Happy Monday! I started my day off with an 4.5 mile run as part of my half-marathon training. Yep, I’m running another half! I will be running the YMCA Mistletoe Half here in Winston-Salem on December 6th!
This means I will not have to do long runs through the holiday season, whew! (This was a problem last spring). I chose this race because it gives me just enough time train in mostly nice fall weather, it incorporates Christmas (!!!), and there are few causes I would rather run for than childhood obesity. I’m excited to start training, but have quickly realized that running in Winston means learning to conquer many hills. I’ve already found great running paths on the Wake Forest campus right by our house, in addition to many others that are just a short run away.
Throughout my fall training, I will also be running a couple more 5K races through the vineyards!
I ran my first race in North Carolina, the Vineyard Stomp 5K, this past weekend and had a blast. The course was the hardest I’ve ever run, but it was through the beautiful Round Peak Vineyards.
I’d say about 70% of the course was uphill, and only 20% downhill! (The top female racer finished in about 29 minutes, just to give you an idea of how difficult it was!) There was a time when the trail went off into the woods where you truly could not run without falling. I had to actually grab on to a tree branch to pull myself up the trail at one point. But it was fun! And each finisher received a bottle of wine and a free wine tasting after finishing the race. Plus a great spread of food, including pizza! The organizers really put on a great race. Luckily, there are two more races in the series this fall and I am signed up for both. The next race is September 27th at Olde Mill Vineyards and the last race is October 25th at Grassy Creek Vineyard.
One of the best parts about these races is getting to explore new vineyards each time you race, and then spending the rest of the day visiting other vineyards in the area. Luke and I both enjoyed our wine tasting at Round Peak and the vineyard was beautiful. We plan on going back with Teddy, since they are super dog friendly too!
After my race, we drove about 15 minutes down to Shelton Vineyards. We liked our tastings at Shelton, but we thought the vineyard itself was a little over the top. The grounds were too manmade and groomed and we didn’t love the atmosphere. It wasn’t as friendly and relaxed as Round Peak. We may go back, but probably not too often.
We ended our mini vineyard tour at Raffaldini Vineyards. The Raffaldini Vineyard is absolutely gorgeous.
Pictures do not do it justice! Raffaldini focuses on dry Italian wines and we really enjoyed our tasting there, so much so that we became wine club members. We will definitely be returning many times, especially now that we get two free glasses of wine each time we visit!
All in all the Vineyard Stomp 5K was a great race and a fun way to start running in North Carolina. I can’t complain about running through the vineyards and then spending the day relaxing on the patio and taking in the views!