probably be stumbling across the finish line. :) Looks like loads of fun.

Bruce said...

Great race! Beats my beer during a 5K race.

Chic Runner said...

That sounds like so much fun but I would for sure be dunzo after only like 2 tastes. :) I can't even imagine drinking and running at the same time! Glad you had fun though! Looks like they have quite the swag too! I'm jealous.

Heather said...

That sounds so fun! I probably would have gotten sick drinking that wine and running. :)

J said...

I can't imagine the feeling of running and drinking wine! Sounds like a great time. While in Florida we went wine tasting and the guy pouring the wine made fun of me because in the beginning I was standing straight up but at the end I was slumped over and was really feeling the wine! Total light weight cause of running! lol

Sounds like a great race!

Christy said...

How fun!!!!

yumke said...

Wow, drinking on the run! Love it.

Brian said...

That looks so fun, what an adventure! Best of both worlds, haah

Amanda said...

I love it!! You guys are so cute. That race sounds like a blast, just taking your time and tasting wine. How fun!!

Jamie said...

Seriously that is the best race ever! Sign me up for next year :) Pics are awesome too.

TNTcoach Ken said...

I'm not a wine drinker and I would love to do something like that!

M-Rah said...

Ahhh! That run looks like so much fun! My sisters and I might have to check this one out next year!!!!!! :)

Veggie Runnr said...

Looks like you had a ton of fun! This sounds like such a great time. I'm not very far from wine country so I'm definitely going to check out this run for next year!

aron said...

omgosh sooooo much fun!!!

macnic said...

This? Is awesome! I must add it to my list for 2010!