Christian Hesch Wins Wine Country Half

Chrisitian Hesch, shown here en route to winning last month's Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half Marathon, won again in Oregon over the weekend. Photo:

Natalie Bak took the women’s race.

From: Running USA

CARLTON, Ore. — Christian Hesch, of Hollywood, CA and Natalie Bak of Bend, OR enjoyed perfect running conditions in the Willamette Valley on their way to their first Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon victories on Sunday morning. Hesch covered 13.1 miles in 1 hour, 6 minutes, 37 seconds, to beat Moroccan Aissa Oghoughi of Vancouver, WA (1:07:05) and defending champion Mario Mendoza of Bend (1:08:53). Bak, who finished runner-up last year, completed the scenic course in 1:19:23, defeating Lauren Johnson of Portland, OR (1:19:31) and Korina Pongracz-Bartha also from Portland who clocked 1:21:53. Bak and Hesch received $500 in cash, a Riedel Decanter trophy and Double Magnum of wine from Ken Wright Cellars.

Nearly 1,500 runners traveled from 40 different states and seven foreign countries to the heart of Oregon’s Wine Country in the Willamette Valley. The race started at Stoller Vineyards, as the sun was rising over Mt. Hood to the east and the moon setting to the west, providing spectacular views for the runners.

Hesch built a strong early lead but had to “kick it into gear” after Oghoughi mounted a strong challenge at mile 11. “It was an incredible day and an incredible course,” Hesch said. “It rivals any wine country scenery I’ve ever run through.”

“It was beautiful out there, I loved the run and Destination Races does a great job,” said women’s winner Bak. “I’ll definitely be back next year.”

The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon is the fourth of five events in the Wine Country Half Marathon series. Produced by Destination Races of Sonoma, California, the Wine Country Half Marathon series also includes events in Santa Barbara Wine Country, Napa-to-Sonoma, Healdsburg and Loudoun County, Virginia. For more information, visit:

3rd Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon
Carlton, OR, Sunday, September 2, 2012

1) Christian Hesch, Hollywood, CA, 1:06:37, $500 plus a Riedel Decanter trophy & Double Magnum of wine from Ken Wright Cellars
2) Aissa Oghoughi (MAR), Vancouver, WA, 1:07:05, $300 plus magnum of wine
3) Mario Mendoza, Bend, OR, 1:08:53, $200 plus magnum of wine

1) Natalie Bak, Bend, OR, 1:19:23, $500 plus a Riedel Decanter trophy & Double Magnum of wine from Ken Wright Cellars
2) Lauren Johnson, Portland, OR, 1:19:31, $300 plus magnum of wine
3) Korina Pongracz-Bartha, Portland, OR, 1:21:53, $200 plus magnum of wine

Find full results, race video and more at:

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