Glasgow Wineathlon set to face health board objection

A Wineathlon event in Yorkshire. Picture: Wineathlon/Facebook
A Wineathlon event in Yorkshire. Picture: Wineathlon/Facebook
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CONCERNS over licensing and public health may put the brakes on a marathon event planned for Glasgow where participants will be encouraged to drink wine instead of water.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has raised objections to a proposed Wineathlon, a 10k race scheduled to take place somewhere south of Glasgow city centre on September 24.

Health campaigners and license experts, speaking to the Herald, have also cast doubt on the event’s credibility.

TeamOA, the Yorkshire-based organisers of the event, hope to stage the first Wineathlon north of the Border, which they claim puts the “fun back into run.”

Participants in the race will stop every two miles to sample wines from major wine-producing regions. Prospective runners, some of whom have already paid the £18 fee for registering, will be encouraged to buy any wine they’ve tried during the race at its end.

But organisers will have to find a way around stricter licensing laws in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire councils, both of whom forbid consumption of alcohol in the street.

An NHS spokesman told the Herald: “We would contest any application for thsi event. Not only is alcohol detrimental to sports performance, but this proposed event stands against our public health messages.”
Jack Cummins, a lawyer and licensing expert, said TeamOA are stepping into a “licensing minefield.”

“In the current climate, especially with the promotion of the Scottish ‘protection of public health’ objective very much in the ascenant, jumping the licensing hurdles is likely to be very problematic.”

Alcohol Focus Scotland chief executive Alison Douglas also criticised the plans, calling them “ill-thought out” and a risk to public health.

Wane Law, of TeamOA, said organisers were aware of licensing issues. “We are not giving any more details on the plans until we have finalised things with our chosen charity. People have become fixated on the wine.”