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Trainers and Tastings

Two runners describe how their Running and Wine Tasting holidays past their expectations


Reviews from Trails and Vines

A uniquely excellent holiday combination led by two wonderful people.
Spending a week in La Rioja with Chris and Abby was unforgettable! The running was personalised so that each of us had clear guidance on our paces for running easy and hard. The coaching struck the perfect balance of encouraging, stretching and informative. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do runs every day before the holiday but the programme was so well thought through that I didn’t question myself at all once we were there. The routes were varied and took us through stunning scenery, often through vineyards and orchards.

The wine felt well-deserved after the hard work. Abby and Chris introduced us to tasting wine and provided delicious wines which we enjoyed in the spacious and exquisitely located accommodation. Winery visits were also great fun and showed contrasting styles of winemaking. I learned loads about Rioja and when I drink it I’ll now think back happily to this holiday.
Abby’s cooking is not to be glossed over. What a treat! Nutritious, generous, tasty and used local produce. We ate like Kings.

Lastly but not least, Abby and Chris are great fun to spend a week with and have managed to make Trails and Vines holidays the perfect balance of chilling with wine and earning it, all done with seemingly effortless execution. I’ll be back!
- Claire, Rioja October 2018



I had the absolute pleasure of going on the inaugural Trails and Vines holiday a couple of weeks ago. I am now going to try and do justice to what was an exceptional trip.

Why did I go? Like any sane person, I love wine. Second to that, I’m also quite fond of a run to clear the head, avoid the monotonous commute or generally keep (year-round ‘Christmas’) weight off. My running ‘career’ (generous word) has taken me round a marathon and a few halves, but of late I had begun to dislike running, and after my last 20km race, I decided that I was done with any formal events, and park run would be the most competition I would seek out. Until Chris and Abby got involved…

This power house of a couple had thought out every minute of our trip – I don’t mean to say that we were running around constantly and didn’t have a moment to breathe. There was ample free time to use as you pleased – be that reading from their extensive collection of running books, having a siesta or picking their brains about a particularly troublesome muscle.
I don’t want to give too much detail, but the weeks’ running programme was varied, it was accessible for a range of abilities, and it really opened my eyes to how creative a running plan could be. The schedule they put together included some form of run or exercise each day, plus wine made an appearance in the form of two vineyard visits, a glass or two over dinner, and as part of the pinchos crawl…

As for the food, well… Abby is a wonderful cook (I should give Chris credit for his chilli!). Meals were delicious and generous… I won’t say any more than that - you’ll have to see for yourself ;)

In summary, I had no intention of running another half when I went on this trip. I finished the week booking on to an ultra-marathon next September (and the Bordeaux trip next year!)
- Fern, Rioja October 2018


Categories: Running

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