Most experienced runners need little incentive, but organizers of a 10-km race in Moldova in 2019 had a nice way to make sure everyone made it to the finish line. After navigating a mostly underground route with the help of headlamps and maps, competitors were handed a glass of wine to toast their accomplishment. Of course, since their run took place in the largest wine cellar in the world -- the state-owned Milestii Mici winery -- the runners were probably ready for a taste. Moldova, a former Soviet Socialist Republic, is hoping to spread interest in its wine industry, and the race was meant to whet the world's appetite for its offerings. Runners came from the United States, Europe, and Canada, and as they made their way through the limestone caverns stocked with wine, they were greeted by musicians, singers, and dancers cheering them on. The winery is listed by Guinness World Records as the largest on Earth, holding approximately two million bottles of wine.
More about Moldova:
- According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, Moldova is the least-visited country in Europe.
- Transnistria is a breakaway part of Moldova that has border controls and its own currency.
- Political infighting led to Moldova going without an official president from 2009 until 2012.