Signing up for your first half marathon can be daunting. If you’ve never run 13.1 miles it, it can seem like an insurmountable distance to be running or walking plus you need to commit to months of training before the race. And then you need to sign up and pay for it. So how do you encourage someone to commit time and money to a sporting event they never imagined they’d ever do? Make it a road trip weekend to wine country.
My friends and I had the best time at the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. We met when our kids were babies and we’ve been friends for years, but we had never done a trip together. It was the first half marathon for three of the seven of us (I’ve done quite a few including the Destination Races Temecula Wine Country Half). We rented a house in Solvang and I was able to get a sweet, cherry red 2016 Ford Expedition for the trip from Los Angeles to wine country.
The Expedition was fantastic. Five of us (and all of our stuff) made the trip down together. It was very comfortable and had plenty of room for all of our luggage, food, and gear. It was spacious and luxurious while at the same not feeling too big. It was the perfect car for the trip because we fit tons of luggage for the drive to Solvang and all seven of us comfortably so we could ride together the morning of the race.
Which was good because even I was a little nervous. I won’t lie, the half marathon was challenging. It was in a gorgeous location, but one full of hills.
We all completed the race at our own pace – four of us ran and three walked. One of the best things about the race is that it ends at a wine tasting festival so we could relax until the others met up with us. Each finisher received a medal and a wine glass.
The next Destination Races Event is in Oregon on August 13, 2016, Woodinville on September 17, 2016 and Healdsburg on October 29, 2017. If you’re interested in signing up, here is a $10 Discount code, DRAMBCON. In addition to the runners expo, the race, and the finisher party there are additional events you can buy tickets to as part of the race weekend.
We went to a finishers celebration the evening after the race (my friends received a discount and I was given a free ticket) at Standing Sun Winery in Buelton. There was wine tasting, appetizers and music. It was a really fun way to end the race day.
I’m so proud of all of us and not just because were able to finish the race. We made a commitment to make time for ourselves as moms – to train for the half marathon and get away for the weekend. It’s not easy for some of us to say, “I’m going to do something just for me.” I think we all felt relaxed and happy when we went home to spend Mother’s Day with our families because we had time a little time away. I’m hoping we don’t wait another 10 years to go on a trip together.
Disclosure: I’m a Destination Races Ambassador, which means I was given a free ticket to the celebration and a discount for my friends (and a discount code for you). Ford was kind enough to lend me the Expedition for review. All opinions are my own.