The folks running the Grape Gallop contacted me back in the Spring to ask if I’d be interested in a complimentary race entry in exchange for blog and social posts. I happily accepted, as I’ve never run a winery race before and while the location was about an hour from me, it looked like a lot of fun! So, while the race entry was free, the opinions in this recap are of course all my own!
Let me begin with the most important part:
Now, there were two race options: 2 mile and 3.5 mile. Before I signed up, I read reviews and saw that the terrain at beautiful Alba Winery was definitely not my usual road race – it was hilly and gravely and through the vineyard. SO, I knew my own lack of hill training, and signed up for the two mile option.
As it turns out, none of the other runners picked this option – it was me and mostly walkers who chose the two mile. So, the competition wasn’t exactly fierce (I averaged just under 12 minute miles, with LOTS of huffing and puffing), but I did win a bottle of wine, a corkscrew, and there are some FAB pics on their website of me breaking the only tape I’ll ever break until I’m in the 70+ age group. So there is that!
As for the race itself, it was a warm October morning. Parking attendants were out early to help us park, then getting bibs and fun long sleeve shirts was very easy.
We also got a wine glass and tote bag and free wine samples after the race. Lots of swag to go with this race!
The crowds were not huge, but they were enthusiastic about wine. Many folks had on Wine-related shirts, which I loved. A photographer was out taking photos in front of their backdrop, which was lovely (though I haven’t figured out how to save the pics unfortunately – so if you want to see me you can go here and scroll around – https://bluepenguinproductions.pixieset.com/grapegallopalbavineyardfall2017/).
Without much fanfare, we were off – and straight up hill!! I was immediately happy I’d chosen the two mile route, though the scenery was lovely.
Because most had done the 3.5 mile option, I was able to walk over to the beautiful tasting area and do my tasting nearly alone. It was rather pleasant! They had out babybels, crackers, and mozzarella to go with the wine as well (though I did wish there were bottles of water instead of just cups up the hill back the finish).
Sadly, the weather had brought out TONS of gnats, but I didn’t let that spoil the wine tasting for me. After that, I hung out. There were food trucks gathering for a festival there which runners could stay for, too, which was awesome if I had come with friends! I hung around for longer than I probably would have normally to wait for awards, since it was the first and probably only time I’d get one – AND why would I want to miss out on a free bottle of wine?? Hellooooo, no way!
Overall, this race was very hilly but scenic and had lots of fun swag to go with the entry fee! A great time was had by all, it seems, and I will never forget getting to be “queen” for a day and breaking that tape – so thank you for that opportunity, Grape Gallop!