Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon

My friend Alice had the idea to sign up for this race. It was a half-marathon in wine country, starting in Dundee, OR, about 45 minutes from Portland. It was a spendy race, $85, but included wine-tasting after the event and a donation to several organizations (including a Newfoundland Rescue organization). Since Alice had gone along with me on several of my plans I thought I should go along with this one. Lee and Celeste also signed up so there were 4 of us on race day.

We headed down early, arriving in Dundee at 6:20 am. The race started at 7. This was perfect as it gave us a bit of time to use the facilities and relax for a minute or two before the race started. At 7 am the gun went off and we immediately set off up a steep hill. This would set the tone for the course. It was up one hill, then down, then up another hill. Right off the bat I got my heart rate up really high and felt cold and tingly until it went back down to a normal rate.



At the beginning I tried to stick with Alice, Lee, and Celeste but my legs were tired from the previous day's run so I dropped back a bit. In short order we went from pavement to gravel to dirt road. We ran through a vineyard, up and down some more hills, more gravel roads. I was cursing Alice's name with every step. Gravel is my least favorite surface to run on. I had worn my racing flats today but they didn't seem to be any more comfortable the Crocs. There were times when the road surface felt like spiky shards of glass.

About the 6 mile mark I pulled back up to the group. Alice and I ran together for a bit before she got ahead of me. Celeste and Lee dropped back as Lee's knee began to give him trouble. I was happy to see each mile tick off as I was just not feeling the race today. I could see Alice bobbing along ahead of me but didn't have the energy to try to reel her in. We passed the 12 mile mark and I was happy to be heading for the finish. There was a good hill right at the end, a tight turn, and then a downhill to the finish. I passed by Janet and Jazzy who cheered me on. I turned a last corner and realized I had just finished the race - it was a bit of a strange ending.

Post-race: Janet, Jazzy, Lee, Celeste, Alice and me.
I was happy to be done. I found Alice and we met up with Janet & Jazzy. Five minutes or so later Celeste and Lee finished. We grabbed our wine glasses and headed to the food tent. They did have quite the spread of food - strawberries, bananas, brie, brownies, almonds, croissants, and bread. Then there were at least 20 wineries there pouring tastes of wine. I only sampled two - I felt my body really needed water more than wine at this point.

Overall an OK race but probably not one I would do again. The event organizer's truly did an excellent job and put together a good race, but I just didn't overly enjoy the course.

Official time - 1:57:24
Stats: Overall - 150/1096; Gender - 46/772; Division - 8/130






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