Wine? Costumes? Charitable fundraising? A jaunt through the Langley countryside?
The Campbell Valley Wine Run (CVWR) definitely has a lot of different aspects going for it – attracting hundreds of joggers, wine enthusiasts, and charitable supporters for its seventh year, Sunday, Sept. 22.
Beginning at High Point Equestrian Centre (658 200 St), participants will traverse park trails while stopping at wineries for an optional sip or two along the way.
The Langley event was inspired by the Marathon du Médoc in French wine country, a full marathon with 23 stops for wine where many participants wear costumes.
The French event is often referred to as ”the longest Marathon in the world” because in addition to the wine stops, there are breaks for 50 orchestras, oysters tasting at the 38th kilometre, and steak at the 39th kilometre.
The actual route in Langley is a 15 km run or 5 km walk through Campbell Valley Park, plus a brand new 11 km route for people to have an in-between option.
The charity receiving the funds is the Pacific Riding Developing Abilities (PRDA), a non-profit facility in Langley that provides therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities.
CVWR founder and organizer Patrick Murphy said the event started as a way for the wineries to help out their South Langley neighbour.
“I’ve seen the benefits of what they [PRDA] can do. When families drop off their child, it’s a decompression for them as much as it is time spent with the horses,” Murphy said. “We’ll have demonstrations with horses happening at Vista D’oro to connect people more with where the funds are going.”
Last year, more than 350 people ran, walked, sipped, and stocked up on local vino. Murphy said they are already nearing their 400 participant limit this year and are set to raise more than $150,000 for the PRDA.
Participating wineries include Backyard Vineyards, Chaberton Estate Winery, Township 7 Wines, Glass House Estate Winery and Vista D’oro Farms & Winery.
The run has several stops at the closer host wineries (Township 7, Chaberton Estate Winery, and Vista D’Oro), since several of the businesses further down the road fall past event parameters.
Wines purchased will then be delivered to the finish line at High Point Equestrian Centre, where a barbecue sponsored by JD Turkey Farms, Bonetti Meats, and Terra Breads will also be waiting.
Awards for best team and best individual costumes will be handed out – a highlight of the day as many come dressed to impress. The top prize this year is a Mountain Tour Helicopter ride through Sky Helicopters.
“People get very competitive,’ Murphy said. “We have about six to eight teams every year that get very original and go all out.”
The event goes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 22, with tickets available on www.eventbrite.ca
“It’s a way to expose South Langley. People from all over come! We have people come all the way from London, England attend the wine run,” Murphy added. “Everyone thinks about the Okanagan when they hear about wineries. We can expose what we have and keep the area more agricultural based.”
Murphy noted that plans are already underway for next year, with an additional event happening on the Saturday before the CVWR. Horses – and their riders – will get dressed up in costume and visit the wineries via the Campbell Valley trails.
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