Friday, July 7, 2017

Race Recap & Review: Vinewinder (Harrisburg Area YMCA Race Series)

On the second Saturday of May, Matthew and I completed the first race of the 2017 Harrisburg Area YMCA Race Series: the Vinewinder- a four mile race in and around the Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey. Fun fact, this is where I had my bachelorette party before the wedding!

We decided to register for this race for several reasons:
  • A "new-to-us" race and course
  • Free beer or wine at the end of the race
  • Low entry fee- just $35- and we were able to get 10% off by booking the first day registration opened
  • Free race photos
  • Did I mention free beer or wine??
The morning of May 13th was absolutely miserable. It was cold, windy, and rainy. Still, we were running for free wine, so we made the hour-long trek up to Hershey. Packet pick-up was super easy and there was even an indoor REAL bathroom to use before the race!

Packet pick-up on the right, start/finish line on the left.

At least the rain was good for the vines!

The start and finish were in the same place, just down the lane of the entrance to the brewery/vineyard. The race started without a lot of fanfare and the runners began to chip away on the hilly course around the vineyard. And let me tell you, it was pretty damn hilly. In fact, right around mile three, there was a sign that said "now entering sour grapes hill." It was one of those hills that just feels like it goes on foreveeeeeeer. 

Our smiles just before the "big" hill. Source: Penn Images

At least they warned us...

Ok, so it doesn't look so bad here, just trust me that it was a long, big hill :-)

After we conquered the last long hill, we made our way back to the vineyard and the finish line. It was still raining so all of the festivities were moved inside one of the big buildings. There was a band, lots of food, and free beer or wine! We also were able to get a little print out of our race results including our time and gender/age place. Despite the hills, I had a new PR! Granted the last time I ran a 4 mile race was 2013, but still, a PR is a PR- 4 hilly miles in 48:30. 


Photo: Penn Images

What's better than pretzels and beer?

Overall, this was a fun race, despite the crappy weather. A challenging course with good food and good beverages afterward for an affordable race entry fee- my kinda race! But I think what I liked the most from this race was the shirt. Not only is it super soft, but it also features a 100% true statement:

Accurate.

Will we do this one again? Probably! Fingers crossed for better weather in 2018!



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