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Vino On the Run

Mixing Wines & Marathons

Vino On the Run

By John Salak –

Don’t do the following at home or during a marathon—even for a great cause. A British merchant recently ran the London marathon all while raising money for a notable charity by blind tasting a glass of wine for almost every mile of the course.

In total, Tom Gilbey tasted 25 different wines during his jog, finishing the trek in 4 hours and 41 minutes.

“I was totally exhausted, totally cooked, but it was just such a great day,” he told The Guardian newspaper after crossing the finish line. Of course, embracing the grape is nothing new for Gilbey. He’s known in Britain as the “wine guy” and is often seen online blind-tasting various wines.

Running is also something of a passion too, although Gilbey usually doesn’t mix jogging and tasting simultaneously. He only decided to blend the two to raise money for Sobell House, an Oxford hospice charity that took care of his mother.

The effort required him to blind-taste a different wine at each mile marker, attempting to guess the variety, country of origin and vintage. The wines ranged from bottles sold at gas stations to higher-end Barolos. Given the circumstances, Gilbey performed pretty well. Of the 25 glasses, he reportedly got seven completely correct, while getting four completely wrong. He did, however, get the remaining 14 wines largely right, perhaps missing a single element for each one.

Beyond just demonstrating his expertise, Gilbey raised more than $16,000 for Sobell House. But was his feat of feet a good idea? Not really.

The New York Times reported a while back that mixing alcohol and exercise is never a good idea. The report stressed the need to limit any pre-exercise consumption to no more than one drink. This means chugging dozens of glasses of vino is certainly no way to hydrate during a marathon.

Just what is needed for proper marathon hydration? Water is a great start, although Runners World notes that the amount needed depends on each runner’s pre-race hydration, their propensity to sweat and the weather conditions. In some cases, up to 20-ounces an hour is required.

Exactly how much vino Gilbey consumed during this run is hard to determine because he admits drinking full glasses at times, while spitting out other offerings after a brief taste. It was enough, however, to provide some relief to the challenges of the 26-mile jaunt.

“It was hilarious because when you’re overtaken by a fridge and double-humped camel, you could get really depressed unless you knew there was a nice wine around the corner with some friendly faces to support you,” he told The Guardian.

Not surprisingly, many of his countrymen were utterly impressed by his efforts.

“This man drank 26 different wines & still managed a sub-5 marathon. Let that sink in,” one fan noted on TikTok.

Still for all the accolades and money raised for a good cause, Gilbey is absolutely “100 percent certain” his days of mixing running and wine slurping are over. It’s probably a good idea.





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