What sounded like a fun running event on Sunday had some unexpected repercussions, with some runners having to pause to vomit by the roadside.
The Yongfong community office in Greater Taichung’s Waipu District (外埔) borrowed an idea from vineyards in France’s Bordeaux region and organized a Half-distance Marathon and Masque Carnival that attracted about 2,000 participants.
The runners were divided into various groups according to gender, what family members they were with and how far they wanted to run. They had a choice of doing the full 21km course, an 8km route or taking part in a division made up of people who came in costumes, the community office said.
Twelve way-stations had been stocked with wine and snacks, all provided by the local vineyards, and the runners were given 10ml of wine at each stop.
The office said 80 crates of wine were consumed.
Most of the runners took only a few sips of wine, but for some the combination of strenuous exercise and alcohol was not a good one.
Liu Chiao-mei (劉巧梅), who placed second in the 8km group for females, said she only let the wine touch her lips, but did not drink any of it because she thought it would boost her heartrate.
She said other runners drank 10ml of wine at the first stop, felt dizzy as a result and so abstained from the wine being handed out at the other stations, adding that there were others who had drank more before the effects set in.
However, none of the runners needed help from Kuangtien Hospital, which the office had arranged to have on standby.
Lu Li-hua (盧立華), head of the Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital emergency room, said that strenuous exercise after drinking alcohol could easily lead to cardiac dysrhythmia and could cause a heart attack.
‧ The Yongfong community office wanted to promote vineyards in the area.
‧ It took the idea of combining a marathon run and winetasting from events in France.
‧ About 2,000 people took part in Sunday’s runs.
‧ Although adult runners were given just 10ml of wine from each way station, some runners suffered stomach upsets.
Alcohol tolerance varies from individual to individual and should be avoided if just to err on the side of caution, Liu said.
The community office said it had received some criticism for providing wine at an event that included children, but it said most participants were adults, and any children were all accompanied by their parents in the parent-child group.
However, it said it would consider putting age restrictions on events in the future.
Lee Shih-lung (李世隆), head of Dachia District (大甲) police precinct’s Waipu station, said police had asked the organizers to urge runners to come with family members who could drive them home so they would not risk driving while intoxicated.
He said he was glad to see that there were no incidents of drunk driving following the event.