Following my plan to run all X-Dog trail races barefoot, "Whine on the Vine 5 Mile Adventure Run" was next on my list. The last race I ran was Mt. Hood Scramble 4 weeks ago with some unforgiving rocky terrain where I managed to rip a piece of my plantar skin off. (Read more here) I was really worried about not being healed up enough to run Whine on the Vine but human body has some amazing rebuilding abilities and my foot replaced the missing skin really fast. Sunday morning, July 19. It is going to be a very hot day. Forecast calls for 95 F. Running barefoot on a black tar in this heat could pose some challenge to me, luckily the race course is all on dirt, grass and forest trails. When we arrive at the starting location just before 10 AM sun is already unmercifully blasting down. But the location is amazing. That is probably the best part of this race. You run on a vineyard. Who would not want to indulge in a relaxing fine wine tasting event after an hour of grueling heavy sweating hill crawling activity ? "We'll start going through the rows of grape vines with a panoramic view toward the cascade range. We'll go over under and through some man made obstacles on the vineyard property and then head to the trail run portion of the course. Like all X-Dog events, some portions of the trail you can run, others you can't, and band aids and blood might just happen. After a few miles of trail you'll make you way back onto the vineyard where a couple more obstacles await you. We'll even cool you off with an old fashioned slip and slide. Mimosa's on us at the finish. Stay for some friendly eats! The Winery will be open for tasting." The starting horn blows. I want Lukas to just run at his comfortable speed, have some fun and finish so I am not going to push myself hard and we start relaxed somewhere mid pack. I let him run in front of him the whole time managing the speed and breaks as needed. First zigzagging through a couple of rows of vines. It has not rained for 6 weeks, the ground is hard and dusty. Large hay field, first obstacle "chicken wire" crawl in the middle. After a mile we climb over a fence and run through some woods. I am praising running in a shadow now and enjoying cooling down a bit. Then there is the "Temptation Station" with some tasty looking glazed and chocolate coated donuts. Worth stopping and spending a minute I guess which makes Lukas a happy boy Steep downhills mixed with ascending scrambles, mostly bushwhacking through some low vegetation. Wild raspberry bushes are plentiful and my bare soles get to feel all the thorns on the ground firsthand (firstfoot?). Lukas still full of energy gets competitive passing some slower runners in front. I need to follow. Mile 4 - Slip-n-Slide, the highlight of the race ! I finally have some time to sit down and dig some thorns out of my feet while waiting for my turn to slide. We get our well deserved fun. Soaking with water refreshes the spirit and just feels great. The last half a mile to the finish is uphill through the vines again and in 1 hour 6 minutes we are done. It's time to enjoy the post-race festivities. There are a couple of kids inflatable pools with cold water to jump into, mimosas, freshly made burgers, wine and a comfy hammock. Time to get pampered Map of the race route: Elevation profile: X-Dog throws out 11 trail races throughout the year. So far I have done 5 of them, all barefoot. One of the remaining ones in January is on snowshoes. Still have not figured out how to run that one barefoot but feeling ready for the five more.