Just got back from a fun-filled weekend with the girls. Racing, wine, good friends and the ocean. All wrapped up in one little package.
Brenda, Michelle, and I hopped into the car and headed out Friday afternoon towards Oregon, where we would be running the Fuel by Fine Wine ½ Marathon in Dundee Hills. We were excited and giddy as we took off. The drive over was gorgeous as usual…well, once we got to the Columbia Basin, and onto the Hood River. Our first stop was the Naked Winery in Hood River. What a place. We tasted some fabulous wines, and has some pretty good laughs when we started noticing the names; Vixen Syrah, Tease Riesling, Naughty Chardonnay, Penetration Cabernet, Diva Sangiovese, Dominatrix Pinot Noir to name a few. We tasted, we loved, and we left…how’s that for a one night stand?
Onto Portland to our friends Angie, and Thomas’, who were so sweet to put us 3 crazy girls up for a few days. They were the greatest hosts, and we loved hanging out with them, their friends, and dogs. Angie was also running the ½ with us.
Saturday started and we were anxious for packet pick up at the Dobbes Winery. We got there and the 4 of us IMMEDIATELY noticed all the beautiful blue, Tiffany & Co boxes sitting on the tables, alongside, various bottles of wine, and gorgeous race medals. They handed us our race bags, cute little reusable bags by Wine by Joe, filled with all sorts of goodies. Race stickers, LOTS of coupons for free tastings in the Dundee area, and a fabulous Columbia Titanium tech shirt. We all sat and drooled over the medals, and were impressed with the schwag and the Land Rover, and Tiffany sponsors.
Michelle, Angie, Myself & Brenda
Then we headed to the beach. What a great day in Pacific City. The sky was blue, and sun was out, and the waves were…cold. We all put on our wetsuits to get in for a dip. All of us were dipping in and out up to our knees. COLD. The before we knew it, we were all in. Diving under waves, and splashing around like a bunch of kids. We got out, had a quick lunch at the Pelican Pub. Fueled up to hike the Dune. The huge dune. Again like a bunch of kids, getting to the top, climbing trees, and running back down so fast our ankles were surely flying over the backs of our heads. We considered rolling, but sand…hmmm.
We set back out for some more wine tasting. What a day!!
Sunday was race day, and we headed out early to get to the start. None of us knew the course. Hadn’t seen a map, but had heard it was hilly, and that is would probably not be a PR course. The first few miles, about 5-6 were nice. Gentle rolling hills through some low- lying vineyards in the valley. What we didn’t know, that starting at about mile 7, we were climbing out of the valley. The course went from rolling to some pretty significant climbs. Hilly, at this point, was an understatement. I was trying to take in all of the sites. We were running on paved roads, then off to gravel, then into and through the vineyards and on Jory soil, which is what they plant the grapes in. It was breathtaking. No really…it was taking my breath away. The hills. HA. It was some beautiful country, and once getting to the top, we could have not asked for a better view. The valley below was stunning. All you could see was vineyards for miles. With the magnificent Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helens, and Mt. Bachelor in the background. Amazing. The course was a challenge, which I loved. All of us ran a great race!! We finished to a great post race party, where they handed us our medals, and a free wine glass and onto a huge tent full of vineyards for us to taste, and a lot of great post-race food, and even some chocolate!! Did I mention wine tasting?
Then off to the awards and raffle. This was when was we were getting excited. All of those little blue boxes perched on the table. They handed out age groupers, and over-all awards and we patiently waited for the raffles. Calling off random bib numbers, was putting us girls into a frenzy. They handed out caps, and socks, and wine….and then, the big boxes….”Closest number to 600????” I was number 596. WooHoo, we were all screaming as I ran up for my BIG blue Tiffany’s box to find inside a gorgeous wine decanter. Unbelievable! I was pretty darn happy with this day!!
We spent the rest of the afternoon, wine tasting at some various vineyards, visited a lavender farm and back to Thomas’ and Angie’s for a BBQ with their friends. A send-off for a couple of them heading to race Ironman Lake Placid. It was the perfect ending to our day.
This was a wonderful race!! This was the first year, and it was so well run. It was a great course, great location, great, post-race party!!
We cannot wait to do it again, and have already made plans to make it an annual event.
We also decided after coming back on Monday and stopping in Hood River again, to become wine club members at the Naked Winery, that we would like to run as Team Naked. The Diva, The Vixen and The Dominatrix. Our weekly training is going to consist of some good hill repeat training up to my house….1-mile uphill. Followed by wine repeats, on the deck. Cheers to good friends, great wine, and a challenging but spectacular race!!!