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This is a big year for Chris Maxwell. A member of the Bowerman Track Club Elite team in Portland, Oregon, Maxwell will be looking to attain a personal record when he runs the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Half Marathon on Sunday, March 3.
The new 13.1-mile race starts at 7 a.m. on the Silverado Trail in St. Helena, near Conn Creek Winery, and follows the same course that the full Napa Valley Marathon uses, to reach the finish line area at Vintage High School.
Six weeks later, Maxwell is running the 123rd annual Boston Marathon on Patriots Day April 15.
Maxwell said his training and preparation over the last two months, with mileage of over 80 miles per week and speed workouts on the track, have gone well.
“I think that will translate well to the half marathon,” Maxwell said in a telephone interview Monday. “Coming from not having a strong track background, it’s something that I’m continuing to develop. I feel super excited about the race. I’m feeling great. And I’m excited that I get to open it up and see where I am at six weeks before Boston.”
The Napa Valley Half Marathon, a brand new race which was announced last year by event officials, has a sold-out field of 2,000 runners. It’s one of three races on March 3, joining the 41st annual Napa Valley Marathon and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Napa 5K (3.1 miles). The same finish-line chute, located in the front parking lot of Vintage, will be used for all three races.
Maxwell’s fastest half-marathon time is 1 hour, 12 minutes, 21 seconds – a split-time that he achieved at the California International Marathon, a point-to-point race that is put on by the Sacramento Running Association, this past December. He placed 140th in the race in a time of 2:28:05.
“That was the first half of the race,” said Maxwell, 25. “I know that doing a half, just by itself, and not having the second half within the marathon itself, I think I can definitely run faster than that.”
Maxwell and his coach, Mario Fraioli, have identified a time of 1:09 to 1:10 for the Napa race as a goal.(02/23/2019) ⚡AMP
As one of California's top tourist destinations, Napa Valley has been home to this race for decades. When it comes to scenic, it just doesn't get better than Napa in the spring. The narrow valley is covered in grape vines that stretch high up the hillsides on either side. The colors are crisp green, blue and yellow at that time...more...