#003 – Today’s guest, Sonia Gonzales, is the founder of Run Then Wine and has been a runner for over ten years. She plans on putting Run Then Wine on the map as one the fastest growing courses in the US in bringing positive economic impact to New Mexico and inspiring people to be more health conscious.
- Run Then Wine transition to virtual
- Benefits of running a virtual race
- How a virtual race works
- Charity support through virtual races
Sonia is the founder of Run Then Wine and has been a runner for over ten years. Sonia has a professional career in the Oil and Gas industry as a Cost Controller of a multi-billion-dollar natural gas pipeline project on the East Coast. She is an entrepreneur, inventor, and Ph.D. student. Her first official non-provisional patent was submitted in June 2020, for a baby bottle system that she invented. She plans on putting Run Then Wine on the map as one the fastest growing courses in the US in bringing positive economic impact to New Mexico and inspiring people to be more health conscience. In her spare time, she loves to travel the world and spend time with her grandsons, family, and friends.
Run Then Wine Virtual Run 2020
October 17, 2020 – November 7, 2020
Sign-up for Run Then Wine Virtual Run 2020 – First 25 registrations will receive a 10% discount. Just use promo code INSPIREVR10 on or after October 1!
- Website – https://www.runthenwine.com
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/runthenwine
- Twitter – @runthenwine
A portion of all proceeds will go to the Hope Village, serving the homeless and near-homeless population in Las Cruces, NM.
Richard Conner 0:00
Here’s what you can look forward to on this episode of Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast.
Sonia Gonzales 0:05
And then you also maybe get people out there just moving. So I mean even giving back on that level as well, whenever I did the first race back in 2014, then I did have several people who had not ever run something like this before. And it was pretty inspiring to know that, you know, that, you know, the the event motivated them to maybe look towards maybe a healthier lifestyle and so that was a big significance to me.
Welcome to Inspire virtual runs podcast, whether you are new to running or seasoned, get tips in the inspiration that you need to achieve your health and fitness goals. Now, here’s your host Richard Conner.
Richard Conner 0:52
Hi, everyone. Welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. I am here with today’s guest, Sonia Gonzales. Sonia Gonzales is the founder of Run Then Wine, and has been a runner for over 10 years. Sonia has a professional career in the oil and gas industry as a cost controller of a multibillion dollar natural gas pipeline project on the east coast. She is an entrepreneur, inventor, and a PhD student. Her first official nonprovisional patent was submitted in June 2020 for a baby bottle system that she invented. she plans on putting Run Then Wine on the map as one of the fastest growing courses in the US and bringing positive economic impact in New Mexico and inspiring people to be more health conscious. in her spare time. She loves to travel the world and spend time with a grandson’s family and friends. Welcome to the show, Sonia.
Sonia Gonzales 1:53
Hi. Thank you for having me.
Richard Conner 1:55
So what an incredible background that you have here. And you know, one of the things that really stuck out to me was the traveling the world. Like what has been some of the most memorable places that you’ve traveled to in the past?
Sonia Gonzales 2:11
Boy, I’ve just been all over the place. My ex husband was in the military. So we spent a lot of time overseas. So I traveled a lot of Europe. But I really loved the beaches. So I’ve I’ve kind of spent while I’ve been working on the East Coast, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Caribbean. So I’ve done Aruba, Costa Rica, Jamaica. And I have to say by far the the blue waters in Aruba have been spectacular. And I’ve really appreciated those to just be able to enjoy the sun and the clear waters. It’s one of my favorite times, just spending time out in the beach.
Richard Conner 2:48
Oh, that sounds really nice. I love the Caribbean myself. I haven’t quite made it to Aruba, but I’ll definitely have to add it to my list. So Sonia, I know that Run Then Wine started in New Mexico, but you’re now based in West Virginia. So tell me tell me about that. How did that come about?
