Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fuled By Fine Wine Pt I

While I have been running, distance running, for more than half my life, I don't know that I ever really considered myself a "runner."  I have never been consistent enough with it for long enough to have or maintain a runner's physique.  However, I do love the runner's high that you get.  I hit the wall pretty consistently somewhere between miles 6.5 - 9 and breaking through it is among the most exhilarating feelings that one can describe.  On bad days I make myself go for fast and long runs to help clear my mind, and I always feel so much better when I am done, and I know I have pushed myself just to go another (half) mile just a little faster than the previous ones.  All of those things yet I don't consider myself a "runner."

I've always thought that a half marathon was the right amount of a distant that people should run on a somewhat regular basis.  A marathon was just too ungodly long, and need I remind you of what happened to the very first "marathon runner"- he collapsed and died after yelling that final word..."Nike."  So for me, a half marathon was just long enough without pushing myself to the brink of death.  In 2011, I was running pretty regularly - like 5 days a week doing at least 5 miles a day pretty consistently.

Scott, one of the trainers at my gym, planted the first seed saying, "You should do this half marathon in October!"  I went back and forth, but in the end decided I would do it.  October 2012, brought my first half marathon (Run Like Hell, Portland), and I have to say that since then...I AM HOOKED!!!

I think it was sometime after my third half that Josh sent me some information and said, "You HAVE to do this!"  The "this" he was referring to was the Third Annual Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon.  The funny thing is, Josh was not telling me that I needed to do this half for the sake of posting about it, but rather, because it is a run that takes the participants through vineyards, not just around them!  So when I mentioned making posts about it as well, imagine my shock when his response was something to the effect of "Oh yeah, you can write about it too!"

I did a little bit of research because I thought it would be really cool to write a bit about the run and the history of it before the run itself.  Part II will be a reflection of the run and experience of the afterparty.

I spent some time a couple of weeks ago interviewing Chris Negy, who is the main organizer and founder of Fueled by Fine Wine.

Chris, who is a runner herself, has been in the wine industry for four years.  She came up with Fueled by Fine Wine via a dream - literally she had a dream one night that gave birth to the event.  I asked her about why a run through the vineyards and she said, "I wanted to bring something different to half marathons.  I want people to run, and see views that will take their breath away!"

I thought it would be difficult to get runners to be able to run through the vineyards, but Negy says that the wineries are "great to work with," and that she has a "great volunteers to help all long the way."

The 2012 run is the 3rd year of the run and I asked Chris about how long it takes and if the course changes every year.  She responded with "I am always planning ahead.  I start about 8 months in advance and like to have the course set 2-3 months in advance so that people will have an idea of where they will be running."  She went on further to say that, "So far the course has changed every year.  There are a few spots that might be the same, but I want to highlight different vineyards and wineries."

I asked about the size of the half marathon and if Nagy wanted it to grow.  She told me the story of how in the first year there were about 1100 participants.  For last year and this year, it is capped at about 1200 participants.  Nagy likes it small and intimate, " I wanted to create a niche run.  I don't really want it to get too big, but rather stay more like a 'boutique' half marathon."

In talking about my excitement for the half Nagy did impart some very wise words for me, "This is a very humbling run.  Even very seasoned runners will find themselves walking up some of the hills.  There aren't really going to be an PRs (personal records) because it isn't created that way."

Words cannot describe how excited I am to be doing the run this year.  I think there are a few more spots open, so if you are thinking about participating, don't be shy, and register.  I hope to see as many of our regular readers out there as possible on July 15, 2012.

Wish me luck!

Until next time...


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