Will Run For Wine: Wine Themed Races Around the Country
There is nothing quite like being in a community of like-minded runners who love the thrill and anticipation of race day. Racing is something to be proud of, and pushing ourselves physically to our limits can be the very best form of self-confidence. But races that culminate with an after party that features wine? Well, that just takes on a whole new level of awesome. (Not to mention, knowing there is a glass of chardonnay waiting for us at the finish line might be the incentive we need to keep on keepin’ on during those tough miles!)
1. Water to Wine Half Marathon – Fulton, California
Let’s start with races found in the very best grape-growing region of the country: Sonoma Wine Country in California. Thousands of racers head out to Fulton, California in late summer for the chance to run through three different wineries: the Kendall Jackson Winery, La Crema Winery and Saralee Winery. (And when we say you are running through the wineries, we literally mean it; the race course actually wines through the vineyards!) This is also a great half marathon option for new runners because the course is a fast one. And because, obviously, there is wine. Water to Wine is part of the three half marathons in the Run Wine Country series if you are looking to get medals from all three races (and earn your custom labeled bottle of wine!)
2. Windsor Green Half Marathon – Santa Rosa, California
The second half marathon in the Run Wine Country Series, the Windsor Green Half, takes runners through breathtaking Northern California countryside. This race is in late spring before the heat really hits, so running conditions are typically pretty great. Not to mention, this area of California boasts some of the countries best artisan goodies, like chocolates, breads, and cheeses, which will pair excellently with your post-race glass of red!
3. Healdsburg Half Marathon – Healdsburg, California
Rounding out the Run Wine Country Series is the Healdsburg Half in October, just an hour north of San Francisco. The race route winds through a beautiful part of the city featuring old homes and quaint residential neighborhoods and then turns out onto more rural roads that run alongside dozens of wineries. And the post-race festival is one of the best, with Sonoma County wine and beer tasting (enjoyed out of your custom logoed stemless wine glass), delicious food from local vendors, and live music. This festival is so good that tickets are actually sold to the general public even if they aren’t racing!
4. Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon – Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Disney is known for a lot of things, including putting on some of the country’s best and most fun races – and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon certainly doesn’t disappoint. It draws over 10,000 race participants each year, likely because of the over-the-top, all night post-race celebration and the fact that this race actually takes place at night, as runners run through three Disney theme parks. Start at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and then run through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and finish in EPCOT where runners get treated to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival featuring wine tastings and culinary samplings from chefs from all over the world. However, this race sells out FAST, so you’ll need to be on your game if you want to register.
5. Wineglass Marathon and Half Marathon – Corning, New York
Head to the northeast to New York state’s Finger Lakes wine region in the fall to enjoy the breathtaking changing leaves, crisp temperatures, and the Wineglass Marathon. The course is largely flat and downhill, so it draws a crowd from elite runners to runners just wanting to enjoy the wine-filled weekend. Runners love the scenic route, the quaintness of the city of Corning, and the celebratory swag bag which features a wine glass, bottle of champagne, and handmade glass race medal.
6. Enchanted Forest Wine Run – Grants Pass, Oregon
Southern Oregon is home to some beautiful rolling hills, calming forested regions, and excellent vineyards, making it the perfect host for a wine themed run. Runners are encouraged to dress up in their very best “enchanted” attire, so spectators enjoy seeing fairies and “tree people” frolicking along the course! Everyone ends at the post-race party where awards are given out for the best costumes and where racers and their guests can enjoy music, food, and wine.
7. Wicked Wine Run Series – Various cities across the United States
From Texas to Nebraska to Oregon and Missouri, chances are there is a Wicked Wine run near you. The Wicked Wine Run is hosted by wineries around the U.S. who want to draw a crowd of runners to enjoy a day of cardio and Cabernet. For each Wicked Wine Run, there are 5k and 1k “Fun Run” options, making this a really great intro for new runners into the world of racing. And everyone is invited to the post race party with food trucks, a live band, and of course, plenty of wine to go around!