Chardonnay Run: The Soiree Starts at the Finish Line

Nosh on vinos and cheese at Santa Monica Pier.

There was a day when a runner crossed a finish line and did a few bends, performed a couple of stretches, and then went in search of her spectating friends and a solid brunch of eggs and extras.

But the finish line has become an event in its own right, apart from the race it graces. Nearby lifestyle and health expos mean participants have a place to go, if they're so inclined, after wrapping up a run, and live music and food trucks are not uncommon sounds and sights once a runner's time is clocked.

Tastings at the finish line, however, are the frontrunner among trends. Look to the beer gardens popping up at the close of half-marathons across the land and look to The Chardonnay Run, a 5K described as "an athletic social event" and "not a timed race."

The Chardonnay Run will wend through Santa Monica, along Barnard Way and Main Street among other thoroughfares, on Sunday, May 3. Santa Monica Pier is the ultimate destination, the finish line, and the scene of a wine-tasting party.

Make that wine and cheese pairings. It's not the usual trail mixes and citrus slices, nope, but it does reflect that growing after-party scene of those who run. Run and walk, we'll add, which is a-ok, per the organizers, for this event. "(W)hatever it takes to get to the finish line and your wine!"

What are your after-run traditions? Soon many 5Ks, if not all, could feature some sort of don't-head-home-yet social situation of the wine-tasting variety. Throw in a setting like Santa Monica Pier, and you're set. Making it all the better is a great beneficiary like the Surfrider Foundation, the official charity partner of The Chardonnay Run.

Like you don't want to leave a wedge of Brie out all day, in the direct sun, you don't want to dally on registration. Slots are getting be-runner-ed, fast, and registration closes up at 5 o'clock Santa Monica Pier time on Thursday, April 30.

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