I am definitely not a stranger to running half marathons, especially in the Portland Metro area. I have run in many events over the years, but have never signed up and ran Fueled by Fine Wine half marathon. This event featured some of my favorite things, running, wine, and wine. How could I not sign up and race?
I was not able to pick up my race packet until the day of the race. Usually, this can be a problem, as lines can be excessive. However, this was not the case here – I was able to walk right up to the front and get my race items. Along with the race entry, participants also received a fitted V-neck tee from Adidas, an etched 21oz wine glass, swag bag, finishers medal, and all the wine tastings you can drink from some of the wineries in the area. Score!
The day started out with sunny, clear skies, but you could tell, it was going to be a hot day! Thankfully, the race started at 7:00 am, so we could beat the heat. The race organization was top notch, with several emails being sent prior to the race with helpful tips and information on the race and course. There was also easy parking, post race goodies and, of course, delicious wine. For obvious reasons, this race is very difficult to PR, and that’s true – it is an extrelely challenging cours. However, the after party was well worth it.
I am not going to sugar coat this course. They were not lying, when they said it was a challenging course. In fact, this was the hardest half marathon I have ever run. That being said, it was also the most beautiful. To say it was scenic is a definite understatement – the course had some of the most beautiful views and featured rare access to 10 of Oregon’s most prestigious vineyards and wineries. The terrain was a mix of rolling country hills, road, trail and gravel roads. There are a parts of the course where you run on the red soil in the vineyards, surrounded by grapevines. There were also several aid stations along the route and many volunteers cheering you on.
Once crossing the finish line, I was immediately handed a finishers medal and a bottle of water (gotta hydrate before wine tasting). Near the finish line, they had a large tent for runners to enjoy snacks and goodies, and another tent for the wine tastings. There were so many options for participants to choose from of recovery snacks – bagels, cookies, croissants, peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, pizza, grapes, apples, oranges, and cheese.
After refueling, I received my 21 oz wine glass and headed to taste the wine. They had 25 different wineries, featuring several wines from each one. They had a variety of wine to taste, from Pinot Noir to Rose. Every wine I tasted was delicious!
Although having a challenging course, I ended up running a 1:52:00 and placing 38th out of 786 runners, 9th female, and 2nd in my age group. I highly recommend running Fueled by Fine Wine, not only for the wine, but the amazing scenic course!
Registration typically opens in October, so keep this on the radar for 2019. If you haven’t participated before – and even if you have – this is one of the best Oregon has to offer!