The inaugural Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon is all set for Saturday, Sept. 7.
Produced by Destination Races of Sonoma, Calif., the event is the first in the Wine Country Half Marathon Series to be held outside of the U.S.
The 21.1-kilometer (13.1-mile) course begins at Vibrant Vines Winery, offering spectacular views of Okanagan Lake, downtown Kelowna and the surrounding mountains.
The course meanders past vineyards, farms, apple orchards, and onto the Mission Creek Greenway as it makes its way to the lakefront. The final four miles of the course take runners along Okanagan Lake, finishing at Waterfront Park for the post-race Wine and Music Festival.
A team competition and two-person relay are offered, with the relay transition occurring at Tantalus Winery.
Teams of six or more receive $10 off the entry fee (per person) and teams formed through a participating Independent Running Retailer of Canada (IRRC) receive extra benefits including one complimentary room at the Delta Grand Okanagan, and VIP passes. All participants receive a personalized race bib, technical race shirt, functional finishers medal, Riedel wine glass, and complimentary tastings at the Wine & Music Festival (must be 19 years and older). Additional wine glasses are available to purchase for friends and family on the registration page. For more event information and registration visit www.destinations.com/runbc.
Destination Races and Tourism Kelowna are offering a VIP weekend experience to one lucky registrant of the race. They will receive two VIP passes on race day, lodging at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort on race weekend, invitations to the Thursday welcome reception at Quail’s Gate and share a table with Kelowna runner Malindi Elmore at the race dinner on Friday night. The winner also receives a private winery tour and tasting, event merchandise and other amenities. They will be selected on Friday Aug. 30 from the registration database.
The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre will host the Fresh Air Race Expo held on Friday, Sept. 6 10 a.m. to 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public. The expo features bib and shirt pickup, product sampling and demonstrations, an event merchandise store, and informational seminars. Rooms are still available at the Delta Grand and can be booked on the travel page of the event website.
Elite runners are invited to compete for prize money, large format wines, and Riedel trophies. As is customary with every event in the series, the top three finishers in each five-year age category win bottles of wine from local vintners.
“As a new event in the Okanagan Valley, and our first in Canada, we’re working hard towards putting our best foot forward”, said Matt Dockstader, president of Destination Races. “This is not just a running race, it’s a lifestyle event full of activities all weekend designed to showcase the best Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley have to offer. We think participants will be very impressed with the experience.”
YMCA Strong Kids and The University of British Columbia Heat Cross Country Running are the primary volunteer providers and beneficiaries of the event.