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Destination Races introduces Wine Country Half Marathon

    Destination Races, LLC is expanding its popular Wine Country Half Marathon Series to Oregon. The fourth, and newest, edition to this series, the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, will be held on September 5, 2010 with activities planned throughout the Labor Day weekend.

    The event features a bucolic 13.1 mile course starting at Stoller Vineyards and Winery in Dundee. Runners then wind through the heart of the Willamette Valley, finishing in the town of Carlton where the Wine & Music Festival is held from 9:00am to Noon. Local wineries will be pouring at the festival which also features the race awards ceremony, live band, exhibitor booths, and beer and food garden. The festival is co-sponsored by Ken Wright Cellars and the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.

    The Race Expo is held on Saturday from 10:00am to 6:00pm at The Allison Inn, a luxury resort located in Newberg. Open to the public, the expo features exhibitor booths, packet pickup for runners, informational seminars and a wine and food tasting hosted by Chehalem Mountain Winegrowers.

    According to Matt Dockstader, founder of Destination Races, the event is positioned to introduce the Oregon wine country to a whole new market. “This area is very picturesque, the wines are outstanding and best of all, the people here are so warm and welcoming.” Dockstader added, “I really believe this is going to be one of the premier destination races in the country and if the other Wine Country Half Marathons are any indication of what’s to come, Oregon wine country can see a measurable boost in tourism that weekend due to the event.”

    The Oregon Sports Authority played a leading role in bringing the event to Oregon and facilitated introduction to event partners, making it possible for a 2010 event to come to fruition. “We’re delighted to help bring the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon to the Yamhill Valley,” said Drew Mahalic, CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority. “It’s a chance to share two of Oregon’s greatest passions — wine and running — with visitors coming to participate from across the country.”

    Destination Races also produces the Napa-to-Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathons in California. These boutique-style events draw runners from all over the country and are limited to 3,000 runners or less, usually selling out well in advance of the race. The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon also offers a team competition and a 2-person relay.

    Elite runners will compete for $2,000 in prize money sponsored by West Coast Bank, plus Ball Watches and magnums of wine. Each participant receives a technical running shirt, colorful finisher’s medal, and logo wine glass. Top three finishers in each age category win a bottle of wine and other awards. The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon is limited to 2,000 participants in its inaugural year. Registration is currently open and can be accessed on the event website at www.run4oregonwine.com. For more information on the event series, visit www.destinationraces.com.


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