The Only Race You Need to Run is in California’s Wine Country

California's wine country race

Racing through the vineyards at the end of harvesting season.

When I tell people I’m running a half-marathon they typically groan and mumble something about how running is terrible and they know they should be doing more of it themselves.

Then I tell them I am running a half-marathon in wine country and they have a change of heart. Some even ask me where they can sign up.


Destination Races

The scenery takes some of the pain out of the race.

The Healdsburg half-marathon falls on Halloween, right at the end of wine harvesting season. This is one of the most scenic race courses in the entire world, winding through both the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys.

The  course is dotted with vineyards and two dozen wineries, beginning at the Virginia Dare Winery and finishing at the Trentadue Winery where there will be a post-race Wine and Music Festival, complete with costume contest and wine-tasting.

As if that weren’t awesome enough. The next day there is post-race yoga at one of the local vineyards.


Destination Races

Rise with the sun for this gorgeous race.

The town of Healdsburg is a hidden gem, a darling little Sonoma County town with incredible food and shopping surrounded by the bucolic roads of wine country.  

What good is a race destination if you can’t fuel up properly before and after the race? The town of Healdsburg is renowned for their wonderful dining opportunities, some of the best in wine country including Spoonbar,  Pizzando for wood oven pizzas, BarnDiva for modern country cuisine (with a little art on the side) and Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen at the Hotel Healdsburg.

The lodging options are also second to none. There’s the adorably eco-chic H2 Hotel property, the Farmhouse Inn (also known as the most romantic inn of all time), the seriously grand Madrona Manor and the elegant Hotel Les Mars.


Destination Races

It’s never too early to get them training.

Most wineries are within easy biking distance and many of the hotels will lend you some wheels for your stay. The town is also surrounded by miles of hiking trails for all levels.


Destination Races

You deserve some wine after running 13.1 miles.

This article was originally published by Jo Piazza