Volunteers will direct you to the parking area and then you can head on up to the starting line. Porta-potties are provided after that long drive, and you’ll be close enough to your vehicle to do your own bag drop. Bring some extra cash for the raffle, which always has amazing prizes including athletic gear, hanging baskets for your patio, gift certificates to local restaurants, jams and jellies from local farmers, and of course, wine.
Be ready to watch the kid’s mile, starting at 9:45a. The kids run starts out at the top of the hill, runs down to the first row of vines, and then loops back around to get the distance. They’ll finish the same way you will – up the hill – so if you don’t have a mini-me in the race, you can station yourself mid-way up the hill for some much-appreciated encouragement. With kids, and some adults, just hearing “You can do it!” is all they need to finish strong.
The 5k will start after the kids run, at 10a. The 5k also starts out downhill, but before you know it you’ll be climbing. This section of the course is definitely cross-country. Uneven footing on dirt and grass might not be your cup of tea, but I love the challenge. I have seen runners participate in this with a rugged running stroller, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless your kiddo is very used to the running stroller and won’t get hurt with the jostling. It is highly likely you’ll see a lot of people walking in this first mile; but don’t despair, you can make up the time on the other side.
Around the mile mark, you’ll top out (mainly) on the elevation and enjoy a flat respite before reaching the water station that’s been on the top of the hill in years past. Then it’s all downhill – in a good way – until the last little bit. I’d say the downhill section is at least a half mile on packed gravel/asphalt before you take a left back onto a well-maintained road and can open up for the last mile to the finish.
Remember there’s a short, steep incline to the finish, which is directly in front of the tasting room – so save just a little bit as you round the building.
Post race, listen for your numbers in the raffle and enjoy the free wine tasting for all participants 21+. I also highly appreciate that participants save 20% on any wine they purchase to take home that day – and highly recommend the Tempranillo.
Sadly, I’ll be running a relay that day, but this one is on my short list every year! Here are the vitals:
When: Saturday, May 31, 2014
What time: Kids race at 9:45a, 5k at 10a
Where: Stoller Vineyards at 16161 NE McDougall Rd, Dayton, Ore.
Register: Online here for the 5k for $20 or the Kids Mile for $5