Event: 2015 Boordy Vineyard 5K
Event Date: August 16, 2015
Event Location: Hydes, Maryland
Why I decided to run this race.
One of the most popular races in the Baltimore area is, oddly enough, not a marquee distance event like the Baltimore Marathon or Charles Street 12. Instead, it’s a relatively modest 5K at a small vineyard outside the city on a Sunday night in August. I’ve wanted to run this for a couple of years and each time it’s been sold out before I could register. This year there was no way I was going to miss it.
Getting there/the lead-up to the race
I was still healing from all of my foot injuries, but I was feeling better than I had at the Sykesville 5K we did a few weeks prior. I didn’t know exactly what the course would be, but I knew it would follow some trails so I was more prepared in my choice of footwear. Other than that, I didn’t really have any prep leading up to the race.
The race Expo
This race is sponsored by one of my favorite local running stores, and they hosted packet pick-up for this race similar to how they do it for other races they pit on. Usually, each of their stores in the area will hold pick-up on one of the days leading up to the race, so you can almost always just go to the store closest to you on the assigned day. Unfortunately, I was traveling out of town during the week leading up to the race and didn’t have a chance to get to a pick-up location. So we arrived at the vineyard a little early on the day of the race to get out bibs, and we were not alone in doing this since there was quite a line. Luckily, it was a nice evening and it wasn’t uncomfortable to be standing in line outside the barn.
All runners received an event shirt made of a soft blend of cotton and tech materials. So it’s appropriate for running or just wearing around town. Women got pink and men got grey. All runners would also receive a wine glass after the race.
Shockingly, there were no costumes for this race! I know! I couldn’t believe it either. I mean, what would I wear?
Actually, the answer was pretty easy. I had picked up a wine-themed Sparkle Skirt during one of their sales earlier in the year and this was the perfect event for it. I matched some of the colors in the skirt to a pink Nike tank top and a purple Bond Band headband. Everything else was: pink Adidas sports bra, Injinji socks, Brooks Adrenaline GTX 11 shoes, Garmin Forerunner 620 and Gymboss interval timer, and Amphipod hydration belt.
The race is held in the evening at Boordy Vineyard. Racers parked in a field and then walked over to the main complex of barns and tasting/sales rooms that would serve as the runner village area. They had a live band playing and runners and their families were sitting on the lawn on blankets snacking and listening to the band.
I think this is one of the reasons this event is so popular. Not only is the location beautiful and you can have wine before and after the race, but it’s so family friendly. Friends and family have plenty to entertain themselves on a beautiful summer evening while their runner does their thing. And afterward you can hang out for hours on the grass eating and drinking and listening to good music.
Along the course
The course is an out-and-back starting from the parking lot of the vineyard, around the fields, down the road, past some other farms and houses, and then all that in reverse. There was one water stop near the turn-around so you hit it twice. We do spend time on the main road, so you have to arrive before the cops shut it down and you can’t leave until the last runner finishes. The course was pretty hilly, and there were a number of people who seemed to have been taken by surprise at the hills…or maybe they were just a little drunk from their pre-race fun.
We don’t get SMOs for this race. Instead, we get Shiny Glass Objects and the opportunity to fill those wine glasses with free tastes of Boordy’s products. Yes, please!
The post-race experience
This race easily gave us some of the best post-race food and drink of any event I’ve done. Not only did we get free wine, we got gourmet cheese, crackers, and perfectly ripe fruit. There was also a vendor selling locally sourced innovative ice cream and cheese, and another selling locally sourced upscale sandwiches and chicken. Everything was delicious and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night to be sitting under the stars and relaxing.
I didn’t bring my iPod, but the live band was playing great covers of 80s rock.
Looking back now
Did this race live up to the hype? Yes! I look forward to doing it again next year. And now that I’m more familiar with the event, I think we’ll be more prepared and get there early enough to stake out a prime location on the grass.
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