Sonia Gonzales 3:06
Yeah, well, I I work here in West Virginia. But I’m just kind of back and forth. My son lives out here. So I, I just come back and forth between New Mexico and here. And I mean, right now with all this going on my job turned from having to be in a corporate environment to be able to work remotely. So basically, it can be anywhere. Which I mean Bermuda sounds really nice, or, or the Bahamas, but
Richard Conner 3:32
Or maybe Aruba back to Aruba.
Sonia Gonzales 3:34
Yeah, yeah. But yeah, they’ve kind of told us we kind of have to stay in the continental USA. So. So I’ve been trying to make it my trying trying to make my way around and just see the things that I see. Because like I said, I like to travel and I do a lot of traveling International. But I’m going to just try to do a little bit of traveling here towards the end of the year now that that things have started to calm down a little bit, and it’s more acceptable to be traveling right now. So I’m gonna try to Yeah, I have plans to go down to North Carolina and Arizona, maybe up to Montana. So do a little bit of travel, traveling for the remainder of the year.
Richard Conner 4:20
Okay, great. So, Sonia, when I first came across, Run Then Wine, you know, I said to myself, now that’s something I can get behind. And I’m sure that our Inspire Virtual Runs community can as well. And I understand that run then wine is a virtual run that you started this year. But it originally started as a live race a few years ago. So how How did Run Then Wine originally start?
Sonia Gonzales 4:50
Well, like I said, I’ve or like you said, I’ve been a runner now for about 10 years and when I go out on my runs my mind just get super creative and My brother in law and sister they own winery, a couple of wineries and a and a vineyard. And back then in 2014, I decided, wouldn’t it be great she had just opened her second location. And I thought maybe this would be a good opportunity for her to be able to, to kind of get her name out there. She opened a white wine tasting room in a pizzeria. And so at that time, it only been a few years since they had opened. And I thought it would be a great, great idea just to have this event, I love to run and I love to drink wine. And I thought she’s got the wine and I can maybe get the people to come from. So yeah, so then this is how it all became. And we had great interest we had a lot of people come out. Because I knew the area’s so flat, then we were able to get a few. We, it was a 5k, half, and a full marathon. And we were able to get it to be the the USATF course for New Mexico for the marathon and then Boston qualifier on top of an Olympic Trials qualifier. So it was exciting to be able to bring something like that to New Mexico, cuz there’s not really, it also doesn’t offer a whole lot of marathons. I think there’s one other in the state. But yeah, I hadn’t done it again. And this year, I decided I was gonna just try to do the 5K. But yeah, then then that ended up turning into a virtual race, because of all this been going on this year with the COVID and all.
Richard Conner 6:39
And you mentioned that there’s there’s not a lot going on in terms of races in New Mexico. So what about the wineries? Is the wineries common in New Mexico? Is that quite unique?
Sonia Gonzales 6:50
Well, you know, I think a lot of people don’t realize how much agriculture goes on in New Mexico, because it’s kind of desert. And so I don’t know that they realize how much great you know how many vineyards or how many wineries are actually in New Mexico, I think there’s upwards, past 50 wineries in the area. And there’s actually a lot of great producing my brother in law, I think he was farming about 300 acres, and they’d sell it off of the grapes out to California and other states. So it’s actually a really great place to to grow grapes, along with other other other crops that they do, because it’s huge on pecans. And pistachios, green chili, New Mexico is famous for green chili. So if you’ve eaten green chili in the southwest, you’ve probably tasted hatch green chili, which we’re extremely passionate about.
Richard Conner 7:45
I’m sure, I’m sure. Okay, so so you mentioned that the, that the race transition to to virtual because of this pandemic, so, you know, besides the the pandemic, why would someone run a virtual race?
Sonia Gonzales 7:59
Well, you know, just out of sheer convenience, a lot of times, you know, it’s just a little bit cheaper, instead of having to drive somewhere or fly or, you know, accommodate yourself for travel, then you can just run it wherever you’re at, you can run it with friends, you can find your favorite path or mean, even even if you had to just run it on the treadmill. It’s just a matter of just being part of something being part of a community. And, and I mean, being part of the running community has been phenomenal. There’s just such great support systems. And it’s just that I’ve been super happy to be part of the running community since I decided to become a runner. So many years ago.
