Getting ready for a relay used to mean packing, planning, and … a whole of preparation. Don’t get me wrong, I still had a blast at the 2019 Wild Rogue Relay, but Gorgeous Relays’ one-day relays have really spoiled me. With a job and two kids, plus ORRC and Run Oregon work, I prefer free-range relays. So I’m pretty amped for the 2019 Gorgeous Wine Relay coming up this Sunday and sending us on a 47-mile trek peppered with wineries. This year, we’re visiting Argyle Winery, Knudsen Vineyards, Torii Mor Winery, Dobbes Family Estate, Monks Gate Vineyard, Stoller Family Estate, and The Carlton Winemakers Studio.
The distances of the legs is shorter than your usual overnight relay, and since you don’t need to try and sleep anywhere, the amount of gear you have to pack in the vehicle is considerably less. Heck, you can even wear the same clothes the entire time if you want to. And you’re done in a much shorter amount of time, making it easier to plan your food and bathroom situation, still giving you a bit of a weekend, and offering grandma & grandpa just enough time with the grandkids before they see how whiny your kids really are.
If you want to run, you can still try to get on a team – or set one up from the list of folks trying to get on a team! I will tell you from experience that relays with strangers is just as fun as a relay with friends … in some ways, more fun!
The relay starts in Dundee and visits or runs past Carlton, Yamhill, and Dundee, plus many miles through wine country. The Run Oregon team starts at 8:15a, so we’re all meeting up in King City at 7a for some Starbucks and a leisurely drive to the start.
I mentioned earlier that I’ve got enough on my to-do list without needing to add a lot of relay prep, so my teams for the relays in the Gorgeous Series are run like this:
- Find five friends who aren’t busy that day and also value fun over fast when it comes to relays
- See if anyone has specific leg requests (ie, coming back from injury or training for a specific race so they want the longer/hillier legs)
- Meet and drive to the relay
- Throw everyone’s ID into a hat and draw who will run the first leg
- Start relay, get to the first exchange
- Throw everyone else’s ID into the hat and draw who will run the second leg
- Start leg 2, get to the second exchange
- Throw the ID of everyone not currently running into the hat and draw for the third leg
And so on. Aside from one team member training for a specific race who requested legs 4/8 (the hardest legs), we’ll all just see what fate brings with each draw from the hat. Most of us will run just two legs, but there’s a few people who might tack on an extra leg or two, so we’ll have two runners on the road for those legs.
There are a few legs under 3 miles, and a few over 5 miles, but only a few with considerable elevation gain. That makes it a pretty chill relay – no one person has anything worth really stressing out about. I mean, it might be hot (but again, 3-5 miles) and sunny (but you won’t have to reapply during your leg, and hats and sunglasses are things), but overall Gorgeous Relays are designed for all runners to have a great race.
If you’ll be there, be sure to say hi and tag us on Insta with your race photos!