The Cricova Winery is the second largest wine cellar in Moldova. It has 120 kilometres (75 mi) of underground roadways that in the 1950s were created from mining tunnels. The tunnels were created in the 15th century to mine limestone to help build Chişinău.
There are a few running events in Moldova and the Cricova win run was added in 2015. The race was capped at 300 people and was sold out before the race day.
I decided to run the race in October as it seemed such an interesting space to run in and it kept me motivated to run during the chilly November and December Days. The race was 10 KM with most of the race inside in the tunnels and a few kilometers midway of the course that were outside.
I met up with a few other volunteers in Chişinău to hang out with them a few days before the run. On Saturday, we shopped at central piata for our evening meal of pasta, garlic bread and cheese. As I stopped to take the first photo of the beautiful presentation of herbs, we found out that the seller was the host mom to another Peace Corps volunteer and was from my raion, Stefan Voda.
A group of us gathered at the beginning of the race to cheer each other on and keep warm. It was around freezing outside (0C/ 32F) but temperatures in the tunnels are kept around 12C/ 56 F, which can be warm to run in when you are layered up to keep warm while waiting outside. There was music and dancing before, during and after the race. Great fun and so helpful to have the performers and other volunteers to cheer us on.