For those who like their half marathons with plenty of scenery, and elevation (not to mention some outstanding wine tasting afterwards), be sure to put Saturday, July 5 down on your calendar for the 27th annual Hernia Hill Half Marathon at Twisted Oak Winery. Produced by On Your Mark Events, this exciting race, as well as its popular post-race barbecue, has become a mid-Sierra area Fourth of July holiday weekend tradition, for both the locals and those who travel in from throughout California and Nevada.
Along with the half marathon, the Hernia Hill event also provides a 10K Run and 5K Run/Walk. In addition, there is the famous Rubber Chicken 5K Relay. Teams of four people will hand off a special rubber chicken, as the baton (that’s 1.25k per runner).
The Hernia Hill Half Marathon will be headquartered at the Twisted Oak Winery, in Vallecito, between Angels Camp and Murphys, on Highway 4. The three courses feature a combination of hilly paved surfaces and packed gravel roads, which offer views of the crest of the Sierra and nearby vineyards. All four courses will also go through the infamous Twisted Oak “Cardiac Cave” (the winery’s barrel-aging cave).
“The Hernia Hill Half Marathon was started by the late Ernie Klann, of Arnold in 1988,” said Mark Aiton, co-principal of On Your Mark Events. “We are proud to have been associated with Ernie, and proud to continue his race.”
The Ernie Klann Half Marathon trophies will be given to the overall male and female winners.
Medals will awarded to the top three male and female half-marathon finishers, in each age group, as well as the Clydesdale division (men over 185 lbs., women over 150 lbs.) Top male and female 5K and 10K finishers, in their age groups, will be given medals as well. Prizes will be given to the first, second, and third place team finishers in the Rubber Chicken Relay. There will also be prizes for best running attire and best/most dramatic finish.
The races will conclude with the awards barbecue lunch on the grounds of Twisted Oak Winery. Entry fee for the Half Marathon is $40 advance and $45 race day, while the 5K and 10K races are $35 advance and $40 race day. The Rubber Chicken 5K Relay (team of four) is $30 pre-registered, and $35 on race-day. Entry fee includes refreshments, T-shirt, awards, raffle ticket, awards, wine tasting, and post-race barbecue lunch. The post-race barbecue is available to non-runners at $10 per person, $7 per non-participant child.
Twisted Oak Winery is at 4280 Red Hill Road, in Vallecito, just off Highway 4. Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K races will start at 8 a.m., with the Rubber Chicken Relay beginning at 8:15 a.m. Event check-in and registration begins at 6:30 a.m., with the awards barbecue following, between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.