Vineyard’s charity run a popular affair

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The Pegasus Bay Winery’s Vine Run has raised more than $70,000 for the New Zealand Brain Research Institute over the last three years.

It is hoped that the 2021 event, on January 31, will push the funds raised over $100,000.

All proceeds from entry fees go to the institute, with the first 200 entrants eligible for the early-bird rate of $90 for the adults-only 18km run, and $65 for adults and $35 for those under 18 for the shorter options.

After the cut-off, it will be $100, $75 and $40. Entrants 18 and over will qualify for a trophy bottle of wine.

Organiser Mike Donaldson says he expects entries to hit the 200 mark in the next fortnight.

“It’s filling fast,” he says.

He says there had been great feedback about the 18km option, which was added last year to the 6km and 10km walk/runs.

The longer distance includes an 8km loop on a neighbour’s property, and gives those taking part stunning views out to sea and over the Waipara Valley.

“The 18km run appeals to a broader range of athletes. It is also a couple of weeks before the Coast-to-Coast, so people could use it as a training run,” Mike says.

However, the emphasis remained firmly on a friendly, fun, family event. People are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it in the lawns of Pegasus Bay Winery after the event, where there will be entertainment, and live music, along with some food options.

A tent will provide an additional shaded area for people finishing the event so they can relax, enjoy the music and picnic on the sheltered lawns.

Team entries are being encouraged so people can have a bit of fun and enjoy some team bonding, while entertainment along the course will include a string quartet, the Kaiapoi Brass Band and one or two other surprises.

The Pegasus Bay Winery and Vineyard is a family affair, with the Donaldson family seriously involved in the wine industry since the early 1970s. They are pioneers of the North Canterbury wine region.

Ivan Donaldson has been a member of the New Zealand Brain Research Institute board since 2006 and established Friends of the NZBRI to raise funds for neurological research.

He has had a distinguished career as an associate professor and consultant neurologist. He is also a wine writer and wine judge, and oversees viticulture and wine styles, starting the vineyard while holding down his day job. His family is deeply involved in the winery in a range of roles.

To learn more, visit vinerun.co.nz or the Vine Run at Pegasus Bay Facebook page.