Last year, we sashayed our way to victory at the Oliver-Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon—not for fastest time but for the coveted best costume award. This year, the Real House Wines of Vancouver returned, hoping to reclaim glory. Swapping mini skirts and big, blonde hair for tattered frocks and gore, the real house wines had gone bad…very bad. Emerging as The Walking Red, we zombie-shuffled our way through 18 km of beautiful wine country, refreshing ourselves at 15 wine tasting stations and gorging on a few unfortunate brains along the route.
My pals and I love this event in BC’s Okanagan wine region: gorgeous scenery, great wine sampling, hundreds of happy runners and walkers cheered on by winery staff and volunteers. Most of all, we love the laughs we get from creating and displaying our costumes, and competing against teams who enjoy getting “dressed-up” as much as we do.
It was an impressive display of creativity. Kudos to the teams who so cleverly incorporated a wine theme: the fun-loving ice swines, the perky I Love Lucy wine stomping gals, the ballerina clad tutu much wine. The attention to detail by the van-toting KVWN Anchorman team was incredible, and the Pan Am couple was adorable. Great competition!
We thought we had outdone ourselves with our Walking Red costume: ripped wine-red dresses, green hair sprouting decaying grapes, oozing wounds inflicted by corkscrews. Perhaps we went a bit overboard when we spewed blood and drool on the judges’ table. Could this explain our second place finish?
Sadly, we crossed the finish line so late (zombies are slow) that we missed the award ceremony and didn’t get a good look at the winners—aliens on an intergalactic wine tour. We must admit, their spaceship was pretty impressive. Just wait ‘til next year you space winos!
The Walking Red had some favourite stations. Top prize goes to Silver Sage Wineries for their yummy selection of wine and generous spread of sausages, cheese, fruit and sweets. Honorable mentions goes to Stoneboat Wineries, for their classy wine slushies; to Tinhorn Creek, for their refreshing cold soup; and to Platinum Bench, for their awesome bread.
The Half Corked Marathon makes a great weekend getaway. In addition to the run, there are all kinds of pre and post festivities. After the race, we mustered the energy to dance the night away to the tunes of The Town Pants , a Celtic rock band performing at Tinhorn Creek. The next day we returned to our favourite wineries for more sampling and some tasty purchases.
By the way, you don’t need to be a serious runner to enjoy this event. Walking is just fine, and all runners and walkers are encouraged to stop at the wine tasting stations. If 18 km of walking sounds too daunting, there’s even a van that will shuttle weary participants between the stations.
Want to get in on the fun? The Half Corked Marathon has become a super popular event. 2015 Festivities are scheduled for the May 22-24 weekend. Participation is based on a lottery system. Check the Half Corked Marathon website so you don’t miss out.
Read about last year’s antics at the Half Corked Marathon.