An event which combines the beautiful Yarra Valley, wine, cheese and running, is an event after my own heart! So when Sole Motive got in touch to give me the opportunity to take part in the Harvest Run, it didn’t take much to convince me – it ticked all the boxes.
On a sunny Saturday morning last month hundreds of people descended on the ‘valley for a 13.5km run from Healesville to Yarra Glen or a 6km run around Yarra Glen. I opted for the 6km run with my sister. And what a better way to entice us to the finish line than with a (pre-ordered) cheese and wine platter? Yes please![caption id="attachment_3922" align="aligncenter" width="690"] My sister and I at the start line of the Harvest Run.[/caption]
Sole Motive changed the 6km course to avoid some particularly wet areas before the event, however the run still started on the muddy and uneven ground of the race course. It wasn’t a great start but lucky for us, it was only for 400m before we were back on solid ground. It just meant the start was probably slower for those who opted to save their knees and ankles by walking on the uneven grass (like me!).
Pretty soon we were off and running through the picturesque Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve. We ran over bridges, under the old railway line and finished with a lap of the racetrack to take in the classic Yarra Valley scenery. It was beautiful, but the real fun was at the event village when the running was over – that cheese and wine![caption id="attachment_3921" align="aligncenter" width="690"] It was a little wet on the grass but the views of the Yarra Valley are still pretty special.[/caption]
We crossed the line and quickly nabbed ourselves a hay bale, propped up our platter and sat back to soak up the sun and the chilled sounds of Shaun Black. The platter itself was actually good value for 2 glasses of wine, three selections of cheese, some fruit and a box of crackers for $25. There were also some other local stalls selling coffee, wine, beer and mini Dutch pancakes. It was the perfect way to spend the morning in the sunshine and reward ourselves for our efforts. Others could also choose to take up a discount for lunch at the Yarra Valley Grand Hotel.
There was a also photo backdrop in the event village where the helpful Sole Motive staff could take a photo of you with props or a Boomerang for your instagram page. It was a fun idea which I saw a lot of people posing for.
It was the first year for the Harvest Run so there are still some areas I think could take it from great to excellent and people keep coming back year after year. The run itself was run very smoothly but a big appeal of this particular run is added bonus of the food, wine and views unique to the Yarra Valley. The event village could benefit from more local food and drink providers to enhance the festival vibe and encourage runners to sample the best of the region. I imagine that it would entice people to make a day of it and even attract non-runners to enjoy the food and entertainment.
We had a ball at the Harvest Run – it was the definition of a ‘fun run’ and had a great atmosphere so I can’t wait to see what the event brings to the Yarra Valley next year!