You might have noticed that I’m a girl who likes to run for food and drink.
Heritage Vineyards is located 2.4 miles from my house and hosts festivals and other events throughout the year, including the Run the Vineyards 5 Miler. Run the Vineyards is a series put on by Good Day for a Run and has events at over 20 vineyards in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Last year I registered for the race at the coaxing of friends and quickly fell in love with everything about the race. It’s a challenging course but also familiar as it’s right near my home. The packet pickup is at the local Running Co. AND if you pick up your packet there (rather than race morning) you can save 20% on anything in the store. Guess who has a new pair of Mizunos! Moi!
My time from last year was 1:01:48 and I was pretty pleased with that once I saw the course and the terrian. It’s got grass, it’s got sand, it’s got a bit of road, and it’s got tons of rolling hills. The goal for this year was to beat last year’s time and if I managed to get under an hour, even better!
This event sells out every year so I made sure to register early, back in the fall of 2016. My bro in law and sis in law made the trek down from Central Jersey to watch my younger son while I ran; we planned to picnic and hang out at the race after party, filled with music and fun running themed booths.
The race began at 9am and due to a rough start, my fam rolled into my driveway at 8:48. Normally I would have been freaking out but I knew that we would still get there with time to spare. I jumped out of the car as we arrived (8:52), found my friends (8:55), and was ready to run at 9am. How’s that for timing?!
There was no official corrals, so the 655 runners had to place themselves in the spot where they thought they’d fair best.
It’s difficult because the first stretch of the race is narrow and if you don’t put yourself in the right area, you risk either going out too fast or holding up people around you. I think I did pretty well placing myself this year and tried to be mindful of the people around me.
Ya’ll know that free race photos rank high up there on my list of things I love to see at races and the Run the Vineyards races not only has them but they’re ready for download the day of the race.
I had my phone tucked into my BibRave Buff on my wrist so I didn’t take many pictures at this race. When there’s a professional out there capturing the day, there’s no need!
My Garmin was a little off from the mile markers, reading about .06 behind. Interestingly, my first two miles were the exact same pace (11:45) but my legs were feeling tired, which didn’t bode well for the next 3 miles. The hills seemed to be non-stop and while the day was perfect in terms of weather (gray skies and 66 degrees), the pollen count must have been high and I was feeling it.
There were three water stops so I grabbed a cup of water at the second and third ones in an attempt to ease my throat (no dice).
Miles 3 and 4, I clocked in at exactly 12:27. Way to be consistent, huh?
The last mile consisted of one last hill, a nice downhill, and then a few more turns around the trail. I heard the announcer say “these runners are going to come in at just under an hour” and that was all it took for me to hit the gas!
I crossed the line at 59:36, which means that I got a PR of over a minute! Woohoo!
My sister is law is the best, isn’t she?
Immediately after I finished my son gave me a hug, let me know that I was sweaty, and then requested that I buy him pizza.
At 10:00 in the morning.
So I did.
Because if I could drink my free wine from my finishers wine tumbler, he could surely eat pizza. After all, fair is fair.
This coming weekend I’ll be giving back and volunteering at the Run the Vineyards Wagonhouse 10 Miler and I can’t wait!
My next running adventure comes a month from now when I’ll be at my first ever RAGNAR. Holy moly. However I have some fun travel plans lined up for mid-May, too!