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MARATHON RUNNERS TAKE THE WINNER’S (WINE) CIRCLE

MARATHON RUNNERS TAKE THE WINNER’S (WINE) CIRCLE

vinski maraton palic2

There is a secret link between wine and running. I personally became aware of this a few years ago when one of the former mayors of Belgrade decided that instead of corruption in city institutions, he should fight alcohol consumption in the city, so he prohibited selling alcoholic beverages on the territory of Belgrade after 22h. Oh, I will never forget that panic, as I was driving along the highway heading towards Belgrade, fully aware that I would arrive after 22h and miss my chance to buy a bottle of wine in a neighborhood shop. Gee, I still remember the run from the parking lot to the shop … (Thank God, this mayor and his crazy idea of ​​prohibition are now just a part of the city’s history).

Nevertheless, the most famous runner who became a celebrity owing to a glass of wine is called Spyridon Louis, a Greek marathon athlete who participated in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. French marathon runner Albin Lermusiaux was the early leader of the race, whilst Spyridon followed second. When he arrived in a town called Pikermi, Spyridon took a break and had a glass of wine in a nearby tavern. He confidently declared that he would win the race. Accidentally or not, at the 26th kilometer of the race, the French runner abandoned the race and Spyridon truly arrived as the winner.

© Wikimedia Commons

© Wikimedia Commons

WINE MARATHONS IN SERBIA

Palić Wine Marathon

On September 22nd, 2018, the Wine Marathon will be held for the second time in Palić under the slogan “More vineyards, more fun!”. Two races, a semi-marathon trail (21.1km) and Fun Run (9.5km) pass through vineyards, farms, wineries. Along the trail, there are numerous wine cellars, delicious snacks, fruit and musical entertainment. Great fun is guaranteed since follow up program includes varied music concerts, traditional tambourine orchestras, afterparty, picnic on the local farm and barrel race. Colorful costumes worn by runners will spice up carnival atmosphere. For winelovers, a special Tasting Zone is organized on the Great Terrace next to Palić Lake and a Wine Boat which will combine lake tours and wine tasting.

Online registrations for this year’s Palić Wine Marathon closed on September 15, 2018, but if you are still interested, you can apply on the spot on Friday, September 21 and on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

Palić Wine Marathon (© Vinski maraton)

Palić Wine Marathon (© Vinski maraton)

Župa Wine Marathon

Last year, Župa Wine Marathon was held for the first time in October as part of International Prokupac Day celebrations. This year, Župa Wine Marathon (organized by Domovina association) was held on September 15, 2018. At the start of the race, there were about 200 runners who could choose between the Small Wine Run (13km trail length) and the Grand Wine Race (22km trail length). The trail leads mostly along dirt roads through the vineyards  and orchards. Resting spots along the track will provide runners with local wines, water, fruit.

© B. Radenković

© B. Radenković

Wine marathons worldwide

Nowadays, there are numerous wine marathons around the globe – fun runs that combine running and wine in an entertaining way. Numerous wine regions use wine marathons to popularize wine tourism and regional wines.

Of course, the most famous is Marathon du Medoc in Bordeaux, which has been held every year in September since 1985. This race attracts great media attention, as 90% of the participants are wearing costumes so the whole atmosphere resembles a cheerful running carnival. Along the track, music outposts provide entertainment for runners with 50 orchestras, whilst local wineries provide their wines on 23 booths. On the 38th kilometer of the trail, runners can enjoy oysters, whilst steak is offered on the 39th kilometer. Every year, the marathon in Bordeaux attracts around 9,000 runners from all over the world.

Bacchus Marathon in the UK attracts about 2,700 runners and most of the race takes place through English vineyards: Wines served along the trail are primarily English, including sparklings. And at the finish line, the participants are welcomed by pig-on-the-spit. Similar to wine marathon in Bordeaux, a large number of participants wear colorful costumes. This year, Bacchus Marathon was held on September 9th, 2018.

Marathon du Beaujolais (November 17, 2018) includes a marathon race (42km through the villages of Beaujolais appelation), a half-marathon race and a fun run (13km). Last year, this marathon race attracted 16,500 runners from 70 countries.

Istrian Wine Run (September 1, 2018) has been held since 2015. This year, the host of this wine race is Umag. Similar to other wine marathons, the atmosphere is like a carnival and runners can enjoy the views of local vineyards, wine and varied accompanying cultural program.

Wine marathon in Zmajevac has been held since 2005 and attracts more and more runners in Baranja (Croatia). Last year more than 1,500 runners took part in it. The goal of the marathon is to visit twenty wine cellarsin Baranja as fast as possible and to drink a deciliter of wine in each cellar. This year, the wine marathon in Zmajevac will be held on September 29, 2018.

This is just a small selection of wineries and marathons that take place in wine regions worldwide. If you are fond of running, maybe it’s time to explore the wine marathon calendar and plan your running events because they will give you an opportunity to explore the most famous wine regions of the world and their wines. And in Serbia, Župa and Palić are awaiting you!