Cowichan Valley Wine Run

A couple of weekends ago, Corinne and I participated in the first annual Cowichan Valley Wine Run.  Modelled after Le Marathon du Medoc in France, it's a non-timed, 13.5 km run where the aid stations are vineyards.  The on-course nutrition was cheese, crackers, and apples, and the hydration was wine tasting.  Needless to say, it sold out of the 200 spots very quickly!

Participants were sent off in waves, and we were in the first wave and eager to get going.  We wanted to have a lot of fun, take pictures along the way, and sample some wine.  The organizers had arranged bottle drops at each of the vineyards for your purchases, and they delivered them to the final vineyard for you to pick up after dinner.  Oh yeah that was another thing, an amazing buffet dinner was included!

  We started with a wine tasting, followed by a glass
enjoyed on a patio in the sun.  Because don't you always
have a glass of wine before a run?

First winery, Cherry Point.  Not necessarily my favourite
valley wines, but they do have a gorgeous property.

Second winery, Rocky Creek.  They have a really
nice sparkling!

Third winery, Venturi Schulze.  They are a really small, family-
owned winery that makes some absolutely amazing wines.

Two guys running in suits, because drinking wine
is classy of course!

The run finished at Blue Grouse, with a final tasting
and dinner!

Relaxing in the vineyard.

One of the banquet tables, right next to the vines.

Overlooking the valley.

Souvenir bag they put your purchased bottles in.

We had so much fun, and already can't wait for next year!  This is a must-do event!

Challenge Penticton

Last weekend Jason and I headed to the interior to race Challenge Penticton.  It was the Canadian long-course championships, and if you placed top-ten among Canadians in your division, you would qualify for the ITU Long Distance World Championships in 2017 (also in Penticton).  When it was announced that there was an aquabike division, I was in.

The 3km swim was two loops in Okanagan Lake, and then the bike course was 120km consisting of a flat out-and-back to Summerland and then two hilly loops around Skaha Lake.  For those doing the tri, the 30km run was two loops on the trail next to the canal (definitely the least scenic part of the race, so I wasn't missing anything good!).  Lots of reminiscing of the "old" Ironman Canada course in parts, and of course classics like Steve King there doing the announcing.  Penticton is always a nice town to race in, and while this event was much smaller than in IMC days, it was still a fun event.

Met up with some other Betty Designs teammates
in town for different race-week events.

Everyone talks about how much better Challenge events
are compared to Ironman.  I didn't notice much difference
(other than way less swag here unfortunately),
but one thing that stood out were the gear bags:
really nice, reusable, and not plastic! I imagine the
Challenge events in Europe are incredible,
but I think they can improve in Penticton.

Racked and ready (my traditional pre-race photo).

Race morning is always so early!
Exiting the swim - fastest swim in my AG.

Jason was out for his long training run when
I went racing by on the bike!

See you next year at Long-Course Worlds, Penticton!