On Saturday, eleven Cruisers will be running in Destination Races’ Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon.  The course runs through the beautiful countryside of Loudoun County and we couldn’t resist giving it a try in 2011, the first year it was produced.  We even put together a team, and despite thinking we wouldn’t be particularly competitive, we finished 9th out of 51 teams.  Today and tomorrow I will recap the 2011 and 2012 races.

Most of the Cruisers met at Lansdowne Resort around 5:30 AM  on a cool and comfy morning to catch one of the buses to ride to Breaux Vineyards for the start of the race.  We arrived at the race start with plenty of time to take pictures and find the porta-potties before the race began.  We noticed that two of our Cruisers who had driven to the vineyard instead of taking the bus weren’t there yet, and were stuck in the long line of traffic snaking it’s way along the two-lane country road.  Because runners riding in buses and driving themselves were stuck in that traffic, the race start was delayed by about 30-45 minutes.

We spent our new-found time hitting the bathroom lines again, taking more pictures, and generally chilling.  I snapped this picture of these teeny-tiny grapes on the vines at Breaux.

2011WineHalfBabyGrapes

As you can see from this picture, Loudoun County is quite beautiful.  The western half is rural and the eastern half is suburban.  Loudoun County is home to approximately 35 wineries.  The two Cruisers stuck in traffic are missing from this picture in front of the vineyards at Breaux.

2011WineHalfCruisers

Eventually all of the runners got to Breaux Vineyards and the race could begin!

2011WineHalfStart

Just under 2,000 runners ran in the half-marathon that started at Breaux Vineyards, and ran along Loudoun County’s country roads to the finish at Doukenie Winery.

2011WineHalfRunnersStart

Shortly after leaving Breaux Vineyards, we ran past this beautiful pond.

2011WineHalfPond

This is just one of the many gorgeous sights we were treated to along the race course!

2011WineHalfField

Beth and I found a similar pace and ran the race together.  Another runner noticed that I had my camera strapped to my arm and offered to take a picture of us!  As you can see, parts of the race course are run on dirt roads.

2011WineHalfBethDeb

After a leisurely and relaxing race, Beth and I finished just under 2:15 (2:11:39 chip time).  Neither of us wanted to race it, and we both enjoyed running yet another 13.1 miles together, much like any other Saturday morning!

2011WineHalfFinish

We found Jerome after we finished, and had to get another picture in front of Doukenie’s silo.  Jerome rocked the course with a finishing time of 1:50:56!  Our fastest Cruiser, Alan, finished with a time of 1:38:09!

2011WineHalfSilo

The Cruisers gathered for a team picture by the race photographer, and then headed our separate ways to take ice baths, foam roll, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.

VAWineCountry2011TeamPic

Before we left, I got a picture of the winery entrance.

2011WineHalfDoukenie

Back home I took a picture of my shirt, finisher’s medal and collector’s wine glass.  Our finisher’s medal doubles as a wine stopper!  I didn’t participate in the wine tastings though, because I’m not very interested in wine right after a race on a Saturday morning.  Call me boring…

WineCountryHalfSwag2011

I love the back of the technical shirt.  It’s a cute play on our state’s slogan!

WineCountryHalfShirt

Each participant received a collector’s wine glass upon completion of the race.

WineCountryHalfGlass

We enjoyed the first Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon very much, and decided that day that it would be an annual Cruiser event!  Despite the delayed start, overall the race was well organized and very enjoyable.  🙂

Check back tomorrow for my 2012 race recap!

  • Questions:
  • Have you ever run in one of Destination Races’ wine country half-marathon events?
  • Have you ever run as part of a team in a race?
  • Are you racing this weekend?
Happy Running! ~ Deb