The Temecula Half Marathon was our first experience in the San Diego County wine region of Temecula and it was fantastically fun. One of the best parts of Temecula is how close it is to home. Door to door it is only a 50 minute drive. We did some wine tasting, had a couple cold San Diego beers and enjoyed good friends. What a wonderful “staycation” experience and a fun run through the SD wine growing region.
Hanging With the Willis Family
Fortunately for us we have some good friends in the area and they put a little plan together for us. We explored both the wine region and the great downtown area of Temecula. Our first stop was Wilson Creek Winery which is the the largest winery I’ve ever been too. The parking lot that rivals that of Disneyland but with the help of a shuttle we found our way into the tasting room and belly’d up to one of the NINE bars. With wine in hand we were off to the playground on property to let the kids play and shoot the breeze with the Willis’s. Wine is a great pre-race prep for sure!
Cold & Unprepared
The night before the race I shared a full sized fold out bed with my son Gage who coughed the night away. I also had a single bed sheet to cover myself with so I woke up around 3:00 a.m. frozen. Around 4:30 I said “heck with it” and made a cup of coffee (hot thankfully) and decided to loosen up in a hot shower, which was cold (great). I didn’t spend an ounce of time preparing for the race and failed to pack a long sleeve pullover. Since the morning was 43 degrees I threw on my sweater and huddled around the exhaust of the generator at the race until the race started. CO2/CO be damned. I was finally warm!
The Temecula Half Marathon is hilly and scenic. The out and back race is largely through the grape vines and wineries along De Portola road. Massive winery after winery scrolled by. The air was filled with the smell of rotting grapes. It smelled like raisins and spilled wine from the night before. The spent grape skins, seeds and stems called pomace was spread around the root balls of the grapes used to fertilize the ground I suppose. Miles 6-8 were all on dirt trails up and through a winery and the grape vines. The cover photo is from the tip-top of the winery just before we started coming back down the hill. The post race was a blast too! Beer and wine, DJ pumping and more time to hang with the Willis Family. This was our first trip to Temecula, won’t be our last.