I’ve been incredibly intrigued by trail running ever since watching Unbreakable (the Western States 100 doc, not the Bruce Willis movie). I’ve been dreaming about getting down and dirty on some trails. I’ve also daydreamed about fighting off bears or mountain lions or rapists. Eesh. I have a wild imagination.
So of course I was SO EXCITED to hear about a new trail half marathon! Then I learned that it involved wine tastings. Even better! Then I learned it was specifically for women, to help encourage us to get into trail running. This event must have been designed just for me. I was so excited I contacted the race director and was able to secure a FREE race entry to give away to one of my readers!
The SoCal Wine Country Women’s Half Marathon is the brainchild of Paul Jesse of Off Road Pursuits. By offering an organized event, he hopes to remove the common safety concerns (or wild imaginations) he has heard and provide a fun way for women to tackle some trails. Experienced trail runners will come for the beautiful and unique course and hopefully share their knowledge of good trails at the Post-Race Celebration!
RACE DETAILS (Visit the event website for complete event info):
- Location: Vail Lake Resort, Temecula, CA
- Date: Saturday, June 23rd (I love Saturday races)
- Packet Pickup is 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM
- Start Time: 8:00 AM
- Cutoff is 4 hours.
- Field is limited to 300 runners.
With thousands of acres of national forest, a wilderness of pine, an abundance of wildlife, and beautiful weather, Vail Lake is an outdoor gem for southern California. It doesn’t hurt that Temecula Wine Country is next door! I am not a wine expert, but I know what I like and my favorite red happens to be from Falkner Winery in Temecula. In fact, I have 8 bottles of it just 3 feet away from me right now and I’m going to open one up in celebration of this post. [This may have contributed to why it took me so long to get this post up tonight.]
TRAIL RUNNING TIPS FROM PAUL
If you listened to my March 8th Pace Per Mile race report about this event, you heard some trail running tips from Paul already, so bare with me as I repeat those here and then give you the rest of his advice:
- Look down or you’re going down. You need to be mindful of the rocks and roots and bumpy ground at your feet. If you’re patient with yourself and trails and think of it as a footing game, it is actually part of the charm of trail running. If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery out on the trails, it might be good to just go ahead and stop or take a walk break so you can safely take it all in.
- Pay attention to the course markers. There are generally lots of trails that go every which way, but only one trail is going to take you to the finish line. The runner in front of you (if you can see one) may not be paying attention so you don’t necessarily just want to follow them. So pay attention and you should fine as Paul intends to meticulously mark the trail.
- Bring your own hydration. Trail races often have fewer aid stations than road races; maybe every 2 or 3 miles. Paul recommends a hand bottle or hydration belt at the very minimum.
- Be prepared to have a slower finish time. Pace on trails can be 45-90 seconds slower per mile than on a paved road. Again, be patient with yourself and enjoy the fun of trail and while you might not run your fastest half marathon even, you very well may run your funnest (yeah, I said funnest) half marathon ever!
THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED SUNDAY 3/18.
I’ve been allowed to GIVE AWAY 1 FREE RACE ENTRY to a lucky lady! How awesome is that? To sweeten the deal, I will also give the winner a bottle of my favorite wine, Luscious Lips (to be awarded at the Post-Race Celebration). Doesn’t that sound delish?
This giveaway ended on Saturday, March 17th.
Related: 5 Reasons to Try Trail Running