Runners will come from as far as Japan and the United States to take part in the Hunter Valley Winery Running Festival this Sunday.
Founded in 2006, the festival has grown to become one of the biggest regional running events in Australia.
This year’s event will be held at The Vintage Golf Resort and Spa, after last year’s success at the McDonalds Road property.
By partnering with adjoining Bimbadgen Winery, the event has excellent 10km, 6.2km, and 2km courses. The half-marathon and marathon course will use parts of Deasys Road.
Event director Paul Humphreys said he is excited to be again staging the event at this outstanding venue.
“It really is a very beautiful vista around Pokolbin. We run past 10 vineyards on the half marathon and so many great wineries and accommodation venues. The runners love it,” Humphreys said.
The event expects to attract more than 2000 participants and over 4000 spectators.
Among this year’s entrants will be a contingent of seven runners from Port Stephens Sister Cities, Bellingham (Washington State, USA) and Tateyama (Japan).
The Hunter Valley run will be the highlight of a five-day visit arranged by the Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee.
“The runners are really excited about discovering the Hunter Valley close up and checking out our wineries,” committee chairman Nigel Dique said.
“I think it will also add an international dimension to the event.
“The role of sister cities organisations is to arrange sporting, cultural and educational exchanges leading to friendships and understanding between nations, and world peace.
“We hope this will be the first of regular visits by runners from our sister cities in Japan and the US.”
The festival caters for novice and serious participants, with five walking and running events on offer – the kids’ marathon (ran over eight weeks), the 6.2km Winery Wander run/walk, the 10km Winery Run, the 21.1km Winery Half-Marathon and the 42.2km Winery Marathon.
A gourmet selection of food and drinks will be available at the finish line.
For more information, visit www.wineryrun.com.