Richard Conner 8:40
You know, it’s interesting that you mentioned that because for for inspire virtual runs, there’s there’s two elements to the virtual aspect. So one element is just having this virtual community where we inspire and motivate each other to run. But the other element is virtual races. And you know, what I love about Run Then Wine beyond the wine, which which I truly love, but it’s also promoting that that virtual aspect for those who may be looking to alternatives for live races, maybe they’re just kind of getting started with, with running and 5K’s it’s a nice alternative to doing a live race on top of, you know, a current situation with with the pandemic.
Sonia Gonzales 9:21
Yes, definitely. And I mean, you can just run it on your favorite path. And yeah, you can just keep improving your time if you wanted to, in this kind of just puts a little bit of, I don’t know, it kind of brings a little bit of competitiveness, just knowing you’re part of a race, I think.
Richard Conner 9:38
How does this virtual race differ from what you had set up many years ago? Like how did the live race run or work and then how is it different now that you’re doing it virtually?
Sonia Gonzales 9:51
Well, right now, the I mean, the a normal race would be you’d register and then you, you know, you go wherever it is that you’re going to run it, you show up and Then you’ve got a group of other people that you’re running, basically against, or with. And, you know, you go, you pick up your packet you, you run your race, and there’s there’s gonna be water stations, restrooms, accommodations for, for, you know what’s going on you’ve got you’ve got all kinds of other aspects where you’ve got blockades because of the the streets or be closed off. And then you’ve got people that are out there supporting the race, and such. So some something like a parade, I guess. Like what you’d find in a parade, the the virtual environment, I think it’s just a little bit more of a, I mean, you can possibly get a handful of friends with you if you want it to where you could do so low. And you register online, you get your shirt, your metal in your, in our case, you get a wine glass as well and a printable bib, and you go out and you do the race when you want. So whether you want to do it in the morning, or in the afternoon, on the weekend, during the weekends, whenever is convenient for you, and then you log your time in. And for our race, I’m not sure how other virtual races are running, if you’re not happy with your time, then you can run it again. During the time period right now we’re our upload time is anywhere between October 17, and November 7. So if you run your virtual race and you’re not happy with your time, then you can go ahead and run it again. And and you know, improve your time if you wanted to. So I think it just adds some convenience, we’re now with the virtual race, you don’t have to lie somewhere, you don’t have to drive anywhere, you just, you can just do it at your convenience, if you want to just do it from your, from your front door, you know, down the street and back however it is that that you feel most comfortable doing it makes it I think it alleviates a lot of stress of of trying to get to and from somewhere and making sure you get there in time the night before. And a lot of times these races are held on Sundays. And so then having to figure out a drive, you know, on Saturday and then maybe having to still get to work on Monday. So I think it leaves you you alleviate some stress from from the travel portion of trying to get to a race. And then you know, if there’s a ton of people, then you have to deal with all of that as well and trying to find a hotel that’s affordable and such.
Richard Conner 12:35
Definitely. So the convenience factor is is is a big thing with virtual races versus live races.
Sonia Gonzales 12:41
Richard Conner 12:43
Okay. All right. Well, very, very important points there. Again, some some folks just love the excitement of having people cheering for them and other runners to to compete with. So So for those runners who are very competitive, you know, potentially virtual races may not be for them. But for for the rest of us, I think it’s a nice option. And it’s really nice opportunity for you to continue what you had started with with Run Then Wine right, we don’t have to wait till the the end of this pandemic for us to continue the the race. So you could you’re doing it virtually which which I think is nice. And is there anything else behind it? So I know that you mentioned that Run Then Wine was really based on your love for wine and running? And also to support your family with the wineries? Is there anything else behind Run Then Wine? is it like? Is it like a charity or any other premise behind it?
