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Summer fun runs: Nourishing your soul and palate

Always remember, a great run requires a few trustworthy essentials.
Always remember, a great run requires a few trustworthy essentials.

If 90 degree temperatures with little chance of rain weren’t evidence enough of summer’s arrival, consider the fact that all the serious running events – those done in cooler, saner temperatures – are now over.

Bloomsday, the Boston Marathon and the CdA Ironman concluded weeks ago, closing a competitive period for the elite and opening a door for those of us, like yourself, who don’t wish to subject ourselves to workouts quite so traumatic.

I understand what it has taken for you to be a super athlete. You’ve endured wind sprints, burpees, cramps and vomit – sometimes concurrently. You’ve consumed pseudo-food from foil packets at 30 mph wearing crotch-hugging spandex and swallowed protein bars made of flavored sawdust – all under the guise of having fun.

In short, you’ve put your body through a lot. So now, with the arrival of extreme summer weather, why not take a much deserved break and pamper the mind and body in other ways that don’t hurt nearly as much, but can provide just as much fun? Not sure where to start, Super A? Take a look at the following events for insight into what can truly be considered a “fun” run.

For starters, embark on a road trip across the state to Sammamish and participate in the 5th annual, Mud and Chocolate Run on August 10 (

Sponsored by NRG Running, this rugged little trail course winds through Soaring Eagle Park, offering a moderate challenge across a rocky network of rolling trails. Test your mettle in Saturday’s 4.5 mile trek, then come back Sunday to complete a half-marathon. Chocolate aid stations will mentally inspire and physically fuel your soul during the run. These aid stations serve as a precursor to the grand Chocomania event held at the end of each race. What’s “Chocomania,” you ask? I’m not exactly sure, but if chocolate’s involved, it’s bound to be great!

You may have proven you can bike 112 miles between a swim and a run, but can you jog a 9K or half-marathon across wine country holding a glass of chardonnay without spilling or sipping? Heck, I can’t cross the kitchen to the back deck without turning around for a refill.  

Well, the intuitive folks sponsoring the North Country Wine Run on September 27 in Battle Ground, Washington (n orthcountywinerun.getboldevents

.com) have considered this quandary, deciding to hold the wine offerings until the end of the event. The course winds over paved country roads through some of the best scenery in the state. Proceeds benefit the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, serving nearly 150,000 kids from around the western states.

Strollers are welcome, but the event is timed, satiating those with uncontrollable, competitive urges. Those completing the run can visit vendor booths and enjoy food, jazz and wine from local wineries on the grounds of Schumacher Farm, all of which is included in the registration fee.

For those wine loving runners whom just can’t wait, or prefer to remain closer to home, September’s Idaho Wine Run in Caldwell, Idaho ( may be just what the doctor ordered, provided your doctor is also a sommelier. This Snake River Valley run has a size to fit all, offering a marathon, half, 10K, 5k, and a race just for kids. Walkers are welcome, too, but may increase in number depending on how many wine samples are offered and consumed at the course aid stations.

Water is also available, for those too young for wine, or too competitive for their own good. Live music and wine samples from over 15 local wineries will be available after the race, and all participants receive a custom wine glass or sweet drink tumbler to commemorate their accomplishments.

The event will include chip timing, and top finishers in all distances will receive awards in recognition of their accomplishments. It’s quite possible, however, by the time it is all over, a great many participants won’t really care.

For more information on a variety of running events all over Washington State, for both the super athlete and casual jogger, visit the Race 360 website at to get you off and running.

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