I often joke with my running group and wine enthusiast friends that the reason I run half marathons is to keep my wine consumption in check. This is not exactly an exaggeration. In the past three years alone I have run twelve half marathons, two 30K's and countless ten and five kilometre runs. I can't put a number on how much wine I've tasted in that same period, but let's just say... a lot!
Wine destination runs have become increasingly popular over the years. Perhaps this can be attributed to the simultaneous rise in wine sales and the push to get folks more active with childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes on a steady incline in Canada and around the world. It is my passion for wine and running that I recently participated in my second Wineglass Marathon half marathon in picturesque Corning, NY.
Corning is situated in the heart of the Finger Lakes wine region of upstate New York. These "finger shaped" lakes are a group of eleven long lakes carved out by slow moving glaciers during the Ice Age. Four of these eleven lakes create an ideal micro-climate for ripening grapes and wine production. They are: Seneca, Canandaigua, Cayuga and Keuka. There are over two hundred wineries in the Finger Lakes region and growing, and the area is home to many breweries and distilleries as well. Cool climate plantings of vitis vinifera and French-American hybrids coupled with creative wine-making practices make this wine region the largest and fastest growing in New York State.
The small city of Corning NY is very quaint. Market Street is the main street and the hubb of activity, consisting of many cafes, restaurants and shops. My favourite shop? Bottles and Corks*. They have a substantial selection of Finger Lakes wines and a very knowledgeable staff. Did I mention the 10% discount for Wineglass participants? Just show your race bib. I carefully chose my wines to bring back to Ontario:
1. Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling
2. Red Newt Dry Riesling
3. Hermann J. Weimer Dry Riesling
4. Atwater Dry Riesling
5. Dr. Konstantin Frank Merlot
The Finger Lakes are home to many world-class Rieslings, so I stocked up!
The first Wineglass Marathon was held in 1982 with just 150 runners. Four years ago, a half marathon was added. Now, in 2014, the registration for the half marathon sold out in July at a cap of 2,500 runners. This half marathon would be my fourth of the year and a weekend away with the girls. A long five hour plus drive from Ottawa, but well worth it. Included with registration is a bottle of sparkling wine from Pleasant Valley Wine Company, the oldest winery in the Finger Lakes region, and a wine glass. As I said, running and wine come together!
Seneca Lake Wine Trail sponsored the half marathon for the first time since it's inception four years ago. It is hoped that the partnership with one of the world's finest destination runs in New York's fastest growing wine region would educate attendees and encourage them to stay a little longer and taste or plan extended vacations in the area. Only time will tell.
For me the weekend was a success. I completed another half marathon, tasted/bought some nice wines, shared many laughs with my girlfriends, and travelled through some beautiful Autumn landscapes in New York State. I haven't yet planned my next destination wine run, but the choices are many. Perhaps the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Florida; the Terroir Run in Prince Edward County, Ontario; or Run For the Grapes in Niagara. My wine glass is half full!
Wine * Food * Run
2015 Wineglass Marathon October 4th. Registration opens December 31, 2014