Sonia Gonzales 13:41
Well, I mean, part of the proceeds will be donated to a local homeless shelter. But you know, I just tried to find something that I’ve you know, that we’ll be able to help and the first year that I did it, I donated it to the donated part of the proceeds to the wounded warriors and action Foundation which is based on military. It helps men and women that have been in the military that have gotten injured, and so it it they take these people out into the outdoors and they do some kind of hunting type expedition of some sort like that. And so I donated part of the proceeds to that when I did it last time. And because we’re in because of the area then you know we’ve got a couple of bases here in the area, one in in alamogordo, New Mexico and then another in Fort Bliss are in El Paso which is a Fort Bliss army base there and so a part of the part of the people that helped with the with the volunteering and such were part of the military personnel so it kind of just kind of tied in for me at the time. And then I’ve just been part of the military my, my dad was retired Navy officer and my ex husband as well. So I’ve just been part of the military life for my whole life.
Richard Conner 15:05
Okay, and, and I and I see that with a number of virtual races where some of them will, will run for for charity or some cause. And that’s another reason to to get behind virtual races, it’s for a good cause. So, so that’s really nice.
Sonia Gonzales 15:24
Thanks. Yeah, it’s just kind of giving back to the community. And plus, I mean, whenever, for me, bringing an event like this to, you know, the, the actual race whenever the money gets donated, I mean, you just kind of put put it back into something good. And, and then you also maybe get people out there just moving. So I mean, even giving back on that level as well, whenever I did the first race back in 2014, then I did have several people who had not ever run something like this before. And it was pretty inspiring to know that, you know, that, you know, that the event motivated them to maybe look towards maybe a healthier lifestyle. And so that was a big significance to me.
Richard Conner 16:07
Mm hmm. And do you see that the the virtual races, a way to motivate them to to have a goal to work towards? Or how do you think that that provides that motivation?
Sonia Gonzales 16:19
Yeah, I think so. Especially for people who aren’t comfortable or are embarrassed. I mean, for me, I’m, I’m not a very fast runner. And so whenever I first ran my first few races, I, I just, you know, you kind of feel embarrassed, because you because you know, you’re not a fast runner, and you just feel like everybody’s out gonna be judging you when I mean, in reality, the running community is not like that at all. And, and people that might be new to running may not know that yet. That I mean, if you’re, if you’re out there, you’re gonna have people rooting for you, regardless of how slow or even if you have to walk, I think that that the premise is just go out there and do something. And I mean, running is just a good a good outlet, just to kind of do something for yourself and on your own, and you don’t have to compete. And I think that the virtual, the virtual environment allows that you can kind of it’s, you can kind of do it on your own, you can, you could just you don’t have to worry about, you know, whether somebody is going to be if you’re worried about, you know, how slow you might be running or that you just aren’t completing it in the time that you that you’re wanting, I think that that kind of takes that part out of it, you just kind of do it on your own. And, and, and hopefully that, that you feel some some bit of satisfaction at the end of it.
Richard Conner 17:47
Well, I’m sure people will, right. So if you’ve never run a 5k before, and you train for it, and the day finally comes and you run it and complete it, I’m sure not only do you get that that runner’s high, but also the the sense of accomplishment, right that you completed it. So so I’m sure that they feel that way. Yeah, definitely. So. So now that we’re talking about kind of the someone signs up for for the race, you mentioned the what they will receive as part of signing up for the virtual race, how do they actually go about doing the race outside of running the race? Like, is there any special technology that they need any special software? Like how do people do this virtually?
Sonia Gonzales 18:30
Well, I mean, if people are, they can use their any kind of GPS tool that they might have. Some people have running watches like the Garmin or you know some kind of smartwatch or you have your cell phone, we were providing an app that’s available that you can use to run we’re we’ve provided some pre mapped routes in which will take you to and from a winery so that we may be you can enjoy your your wine afterwards, we’ve got a couple of wineries that are participating in that. So if you if you are interested in doing one of the mapped routes, then you can do that. Or you can contact us and we can pre map one for you, wherever you’re at. If you’re if you want to just try to try to get a run in your area, then I can also put a pre map to my route in your area as well. So just to make it easier, there’s a an app called Run Go app. And it’s a turn by turn voice navigated, kind of like you would find your Google Maps to do when you’re traveling your car, but it does it for the running community.
