HalloWine, a Northern Sonoma 5K

Healdsburg

The official start of our 12 week training for the Maui Half Marathon started with a Halloween Day run in Northern Sonoma county about 100 miles north of the Western Outpost.  It was a small race, with about 500 Half Marathoners and 350 5K runners.  We ran the 5K, which was generally downhill for 2 miles, then flat to the finish at the Trentadue Winery.

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GGB in the Distance

We headed out Friday afternoon up Highway 101 over the Golden Gate Bridge.  As usual, 19th street from the South to the GGB approach was a traffic nightmare.

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Stay to the Right. Not easy in this liberal enclave.

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SF on the Penisula

It was sunny and 70 degrees in San Francisco. Quite a few sailors took advantage of summer in the bay.

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Not so much Golden as Burnt Orange.

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Name the Island.

Out east of the GGB, is that Angel Island? Tiburon? Driving the Conestoga across the GGB was uneventful notwithstanding the narrow lanes.  Signs warn trucks and RVs to drive curbside.  A lot of tourists walking and cycling across the expanse.

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We arrived in Geyserville, CA in time for dinner.  Geyserville, north of Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, is a mellow town with lots of wine (not surprisingly) and a few good restaurants on its main street.  We decided to carb load (!) for the brutal 5K at Catelli’s (8/10).   S had the Ravioli and I had the lasagna.

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The Caesar salad was good, although it had a strong anchovy vibe in the dressing. We noted a few people around us talking about the run the next day. As we sat in the main dining room, we plotted our exit route should the ground vibrate.

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A local winery owner graciously allowed us to park the Conestoga on their property overnight. I hesitate to say which one, for fear they’ll be inundated with similar requests. If they comment on this post that it is ok to identify them, I’ll do so.  We ended up buying more than a dozen bottles of wine from them after spending the evening in their tasting room! Best RV parking spot ever.  Between casks of aging wine. Had there been an earthquake, we would have been crushed like grapes. Not a bad way to go.

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The only downside to our spot was that the wine casks acted as an effective Faraday cage. No satellite reception. We ended up watching 2 episodes of Season 2 of Breaking Bad on the DVD.  Yeah, we’re slowly catching up with pop culture.

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Scanning for Channels.

Halloween Day started early for us–6:30 a.m. We supplemented the pasta from the night before with oatmeal, coffee and tea in the Conestoga for breakfast. We heated the water for breakfast using the propane stove.

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Add water, then microwave. Got it.

Although the 5K run did not start until 8:40 a.m., we had to be at the buses to get transported to the start line at 7:30 a.m. Neither the 5K nor the Half Marathon were loop routes–they were point to point and our start was at the Mazzocco Winery about 3.1 miles from and 100 feet above the finish.  Pre-race wine tasting by Halloween dressed runners probably only happens in Northern California. We passed on the costumes–not on the wine.

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The organizers allowed a few of the Half Marathon leaders to go past the 5K start before they released the 5K runners. During the wait, we talked to a guy from Fort Worth wearing a Texas A&M jacket.  He and his family were there to walk the 5K as they had friends running the Half Marathon.  His son is at Texas A&M and their daughter was in HS, deciding where to go.  After completing our pre-race pleasantries, the gun sounded and we were off.

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First Place runner in the Half Marathon, 5 K from the finish.

The weather was a little cold at the start, about 55 degrees.  But there was plenty of sunshine and a quick (for me) 8:56 pace (27:43 time) and 10:39  (33:03) pace for S soon warmed things up. The route wound down from the hills of the Alexander Valley, past numerous vineyards, under Highway 101 and in to the Trentadue Vineyards and Winery.  Had the promoter, Destination Races, given division awards for the 5K, S would have been in 5th place, and me, 1st.  But, alas, only age division awards were awarded for the Half Marathon runners, We did get a nice medal with a wine cork and opener, which perhaps was only meant for the Half Marathoners.  The volunteers were very nice, but there was some confusion on the wine tasting aspects and medals and awards.

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We moved the Conestoga to get closer to the Wine and Music festival at the finish line, next to some vineyards. It also gave us a clear view to the Western Arc satellites so we were able to watch afternoon college football.

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We had post-race tri-tip breakfast burritos from a food truck and commenced the grueling wine tasting gauntlet. There were about 20 wineries there as well as the Lagunitas Brewery.  We (think) we had wine from at least the following Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley wineries: Thumbprint Cellars, Martorana Family, Trentadue, Trione Vineyards, Canoe Ridge, Virginia Dare, Carol Shelton, Clos du Bois, and Mazzocco Winery.

After an afternoon of wine, music and football, we headed back over the GGB to the Western Outpost, just in time to watch our Texas Longhorns revert to pre-OU form, losing to Iowa State 0-23.  It was the Trick to the Treat of our 5K weekend. Meh.

About winnebago70x

Between the two of us, we are proud parents, Texans, Texas Exes, long distance runners, cyclists, adventurers, a guitar player, a computer programmer, a great cook, a lawyer, an engineer, a physicist, etc. etc.
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