Runners and wine connoisseurs alike will begin converging on the Okanagan over the next 48 hours leading up to Saturday's Wine Country Half Marathon.
The race, in its second year in Kelowna, is produced by Destination Races and is one of seven in the Wine Country Half Marathon series.
It's the only race in the series outside the United States.
The unique format includes three days of events highlighting the wines and cuisine of the Okanagan with the half marathon itself which winds through the spectacular natural beauty of the valley.
The half marathon (21.1 kilometers / 13.1 miles) kicks off at 7:00 a.m. at Vibrant Vine Winery, which offers breathtaking views Okanagan Lake, the surrounding mountains and downtown Kelowna. The course meanders past vineyards, farms and apple orchards, along the east bench of Kelowna before merging onto the Mission Creek Greenway.
The final six kilometers of the course runs along the edge of Okanagan Lake, culminating with a grand finish at Waterfront Park.
Race finishers receive a medal and are able to partake in the wine and music festival immediately following the race featuring several local wineries, post-race wine tours and a finishing celebration at Manteo Resort.
The three day event kicks off Thursday with a welcome reception at Quail's Gate Winery followed by a race expo Friday at the Delta Grand Hotel and a pre-race dinner at the Hotel Eldorado.
“The pristine Okanagan Valley provides a picturesque backdrop to this half marathon, and sets the stage for a fun weekend of activities, fine wines, and an opportunity to simply hit the reset button,” says Matt Dockstader, Founder and Race Director of Destination Races.
“The Okanagan Valley is a hidden gem in the wine producing world and the community of Kelowna has provided us with a cultural center that embraces not only an active lifestyle, but encourages the social narrative around wine.”
You can still register on-line by clicking here or you can register at the race expo.