With the rise of social media, it would seem that many people across the globe are embracing the half marathon. At the Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon, we happen to know that it’s not an illusion; people really are taking on the 21.1 kilometre challenge more and more.
In fact, in 2000, there were 482,000 half marathon finishers in the United States. By 2014, that number had jumped by more than two million, an increase of 307%.
So what’s driving this phenomenal rise? Probably a combination of factors, including a rising awareness of the importance of fitness, growing recognition that while it’s not easy, 21.1km is an achievable distance for all ages and abilities, and the growth rate of running events and races.
But not all half marathon races are equal, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons to do the Vineyard Half, which is sure to get you over the line!
1. Convenient location – the race is held in Marlborough which is pretty much smack-bang in the middle of the country. So no matter where you are, it’s not too hard to get here.
2. Get sociable – get a bunch of your best mates together, get training and book your tickets to Marlborough for a weekend of fun! Nothing makes you feel better than catching up with friends in the great outdoors – especially first thing in the morning while the rest of the world is still snoring.
3. The scenery – the Vineyard Half course starts at the Saint Clair Family Estate cellar door and winds its way around and through beautifully landscaped vineyards, alongside river banks, with only a short stint on tarmac. You’ll be running through vineyards that produce grapes for multiple-award winning wines, with the dramatic profiles of Richmond Ranges and Wither Hills as a the backdrop. Beautiful!
4. The course – No half marathon is the same, and the Vineyard Half, while mostly flat is uneven underfoot, with only 4km on the tarmac, so it’s not the fastest course. It’s a superb and interesting course to walk or run, providing a challenge for the most seasoned runner and half marathon first-timers alike.
5. Awesome prizes – You don’t have to be the quickest in your age group to win a prize for participating. Everyone who completes the race receives a bottle of wine, and goes into the draw to win some amazing spot prizes, including a five-day luxury guided walking trip on the Queen Charlotte Track.
6. Marlborough – If you’ve been looking for for an excuse to visit our fine region, why not wrap it around the Vineyard Half? Fine, wine, food, produce, friendly locals, warm weather – heck you already know what we’re famous for – what are you waiting for?
7. Great atmosphere – With live music, some fabulous food grown, caught and cooked in Marlborough, fresh espresso made with locally roasted coffee beans and a family-friendly venue set in a relaxed vineyard setting, the Vineyard Half is a fun and lively event for participants and supporters alike.
8. The wine and food – Marlborough is pretty much a food basket of all things delicious, and especially all things New Zealand. There’s an abundance of fresh produce in the form of wine, seafood, nuts, fruits, vegetables, the list could go on … Feast Marlborough was a sell-out event last year, and is the perfect way for participants and supporters to let their hair down and celebrate all that hard work.
9. Options – Whether you’re an experienced half-marathon runner, or a first-timer, we’ve designed the event to be challenging and achievable for everyone, regardless of age or ability. You can walk, run or jog and those looking for a serious challenge can enter our new category The Dash.
10. Its for a good cause – With all our powers combined, we aim to raise $80,000 for Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa. This year you can help raise awareness of bowel cancer and support the people and families affected by the disease, by signing up as a sponsored runner, or sponsoring someone else.