Mercer Estates Winery and Survivor Champion, Ethan Zhon have joined forces to create this inaugural event – The Eagle and Plow Race – 5K fun run and 15K/30K Mountain Bike ride in Mercer’s vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills to be held May 20, 2017.
Both groups donate all of the proceeds from the day to causes near to them – the Semper Fi Fund and Grassroots Soccer.
The event includes a 5k run around Mercer’s Eagle and Plow Vineyard and/or a 15K/30k Mountain Bike ride around several vineyard lots on some very exciting terrain. The first race will kick off at 10 am. Prizes will be awarded to top finishers, biggest group, best dressed or themed among others. After the race Mercer Estates is holding a late lunch at the winery in Prosser. Ethan will also be selling tickets to be the lucky guests to watch his Survivor Africa Reel later that night at the Mercer Tasting Room.
The idea was spearheaded by Rachel Mercer (Mercer Tasting Room Manager) and Ethan Zhon (former American professional soccer player and reality TV contestant who won $1,000,000 on Survivor: Africa) after Ethan chose to serve Mercer Wines at his wedding. The two discussed their mutual passion for philanthropy and helping to make the world a better place. Ethan offered his celebrity and Mercer offered a venue, and The Eagle & Plow Race came to life.
Ethan invested most of his Survivor winnings to co-found the organization, Grassroot Soccer which uses the power of soccer and the energy of youth to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to improve health. Ethan has been an important force in driving the strategic direction of GRS and building partnerships that have helped to provide lifesaving education for more than 1.9 million young people in 50 different countries.
Rob Mercer, owner of Mercer Estates Winery founded the Eagle & Plow charitable project 3 years ago with long-time friend, John Derrick. Derrick lost his best friend on Flight 93 in 2001 and Rob served a tour with the USMC in Iraq. Eagle & Plow gives 100% of the proceeds raised from its’ BLOCK 93 vineyard to organizations supporting our service men, women and their families. Over the past 3 vintages, the project has donated approximately $70,000 in cash and wine donations to this deserving audience.
This is the first race the Mercers have held out in the vineyards, which are located about 25 miles south of Prosser WA in the heart of the Horse Heaven Hills wine AVA. The plateau is mostly flat with some canyons allowing for some terrain and gentle slopes. The mountain bike trail has been under development for over a year and is two laps of an approximate nine mile course. “There are hills, sand, gravel, mud, rocks and dirt – it is the perfect mountain bike course”, says avid mountain biker Rob Mercer. The 5K Fun Run will wind through the North portion of the Eagle and Plow vineyard on established dirt roads and trails. May is traditionally a very calm and relatively warm month – so we are hoping for a great race day!
The races will start and end at the entrance to the vineyard. Prizes for the races will be awarded in the vineyard by Mercer and Zohn. The race is supported by volunteers from Mercer Ranches and Mercer Estates, local school and running groups, and area Marines. After the race, everyone is invited back to the Mercer Estates Tasting room for a celebration lunch, mingling with Ethan Zohn, wine tasting, yard games and much more. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the event to attend “The Survivor Africa Reel” with Ethan Zohn at 7pm on the big screen in the Mercer Barrel Room.
Pricing for the races including race t-shirt, swag bag, race entry and lunch: Youth $30 and Adults $50. A limited number of “Survivor Reel” tickets will be available online and through the tasting room.
To sign up for the race as an individual or a team go to SignMeUp.com/EPRace. Race forms will also be available at VeloCity Bike Shop on Keene Road in Richland. You can email info@MercerEstates.com or call (509) 786-2097 for race registration forms.
“We hope to raise awareness and a lot of money for these two growing and important initiatives and have a heck of a lot of fun along the way”, says Rob Mercer. “Come run, ride or be an enthusiastic supporter”.
More about Ethan Zohn
After playing professional soccer in the U.S. and Zimbabwe, Ethan Zohn went on to win the CBS reality show, Survivor Africa. He used his prize money to Co-found the organization Grassroot Soccer (GRS) that uses the power of soccer and the energy of youth to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to improve health. Ethan has been an important force in driving the strategic direction of GRS and building partnerships that have helped to provide lifesaving education for more than 1.9 million young people in 50 different countries.
In 2011, after twice surviving a rare form of Hodgkins Lymphoma and two bone marrow transplants, Ethan ran the NYC and Boston Marathon and is now an ambassador for many health related charities. Ethan is currently the host of State Of The Revs on Comcast Sports Net. In addition, he hosted the Emmy nominated show, Everyday Health on ABC and Outside Today on the Outside Television Network. Prior to that, Ethan was the host of Earth Tripping, an eco-friendly travel adventure show that brought him to over 20 countries. Ethan returned to reality TV as a contestant on The Amazing Race, Survivor All-Star, Fear Factor and Eco-Challenge.
Ethan travels the world as an inspirational speaker emphasizing resiliency, character, leadership, service and the importance of investing in clinical trials and cutting edge medical technologies used to create a healthier world.