|Welcome to the latest series of Super, Neighbours blog posts where we highlight incredible travel destinations in British Columbia!|
We're back with another post, this time from the run itself - the Half Corked Marathon!
(Sorry for the delay/suspense, it's a busy summer!)
We woke up bright and early, (hello 6am!) donned our gear (thanks to Nike Canada for my awesome Free Flyknit 4.0's, without which, I would have been running in skate shoes!), and ate a hearty breakfast in the Spirit Ridge Lodge.
The media gang and I jumped in the shuttle and headed for the starting line at Hester Creek Winery. We were welcomed by an incredible assortment of costumes by the runners who, despite the early hour, were raring to go! Check out a few of the costumes below:
The countdown was on and the runners were off, out to tackle an 18km run through some spectacular scenery, and of course to sample some delicious wine.
There were 14 winery stops along the way, the first of which was Inniskillin Winery, which was immediately followed up with the costume judging station, where teams could show off their looks.
Road 13 Winery was the second stop, and the wine sample was greatly required (as the winery sits at the top of a long hill) and they also had a fun ringtoss game for prizes.
The path curved around some winding back hills and roads, and locals were treated to quite a spectacle jogging by...
Next up was Rustico Winery who even had horses and donkeys out to welcome the runners, as well as wieners and wine and some shade to hide in, if only momentarily.
There was a long gap, with some gruelling work to get from Rustico to Church & State Winery, crossing from one side of the highway to the other, but the treats and vino made the trek worth it.
Silver Sage Winery was having a PARTY! I think more than a few people chose to end their race there. With shade, fruit and cheese, popsicles (yay!), and all of the wines out for sample, it was by far the busiest stop on the run.
That said, I don't like quitting. And I haven't even pointed out that I did this run while carrying about 12 more pounds of camera around my neck!
I'm super glad that I pushed onward to the next winery because it was my favourite stop. Stoneboat Vineyards had bubbly! As well as this awesome slushee made with white wine, a nice cold shower-head to dunk your (very) warm head into, and snacks. I made sure to come back the next day to buy a bottle of the brut.
A quick run through the vineyards themselves, around a corner, and up a hill, and we were already at Oliver Twist winery. There were some classic cars out on display and another sip of wine before everyone headed out again.
The last long stretch of the journey was on one long road with wineries under tents at different intervals, this was what was waiting to greet me at the Tinhorn Creek booth...super cute children cheering me on with water awaiting before some delicious sangria and gazpacho:
After that I fell in behind two girls dresses as minions, which was highly amusing to run behind, and then they blew past me after the stop at the Desert Hills tent.
I was looking forward to the Nk'Mip Winery stop as I had sampled some of their wines at the Spirit Ridge Resort (they're located in the same spot) already, and was ready to try some more.
River Stone was a great stop, the made a spritzer out of their wine with a slice of cucumber, which was incredibly refreshing after running in the sun for so long. AND they had a splash zone where you could win a discount on their wines. Yes please!
It was around this time that I started forgetting to take photos with my SLR when I made my stops, I was so close to the end! The final three wineries were Platinum Bench, Maverick and Quinta Ferreira. I have a few, including one of the "Ice Swine" couple, which was pretty hilarious, and I did remember to instagram a few: here is the wine at Platinum Bench, at Maverick, and at Quinta.
I was definitely hitting my exhaustion point, but there is something about knowing how close you are to the end, that just pushes you to keep going.
FINISHED! According to the clock at the end, I managed to walk/jog 18km in four and a half hours. I was pretty impressed since I wasn't a runner, but I was wiped out. Totally worth it though...the gorgeous views, hilarious costumes (more below), and tasty wines, it's a unique event, that's for sure. Not your ordinary marathon.
Below are the ladies of Global TV squaring off against (winning costume) The Channel 4 news team.
Thanks so much to the Oliver-Osoyoos Winery Association for having me on this wild ride. Hopefully I can come back again next year, maybe with a costume, and a little more sunscreen.