Destination Races Brings Wine and Culinary Themed Race to Northern Virginia

May 1st, 2015

East Coast Edition of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series Is Popular With Novice and Competitive Runners

May 1, 2015—Sonoma, CA—The Wine Country Half Marathon Series, sponsored by Newton Running and produced by Destination Races, makes its next stop in Northern Virginia on May 30, 2015. Held in Loudoun County, The Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon is the only race offered in the Wine Country Half Marathon Series on the east coast. The half marathon course is a scenic 13.1-mile journey showcasing Virginia’s historic byways, estates, farmland, and vineyards.  Its starts and finishes at Doukenie Winery and Vineyards, a sprawling farm and vineyard estate located a few miles to the west of Leesburg, VA.

The race expo is held at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg on Friday May 29th, and features two inspiring guest speakers, Chef and Triathlete Will Artley of Washington D.C.’s BLT Steak, and Michael Wardian, renowned marathon and ultra-marathon runner. Both speakers will also be running the event. Chef Will Artley gained media attention for losing 75 pounds in a culinary weight loss challenge, and is now a chef, ultra-runner, and triathlete who dedicates his time to making strides in the health and fitness world. Michael Wardian, winner of the 2008 through 2010 US 50K championships and 2008 US 100k championship is a favorite to win the race, but will be challenged this year by elite runners Dave Berdan and Will Christian.

A two-person relay is also offered, allowing runners to share the course, where they make the transition at mile six at Hiddencroft Vineyards with a water, wine, and music stop.  Runners can also form a team of six or more, which allows runners to save $10 on registration and enter the USATF-handicapped team competition with a chance to win wine and other prizes.  “This race offers such a departure from the city environment, it’s so relaxing out here with the vineyards and farmlands, and the course is beautiful,” exclaimed Race Director, Matt Dockstader.“With the addition of the REI Campout, new swag offerings and sponsor experiences, it promises to be a unique experience for runners.”

The post-race celebration begins at Destination Races’ signature Wine + Music Festival at Doukenie Winery, presented by Alaska Airlines and Visit Loudoun.  This year’s festival highlights 20 wineries from the region, plus food trucks, live band, exhibitors, and product sampling at a beautiful outdoor setting. Participants have a unique opportunity to interact with Destination Races’ series sponsors, including Newton Running as the series Presenting Sponsor, Alaska Airlines and Visit Loudoun as Presenting Sponsors of the Wine and Music Festival, Fitbit as the market leader in connected health and fitness, CamelBak hydration systems, GU Energy Labs athlete nutrition and SOLS’ custom 3D printed insoles. Each sponsor will offer an exclusive and captivating experience to the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon.

New this year is a unique camping option near the start and finish location. With the REI Campout, participants may purchase a luxury campsite and stay on Doukenie Winery’s beautiful grounds in a campground just a short walk away from the winery tasting room and festival grounds.  Campers will enjoy a private wine tasting with Doukenie’s winemaker. Available sites include REI’s Shenandoah Camp and BYOT (Bring Your Own Tent) sites.  An exclusive offering, this experience bridges the outdoors with an upscale food and wine experience.

Fly Alaska Airlines, Official Airline of Destination Races, and save 10 percent on flights to the race. Visit the Race Travel page for more information.

To register for the race and sign up for special events and activities, visit


Thursday, May 28th:

Early Packet Pickup at Potomac River Running Company 4:00 pm – 7:45 pm:

The Early Packet Pickup service is provided for those runners living or staying in or near Washington D.C. that prefer to receive their packets early and not drive to the expo location. Participants receive a discount on purchases at Potomac River Running Co. Sign-up for this option with registration by purchasing through Race Extras.

Friday, May 29th:

Race Expo at Lansdowne Resort 10:00 am – 7:00 pm:

Use this opportunity to pick up your race packet (including personalized bib, timing chip, and technical race shirt), visit exhibitor and race sponsor booths, shop for exclusive Wine Country Half Marathon apparel and gifts at the Harvest Boutique, learn more about the course and developing race day strategy at the Race Orientation Seminar and attend other inspiring seminars and discussions with celebrity speakers Chef Will Artley and renowned marathon and ultra-marathon runner Michael Wardian. Admission is free.

Saturday, May 30th:

Race Start at Doukenie Winery 7:00 am

Post-race Wine & Music Festival at Doukenie Winery 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Once you cross the finish line at Doukenie Winery, the celebration gets underway with the post- race Wine and Music Festival presented by Visit Loudoun! There will be several wineries from the region and a local brewery pouring, plus food and a popular live band all in a beautiful outdoor setting at Doukenie Winery. This event is open to guests so bring your friends and family to celebrate with you. Wine glasses for guests may be purchased through Race Extras.

Local Charity Involvement

The Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon benefits local charities and organizations including Special Olympics Virginia-Loudoun.  Participants can visit the Charities & Fundraising page for more information about Destination Races charity partners.  If you would like to support Special Olympics Virginia by volunteering on race weekend, please contact

About Destination Races: Destination Races, based in Sonoma, California, is the pioneer producer of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series. Founded in 2004, the Wine Country Half Marathon Series consists of seven races across prestigious wine regions in North America. Offering unforgettable experiences on and off the course, including the popular post-race wine and music festival, runners travel far and wide for these boutique destination races. The race series attracts elite runners as well as food and wine enthusiasts who share their common bond of running and celebration. The Wine Country Half Marathon Series has limited fields in each event to ensure the participants and their guests can enjoy all the race weekends have to offer, including exclusive winery tours, plus receptions and dinners featuring the local bounty at esteemed wineries and other unique venues.

Current races include – Santa Barbara, Northern Virginia, Napa-to-Sonoma, Oregon (Willamette Valley), Kelowna, B.C., Healdsburg, and Temecula Valley, CA. 

For more Information on the event series and Destination Races, go to Friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @winecountryhalf and see exclusive race images on Instagram.

Destination Races

Contact Info

Shanna Burnette

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