Richard Conner 19:47
Okay, and the Run Go app, is this something that anybody could use download and use or they need to, to connect with you for the maps?
Sonia Gonzales 19:56
No, it’s something anybody can use. It’s down loaded, you can download it for free. And it’s free to use.
Richard Conner 20:05
Okay. Excellent. Thank you so much, Sonia. This has been awesome. Like I said, Run Then Wine, I think is a great theme, great cause and supporting your family’s winery. And I’m sure the Inspire Virtual Runs community will be interested in checking out this this virtual run. So how can they how can they find you? And how could they look into the details and sign up for run then wine virtual run?
Sonia Gonzales 20:34
Well, they just have to go to our website runthenwine.com. And all the information is there, there’s a short little video that I’ve also uploaded in order for them to maybe get a little better idea of what a virtual run is, if, if they still want to get a little better understanding. And we’ve made it easy for them to register, they’ve got some few, they got a few options they can make, we’ve got different shirts that we offer. So if you want cotton shirt, or if you want something a little bit nicer, like a moisture wicking shirt, or Razorback for women, so more like a tank top kind of thing. Yeah. And then also, I mean, if you are in New Mexico and you and you pick up your packet, then we also provide you a voucher to be able to get a glass of wine at Luna Rossa winery. So if, if they’re interested, then that’s something we can do. And we’ve also mapped pre map the route from Luna Rossa winery as well. And that’s my sister’s winery. Yeah, so we’ve got a few people that are running that route. And we’ve also got the radio DJ, he’s going to be doing a live a live feed with with the, the, the event as well. So it should be a fun, a fun time. I mean, the weather’s perfect for running in New Mexico right now. And it will be for the next six to eight weeks. And I mean, the the future of it. I mean, the hope is to really have more of the wineries involved. And hopefully next year, we’ll be able to have an actual event. But I’m considering probably just trying to keep the virtual option open and maybe adding some other features to it as this progresses. And we see how how well the community accepts the virtual race. I think the the idea is still pretty new. But I mean, people, it’s just a fun way to go out and do something fun. If you’ve got some spare time and you like to run this is it’s a good activity to be part of.
Richard Conner 22:39
Definitely, definitely in the point that you made about the the adoption of virtual runs, it is relatively new. And we’ve seen it increased due to the pandemic, but I think a lot of things, a lot of digital technology over the last few months has, we’ve seen an increase in usage. And, you know, I don’t really see that going away, even post pandemic. So, you know, we’ll see what the impact is to virtual runs. But, you know, there’s there’s a lot of benefits, I think for for folks to to do it. So well. You know, we’ll see. And it sounds like you’ll continue to run then line. So that’s a great opportunity for our community to check it out even even beyond this year.
Sonia Gonzales 23:19
Richard Conner 23:20
All right. Well, thanks. Thanks again, Sonia. So for the Inspire Virtual Runs listeners, we’re going to include this information in the show notes. So you’ll be able to check out Run Then Wine Virtual Run 2020 and connect with Sonia as well as sign up for the race. So with that, Thanks and have a great day.
Sonia Gonzales 23:41
I appreciate it. Thank you for having me, Richard.
Richard Conner 23:44
Okay, inspire virtual runs community, be sure to check out Run Then Wine at runthenwine.com and sign up for the virtual race that runs from October 17 through November 7, and the first 25 registrations from the IVR community or receive a 10% discount. Just use promo code INSPIREVR10. Again, INSPIREVR10. All of this will be in the show notes. And thanks again for joining us today.
That’s it for this episode of inspire virtual runs podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review. Also, be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss an episode. Thanks for listening.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai