I’m running through a vineyard, doing my best to avoid inhaling dust, while listening to a battle song from Lord of the Rings. All of a sudden, running up countless hills is worth it because now I feel like an Orc chasing hobbits. Fueled By Fine Wine offers runners a rare chance to run through Dundee-area vineyards — something you can’t do unless you don’t mind getting charged with trespassing. The route sounds easy, at first, and the early hills make you think the elevation changes won’t be that bad. Once the July heat sets in and hills start to look like walls, you begin to wonder why you thought it would be a fun race. But if you look away from the ground and at the landscape around you, it’s all worthwhile. Chris Nagy, the race director, previously told Eugene Weekly you won’t run your best time but you’ll have the best time. It’s true. And the post-race amenities make it even more worth it. In addition to the usual fruit and chocolate milk, there’s pizza and endless samples of wine from Dundee area wineries. Wine after a long, hilly run in the sun might not sound that great. However, once you’re back to your usual self, it’s better than water. If this sounds like a lovely time, register today because this is the race’s last year.
The Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon is 7 am Sunday, July 7, at Stoller Family Estate, 16161 NE McDougall Road, Dayton.