Where is it?

Dorlisheim in north-eastern France. I’ve been visiting France for almost 40 years but had never gone to Alsace. Writing my book, The Wine Runner, gave me a chance to put that right.

Why do you go there?

The 10km race was part of the Marathon du Vignoble d’Alsace programme and an opportunity to investigate the region’s rich and often turbulent history.

Over the centuries, ownership has shuttled between France and Germany. The impact of that instability was highlighted during the Second World War, when families saw some members drafted into the German army while siblings fought for France.

How often do you go?

I tend to visit France at least once a year to watch sport, have a city break, or for a longer holiday. I travelled to Dorlisheim by train via Strasbourg, which seems like a place worth investigating in the future.

How did you discover it?

I searched for a race in France that matched my criteria: a testing course in an area with a tradition for excellent wine and an intriguing history. This one satisfied the requirements and took place in June, which was a free date in my schedule.

What’s your favourite memory?

There was a carnival atmosphere for the race, with many runners in fancy dress, villagers lining the streets and picnics at the finish. Winners of the men’s and women’s marathons received their weight in wine – around 70 bottles each.

The presentation was an elaborate exercise using giant scales with the athlete on one side and a box on the other. Bottles were added until an equilibrium was reached. I also stumbled upon a fabulous family winery in Dorlisheim where I had a great tasting.

Who do you take?

I travelled alone. Friends and family join me for some trips, but I’m comfortable in my own company.

What do you take?

Running kit, a notebook, a mini video camera and an inquisitive mind.

What do you leave behind?

A partially completed book. My story about Alsace is chapter nine of 12.

Sum it up in five words.

Fascinating. Historical. Traditional. Quaint. Undulating.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

Of my 12 races, the most disappointing performance was a half marathon in the Douro Valley in Portugal. It was a lovely region and a fairly flat course that should have been ideal for a (relatively) fast time.

But I had missed training because of injury and race day temperatures were in the mid-30s Celsius. Local firefighters were stationed at various points around the route, hoses at the ready to provide cooling showers for the runners.

The combination of factors meant I ran badly, and really struggled over the final three miles. I might go back at some point to prove something to myself, and to enjoy the local wine.

The Wine Runner: My Year of Hard Yards and Vineyards by Colin Renton (Polaris Books, £9.99), is out now. The author is appearing at the Aye Write book festival in Glasgow on Sunday (May 28). Visit glasgowlife.org.uk