The air is becoming ever-so-slightly cool and crisp, the neighborhood kids are stocking up on back to school supplies, and the Indiana sweet corn is delectably perfect. This can only mean one thing – it’s almost time for the Second Annual Oliver Winery Vines, Pines, & Inclines Creekbend Vineyard Trail Run in Bloomington!
As someone who took part in the inaugural event last year, I can say that the Vines, Pines, & Inclines race is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my 17 years of running. The race is unique in that it takes place on Oliver Winery’s gorgeous 53-acre Creekbend Vineyard, full of Indiana’s finest wine grapes, rolling hills, and lush wooded areas, all of which runners and walkers traverse during the five-mile run, two-mile walk, and one-mile fun run for kids.
The five-mile course includes three main hills that become gradually more difficult, and are aptly named “Hill of Discomfort”, “Hill of Pain”, and “Hill of Death”. With a 120-foot climb and incline of 23 degrees, the “Hill of Death” is the steepest terrain I’ve ever encountered. For the record, I spoke with many participants after last year’s race and only know of one person who actually ran up that hill. The majority of us decided that walking was easier. If you participate in this year’s race, one thing is for sure – you won’t soon forget the “Hill of Death” and will look forward to your next chance to tackle it.
As a longtime Oliver Winery customer and frequent tasting room visitor, I appreciate the outstanding customer service provided to each and every person who walks through the door. The Vines, Pines, & Inclines race provides yet another example of the professionalism of the Oliver Winery staff. From the organized registration process to the adequate number of restrooms (a race “must” for most runners!) to the clearly marked race course, the race is an extension of the fine service Oliver Winery has provided its customers for years.
Another unique aspect to the race is that it has something to offer the entire family. Not only are there three race options to choose from, there is also grilled food for sale, a wine tent for those 21 and older, and live music for all to enjoy. With all of this alongside the backdrop of the acres upon acres of vineyards, one might stop and wonder if they’re actually in California rather than Indiana.
Stepping up to the starting line of the inaugural Vines, Pines, & Inclines race, I was nervous. Following 30+ minutes of running through rows of beautiful vines, on peaceful trails in the woods, and being cheered on by the Bloomington Blades youth hockey team, which the race benefits, I knew I had discovered a new annual tradition. I sat back, ate a snack, relaxed with friends, and enjoyed a glass of the finest Shiraz around. I’m definitely looking forward to another great experience at the 2011 Vines, Pines, & Inclines race on August 27!
You can find more information and register here.