Sam Long claims the men title at the Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Sam Long of Boulder, Colorado, a professional triathlete, was the overall champion of the 41st annual Napa Valley Marathon. Long came from two minutes behind at the 18-mile mark and passed Zack Sims, the leader, of Atlanta with just three miles to go in the point-to-point race that is sanctioned by USA Track & Field.

Long crossed the finish line in the front parking lot area of Vintage High School clocking 2:32:33. Sims, running in his first marathon and his first distance in a race over 10K, was second in a time of 2:34:58.

“I gave it everything I had at 20 miles,” said Long, running in only his second marathon race. “It’s a beautiful area, a beautiful course, and a great race. The last two miles felt like they took 30 minutes. I just told myself just to give it all. (Sims) had a phenomenal race.

“I didn’t really expect to overtake him. I knew it was a hope. Anything can happen in the last three miles of a marathon. I’ve been in that position when you get passed. It’s pretty rough. But that’s just life these days, you know.”

Greg Krathwohl of San Francisco was third in a time of 2:42:17.

Liza Reichert won the women’s title, finishing fourth overall, and secured the “B” standard, also qualifying for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. Reichert ran 2:44:06. The “B” standard for the trials is 2:45:00.

Reichert said her primary goal was to hit the trials qualifying mark.

“It was exciting to win,” she said. “It’s a little off my personal best but I knew that this was a challenging course. It was a little bit off of what I had hoped to run time-wise today. But mission accomplished.”

posted Monday March 4th