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Jun 25 / Jane

Run the Vineyards A Drop of Tuscany 5k 2014

The Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, I had Alex up nice and early to spectate another 5k.  We ended up at Hopewell Valley Vineyards for a Good Day for a Run‘s “A Drop of Tuscany” 5k, as part of the Run the Vineyards series. I was gunning for a post-college 5k PR (under 25 min) and I thought I had a chance at even an age group award… maybe (they were 10 year age groups).  So I lined up near the start, knowing any age group win would be off gun time, not chip time, and that might be the advantage.  We were off and I knew early-on that this would not be a PR day for me.

It was an out and back on beautiful country roads, but my head was not in the run.  I kept slowing myself, mentally telling myself it’s okay, it’s not your day.  But why?  I don’t know, I am my own worst enemy sometimes.  I told myself I would just enjoy the race, but when I headed back into the winery and saw 23 minutes on the clock and another .25-ish to go, I reached for it…

Well, it must have been 23:50 or something on that clock, because I ran 26 min even.  Respectable, but I wasn’t spent.  It was hot; I wasn’t completely back into racing-shape after the marathon; but I also gave up too early.  So yes, I deserve to beat myself up a little bit…

And then I had a glass of wine.  As a perk of the “Run the Vineyards” series you receive a stemless wine glass along with your water and banana and a ticket for a first fill.  I choose a refreshing pinto gris and we hung around to watch the awards and cheer in the remaining runners.  And that made it all better.

Photo May 25, 9 35 37 AM

I have to say, I’m even more impressed with Good Day for a Run after this race.  I first found out about them when I was, very specifically, looking for a race at a winery (because, why not?!).  So I started following the series on Facebook and then I won a contest for their 5 miler at Heritage Winery last April.  I loved the small field but big presence: everyone there seemed like they really wanted to be there (if you get what I mean).  The course was beautiful, yet challenging; the race was chip timed; the awards went off without a hitch; and then I had a free wine tasting.  I had thoroughly enjoyed my first 5 mile race and my first experience with GDFAR.

I also really like that this series is about the race, about the destination, the course, the runner experience.  It is what I might refer to as “minimal frills,” shirt, t-shirt, banana, wine tasting; but they bring you to beautiful locations throughout South Jersey and East PA (or West NJ as my co-workers refer to it).  GDFAR also has a great Facebook presence and their website is easy to navigate with all the essentials easy to find.  Their communications are timely and concise.  Honestly, if I were a race director, I’d want to do it like this guy; I think that’s why I love this series so much.  These races are so well done, they leave the runner wanting to sign up for more!  And by offering so many 5k races, the most popular and most accessible distance, at wineries, which generates a mostly female turnout and encourages those who maybe prefer wine over running, to run, possibly, another 5k (or maybe the 5 miler or 10k!), because this one was just so darn fun (insert: scenic, well-organized), is an amazing thing, and something GDFAR should be proud of.

I just love what this series brings to running.  Keep up the good work, GDFAR, you’ll see me again soon!

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