Even the most devoted runners can apologize for not making it to the gym. Many of us need a real motivator to take to the streets (beyond the obvious benefits of being in shape), and yes, sometimes that motivation comes in the form of alcohol.
Enter: the wine run. Wineries around the world have found a way to combine two of the best things in the world by running vineyard races, followed by a fiery after party. Mix the excitement of a race with a scenic wine landscape and an excuse to travel. It is a trifect of reasons to get in shape. Oh yes, and did we mention that you can drink wine ?
If you're looking for race motives this year, read on ̵
Wicked Wine Run: Fredricksburg, Texas
The Wicked Wine Run calls itself "the Race with drinking problems "and hosts 5k and 1-miler wineries across the country. Cities include Portland, Austin and Phoenix, but a fan favorite is Fredricksburg, Texas. The quaint German city center is just over an hour from San Antonio or Austin and offers charming B & Bs, shops and restaurants in the heart of Texas Hill Country. The Wicked Wine Run takes place at Hye Meadow Winery, surrounded by many other notable wineries that put Texas wine on the menu.
Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon: Napa and Sonoma, California
Are you Team Napa or Team Sonoma? You do not have to decide when you run this half-marathon, which starts in Sonoma and winds its way through vineyards to land in Napa. Runners enjoy spectacular views of the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Preserve, the San Pablo Bay, Mt. Tamalpais and hundreds of acres of vineyards dotted with wineries. The run cooperates with dozens of territorial cellars such as Cline and Ravenswood and attracts runners from all 50 states and around the world.
Half Corked Marathon 18K: British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia's Oliver Osoyoos wine region is known for its robust reds, spicy white wines, and beautiful scenery. Half Corked Marathon is an absolute stunner. There are a dozen refreshment stations throughout the course where slushies, sangria and other sweets are hewn. At a party at the finish, you can also drink more local wines, listen to live music and laugh at food trucks. Note that this is an untimed race and registration is due to its popularity with a lottery system.
Maraton Du Medoc: Bordeaux, France
OK, so this race is not a marathon but an 18km run. However, running is so much fun that you hardly think about the distance. The Maraton du Medoc is in its 34th year one of the most impressive wine bars in the world. Each year, the race has a theme (2018 was "Super Heroes" and 2017 "Vinyl Records"), which has turned the event from an insider secret to an international one. The course meanders through the hilly countryside of Bordeaux with tastings of food such as steak, oysters and cheese. and wine from people like Chateau Lafite Rothschild every mile. Oui, s'il vous plaît!
Oak Run: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Walk through the breathtaking oaks of the Oregon Wine Country along the gravel and trails of Run for the Oaks. The route leads through the winery's wineries to the finish line in Left Coast Cellars, where award-winning wines are anticipated at a post-race celebration. Runners can opt for a 5km or 10km course. The proceeds from the race, the sale of food and the wine on race day will benefit the Oak Savanna Restoration Project, the extension project of the winery and the oak conservation project. Save the trees, save the wine – sounds like a win-win situation, if you ask us.
Cricova wine stream: Chişinău, Moldova
This 10K is one of the most unique: it takes place in the second largest wine cellar in the world in Chişinău, the capital of Moldova. The huge maze of streets (yes, they are so big that you can drive through them with a car) has been dug up to break limestone for city buildings and to store wine from the 1950s. Three hundred and thirty feet underground, the cellars house 1.25 million bottles of rare wine from 1902. Participants from all over the world rush through the tunnels, where traditional dance troupes and musicians cheer them on, followed by a fire with Moldovan food and mulled wine.
Walking among the Vines: Ann Arbor, Michigan
When it comes to drinking and running, Michigan knows what's going on. The state's Thirsty Three series includes Hightail to Ale (a beer race), Scrumpy Skedaddle (a hard cider vine) and of course the vino-centered running between the vines.
Just 20 miles outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Running Between the Vines offers an option for 5 km, 10 km and half marathon to drive through the vineyards of Sandhill Crane. The party at the end combines wine, cheese and chocolate with live music.
Winery Running Festival: Hunter Valley, Australia
Want to involve the whole family? The Winery Running Festival in the Hunter Valley, Australia, is a collection of races for each runner type – including children's races and a moon marathon for relay teams taking place under the stars. Following the race, the Hunter Valley's world-famous vineyards host a local product exhibition and family-friendly entertainment.
German Wine Route Marathon: Bockenheim, Germany