Race Preview: Vineyards Marathon, Grapes of Half and 5k 5/16 – 5/17/2015 (Eugene, Oregon)

Pink Buffalo Racing presents a weekend of racing - wine country style. On Saturday, May 16, a 5k race will take place. On Sunday, May 17, participants may choose to run the marathon or the half marathon. Running and wine. I’m sort of a broken record when it comes to these two things; I thoroughly enjoy

Pink Buffalo Racing presents the Vineyards Marathon Grapes of Half and 5k event 5/16 - 5/17/2015 in Eugene, Oregon

Pink Buffalo Racing presents the Vineyards Marathon Grapes of Half and 5k event 5/16 - 5/17/2015 in Eugene, Oregon

them both. Pink Buffalo Racing started the wine country extravaganza a couple of years again by hosting the Grapes of Half race. Me, and past Run Oregon Blogger Maryalicia, were both in attendance at the inaugural race. Last year, the marathon distance was added. New this year, a 5k race has been added to the line-up. I was very excited to see the addition of the 5k on Saturday, as races that provide a weekend line-up are first on my radar; two races in two days without extra travel – I love it!

Let’s start with the newly added 5k, which will take place on Saturday, May 16. This chip timed 5k will begin at Sweet Cheeks Winery. The race will take participants down the beautiful (yet a little steep) access road away from Sweet Cheeks Winery, and onto Briggs Hill Road. At approximately the 1.5 mile mark, participants will make the turnaround, and follows Briggs Hill Road back to the finish line, which is at Silvan Ridge Winery.

All finishers of the 5k will receive a beautiful event wine glass, and those 21+ will receive a wine ticket to receive a complimentary pour at Sweet Cheeks Winery and Silvan Ridge Winery. Additionally, to really take in all of Eugene’s spectacular wines, head over to Nobel Estate Winery, as 5k participants will receive complimentary wine tasting. Nobel Estate Winery is a short drive from Silvan Ridge Winery. And, not to be forgotten, age group awards will be presented to the top 3 finishers, male and female, in each age group. Being a wine club member at Silvan Ridge Winery, I am excited that the 5k event finishes here, so I can cross the finish line and be-bop over to collect some post-race refreshment. Post race refreshments will be provided by Nellie’s Grill.

Now, for those participating in either the marathon or the half marathon on Sunday, May 18, here is what you have in store for your fantastic excursion. Let’s start with the marathon. Marathon participants will begin their race at 8 a.m. on Territorial Highway. Shuttles will be taking participants to their respective start line, so park at Sweet Cheeks Winery or Silvan Ridge Winery, and catch the shuttle. Please be advised, there is not parking available at the start line of the marathon or half marathon, so pick your winery, park your car, and hop the shuttle.

The marathon course will showcase some of the beautiful fields, farm land, and – you guessed it – wineries in Eugene. Keep your eyes peeled for farm animals, too – they are great at cheering runners on. Once the shuttle drops you at the start line off Territorial Highway, you’ll quickly zip onto Lorane Highway, and hit aid station 1 at the two mile mark. You’ll follow Lorane Highway onto Bailey Hill Road until 11-ish miles into the course, and then you’ll turn onto Gimpl Hill Road, which will take you past Noble Estate Winery. After passing the 7th aid station near mile 16, you’ll make a quick turn onto Pine Grove Road, then shoot onto Erickson Road. After a couple of miles on Erickson Road, you will turn left onto Crow Road, where aid station 8 will await you near the 19 mile mark. Doane Road is up next, and there are some legit rollers on this road, so be ready! Just prior to the 23 mile mark, you’ll zip onto Territorial Highway again to get to Briggs Hill Road. A quick zip up to the top of Silvan Ridge Winery, then down the hill to exit the winery, across Briggs Hill Road, and up the entry path to Sweet Cheeks to your finish line. The hill at Sweet Cheeks is pretty impressive, too, so you’ll earn that finish line wine, no doubt about it.

The marathon has a total of 11 aid stations which will have water, Gatorade, gels and first aid assistance. Four of the aid stations will have porta-potties. The course closes in 7 hours, so participants selecting the marathon distance should be able to complete miles in 16 minutes or less – and note – hills! Oh, don’t forget to check out the course video for a snap-shot of what you’ll see out there, too.

Alright, now for the half marathon! The half marathon course will be open for 4 hours, so this event is more walker friendly. 4 hours allows for an 18 minute per mile pace overall, but again, remember – hills!

The half marathon begins at 10 a.m. Park at Sweet Cheeks or Silvan Ridge, catch the shuttle, and be whisked off to the start line at Noble Estate Vineyard. The half marathon course is the same as the last ~13 miles of the marathon course, so you’ll be sharing the half marathon course with marathoners. Aid stations along the half marathon route will total 6, and porta-potties will be available at two of the aid stations. Aid stations are stocked with water, Gatorade, gels and first aid. The half marathon tours Silvan Ridge Winery prior to the finish at Sweet Cheeks Winery, just as the marathon course. You’ll earn your wine climbing the Sweet Cheeks hill, too.

All finishers of the marathon and half marathon will receive a delightful event wine glass and a finisher medal. For those 21+, you’ll receive wine tickets to use at each winery for a complimentary tasting. And, age group awards for both distances will be given to the top three male and female finishers in each age group. Post race refreshments for the half and full marathon will be provided by Sporks A La Cart. And – live music at Sweet Cheeks and Silvan Ridge on Sunday for half and marathon finishers!

If, like me, you are a wine club member at Silvan Ridge, Sweet Cheeks and/or Noble Estate Winery, contact them to ask for your wine club member $5 discount code to register. Also, in a friendly competition, the three wineries are battling it out to see which winery has the fastest runner, and which winery brings in the most participants. When registering, designate which winery you want to “represent”.

If traveling from out of town for any of the weekend events, the Holiday Inn at 919 Kruse Way in Springfield is offering $129 per night rate, including a pasta dinner for two; this rate expires May 1.

I’ll be at the 5k on Saturday, May 16 “representing” Silvan Ridge Winery! I hope to see lots of runners, walkers and wine lovers out there!

Date: Saturday, May 16 & Sunday, May 17, 2015
Distance: 5k on May 16, Marathon and Half Marathon on May 17.
State Time: 10 a.m. for the 5k on May 16; 8 a.m. for Marathon on May 17; 10 a.m. for Half Marathon on May 17.
Cost: 5k is $25 through 5/15; Marathon is $99 through 5/16; Half Marathon is $65 through 5/16. Silvan Ridge, Sweet Cheeks and Noble Estate wine club members receive $5 off, contact your winery for code. $5 off for those 17 and under or 60+ when registering.
Register: Click here to register.


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