Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Harvest Wine Run Recap

When I got the email, about the first ever, Harvest Wine Run in Newport, I thought it looked cool, but I deleted the message.  This race was a 3.5 mile trail run through the Newport Vineyard.  At the finish, you get a wine glass that you then used for a wine tasting and dinner.  I had another race on my radar which I was sure I would be doing.

After a few days, I got an email from a friend who wanted to do it and was trying to get our little group together. Before the day was over, there were seven of us running and two coming just for the wine and the food.  Perfect ladies night out!

The race was supposed to start at 3pm.  We planned on a meeting spot and just took two cars.

This race was not cheap.  A VIP registration, which got you the race, wine tasting, food, on site parking, wine glass and a shirt, was $70!  Did I mention it was just 3.5 miles?  Two of us purchased the VIP pass so that we could park on site.

Just an FYI, I ran a half marathon that was less money, $45, and my full marathon coming up was only $15 more than the Harvest Wine Run.  Just saying...

The on site parking was nice because there wasn't a gear check.  I personally think if you can't park on site and have to be shuttled to a race, which has an after party, you should have a gear check.  It got a little chilly after the race and it was nice to be able to get our sweatshirts.

We did packet pick up the day of the race.  The line wasn't so bad when we got in it and we moved at an ok pace, however, that would of went much faster if they had more than two people working the tent.  Once 2:15 hit the line was so long and barely moving.  Yes, the race started just a little late as they waited for everyone to be checked in.

So what did we get in our swag bag?  Nothing, no bag, not even coupons or advertisements for upcoming races.  I like the shirt though, which you only got with the VIP.  Great design, nice colors and it fits well. You could of purchased one for an extra $25.  Oh wait, I am sorry. We got one coupon in our wine glass for $5 off $100 in their store.  Really!?

Once we pinned on our numbers, we headed to the port-a-potties.  Guess what? They only had two. Yes, two potties for 369 runners, not to mention the people there just for the wine tasting and food.

The upside, was that is was a beautiful day and the vineyard is very pretty.  I was with some of my best friends, and that is what matters most.

We lined up and the gun went off.

As I mentioned above, this was a trail race.  Grass, dirt, potholes, rocks, etc., I knew I had to be careful.

I stayed with MB, Bridget, Kathy and Tara for the beginning of the race.  Bethany and MB's mom who we loving call Gemo, took off.

I loved running and chatting with the girls.  It is one of my favorite things about running.  We laughed so much and I was smiling the whole time.  Well, smiling until I stepped into my first pothole.  Yeah, I did that twice.

My calves were hurting a bit and I realized my shoes were not tied tight enough. Why that was, I will never know, but I did have to take a minute and retie then. Once I did that, my race changed for the better.

Even though I felt better after fixing my laces, I have decided that trail racing is not for me.  I didn't like the unevenness of the trail and the grass just slows you down.  In the last half mile, I just wanted to be done. I ran my fastest here.

I crossed the line in 40:57 and was a little disappointed that I was over 40 minutes.  Looking at my Garmin though, it shows my moving time as 39:31.  That is what retying your shoe laces will get ya!

Once we were all at the finish, we got our wine glasses and headed to the wine tables.  There was a white table, red table and I am guessing the middle table was Blush and Zinfandel wines.  I went to the red.

We each got the smallest amount of wine that the girl could of possibly poured.  You barely tasted it!  Instead of getting right back into the wine line, we headed to the food line which was moving nicely.  The platters looked fantastic and I was hungry.  Once we found a seat, we all enjoyed a very nice meal.

Tara with the band behind her.
Bethany and Jenn

Kathy, me and Tara

Kathy and I with some strange guy behind us.

They had a cash bar, where you could get a real glass of wine for $6.  Some of us did that and some of us went back to the tables to taste a little of everything. During that time, they started to announce the overall and age group winners.

I am excited to say that Gemo placed second in her age group, 60-69.  The first place winner only beat her by 28 seconds!  How cool is that!

So the bad points, no gear check, too expensive, not enough wine.  Plus, at 5pm, they closed up the wine tasting tables.  The party went to 6, or so I thought. The band continued to play and you could buy wine, but we decided to move on.  Only two port a potties, and not enough people checking you in.  Not a fan of trail running.

The good, well, the course was pretty cool. Running through the vineyard was neat.  The weather was beautiful. I love my wine glass and my shirt.  The on site parking almost made up for the expensive price.  The food was delicious and the band was good.  There was one water stop at just the right place.  And, of course, I was with all the right people.

Would I do this race again?  Probably not, unless my girls convince me otherwise. I'd hate to leave them hanging.
At Plum Point Bistro

My training this week, was pretty good.  It is this coming week that has me a little freaked out.  For the first time, ever, I will run over 13 miles.  I will be running 15 miles on Thursday.  15 miles!  For some reason, this has me more nervous than the thought of 18 miles.  Weird, right?

I was a little worried about how to fuel and hydrate on my run.  After deciding that I can't carry enough to get me by, (remember, my PR for 13.1 is 2:36, so I will be running up to 3 hours) I enlisted a friend to help. She is going to meet me at various spots with all the stuff I need to make it to the end.  She is also my contact in case the school calls or I need a ride home.  It's all good! I can do this!

9 weeks to the Philadelphia Marathon!!!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole


  1. Great recap! Looks like you all had fun in spite of the bad points...and I don't think it's possible to have a bad time in a vineyard with friends, is it?

    Next year we'll have to convince you to run Surftown with us...either way, it was a perfect day weather-wise for a race!

    1. Absolutely, it was a blast with the people I was with. The wine was good and we laughed the whole time!

      Yes, Surftown for sure! I was planning on it this year and should of done both. A couple people at the Wine Run were wearing their Surftown medals, which are fantastic by the way!

  2. I've kept checking since this a.m. for your write up... I am SO sorry. It was wicked expensive and what a let down. You looked happy in all your pictures so at least you had fun and have a cool shirt and a wine glass.

    You did a fair write up on a negative experience, key things in any race are check in and porta potties. Knowing those were the short commings I'd be hard pressed to want to fork over $70 for one wine glass with a splash of wine, and a t-shirt.

    1. I was happy Beth, who couldn't be with such a good group on a lovely day! I am sure they will work out all the kinks and it will b even better next year!

  3. Good luck with your 15!! You got this :)

  4. Sounds like it would have been great. Vineyard, wine, and food has it's appeal, but $70 does seem a little steep when there are no obstacles and mud pits involved.

  5. I have to say it looked like a lot of fun! It would be worth it to me to have such an adventure, even at that distance. Good for you for going anyway and being honest!

    1. Thanks! I did have fun and it has the potential to be a really good race.

  6. WOW that's expensive! I heard about the race- but it sold out! I hope that they heed your words and fix up some of the issues for next year.

    1. Thanks! Yes, it was fun and it did sell out. I think if they lower the price more people will come back.

  7. I saw this on the Tough Chik shout out and wanted in!!! Newport is my hometown....I'm absolutely in for this next year!!!!! I will have to sign up early!!

    1. Yes, sign up early for sure! You will enjoy it!

  8. Nice recap, thanks for your honestly. If I was searching for some feedback on this race I'd be very happy to come across your post and then I'd make my decision as to if I wanted to go.. and bring a kid potty with me, just in case the line got too long! lol Thanks.

    1. Thank you Karen! Yes a kid potty would be a great idea. It's a shame we actually just got rid of ours, LOL!

  9. Ugh, sometimes races just don't live up to expectations! I'm sorry this was one of them. Glad you were still able to have fun with your girlfriends despite it all!