The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on November 9, 2013 may be over, but if you like a good wine run, there’s always next year. Many races around the U.S. cater to grape guzzling runners.
In my column at The Washington Times Communities, I looked at races—from 5ks to marathons—in 11 states and one Canadian province aimed to please the wine connoisseur inside you. Many of them sell-out early, so put them on your calendar for next year.
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
November 2014 in Florida
This nighttime half marathon with a 10 p.m. start runs through Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom theme parks before finishing at Epcot, but the real draw is the Finish Line Party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Epcot stays open to 4 a.m. for runners, with music, Disney characters, and, of course, food and wine. Friends and family can buy tickets to the party too.
Race swag includes a technical shirt, $10 Disney gift card, a glass of beer, wine or soda, one of runDisney’s iconic finisher medals, and entrance to the Finish Line Party. The weekend also includes a 5K fun run and kids races. www.runDisney.com
September 2014 in Michigan
Perhaps the most creatively named, this weekend of races includes a 7-mile run, 5K run and 5K walk through the vineyard rows of Michigan’s Leelanau peninsula.
Following whichever wine run you choose, runners can opt into the Harvest Stompede Wine Tour, a self-guided outing among the 23 Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association member wineries, pairing local foods with their wines. Tastes range from bratwurst and sauerkraut paired with Riesling to strawberry shortcake paired with Pinot Noir.
Race registration and wine tour tickets are sold separately. www.lpwines.com
Wine Country Half Marathon Series
May to October 2014, North America
Six North American wine regions are the draw at these destinations races tailor-made for grape guzzlers in Virginia, Oregon, Santa Barbara, Calif., Healdsburg, Calif, Napa to Sonoma, Calif., and British Columbia in Canada.
The flagship wine run in the series is the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon on July 20, 2014. The fast course, with a net elevation drop of 77 feet, takes runners from Carneros to the Sonoma Plaza past acres of grapevines, ranches, and farms. The post-race UnitedHealthcare Wine and Music Festival includes 20 wineries and breweries. Runners take home the Riedel wine glass that comes with their complimentary tasting. Other race swag includes a technical shirt and finisher’s medal. Runners can also purchase tickets to wine tours, a pre-race dinner and a welcome reception at a local vineyard. destinationraces.com
Read more at The Washington Times Communities to find another wine run in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Arizona, Rhode Island and elsewhere.