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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.”

(03/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

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...

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Cassie Scallon of Santa Barbara is one of the elite entrants in the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, despite injury

A hamstring injury has forced Cassie Scallon to cut down on her training, but she still plans to be in the field for Sunday’s Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon as one of the race’s elite women’s entrants.

The injury, said Scallon, has been frustrating, as she has dealt with it now for the last two months.

“So instead of doing the amount of training that I’d like to do, I’ve been spending a lot of time in therapy and seeing doctors, so that’s frustrating,” the Santa Barbara resident said.

“I’m not where I want to be with my fitness. But I’m not going to count myself out for the marathon at all.”

It will be Scallon’s first appearance in the Napa Valley Marathon, which rewards the top male and female overall finishers with their weight in wine provided by the Andretti Winery. 

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” said Scallon. “I’m meeting a bunch of friends from Boulder (Colorado). We’ve moved from Boulder about a year ago. We don’t get a chance to see each other all that often. Races are usually our big reason to get together.”

Scallon’s personal record for the marathon is 2:56:57, which she attained at the Woodlands Marathon in Texas in 2016. She was the second women’s finisher.

Her original goal for Napa was to try and set a new PR, or personal record. The woman’s course record in Napa is 2:39.36 in 2012.

“I was hoping I could go faster than that, but with this injury setback, I don’t know,” she said. “But it would still be nice to run around three hours I think.”

(03/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

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...
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Jonathan Briskman is set to compete in the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Half Marathon

Jonathan Briskman has a game plan going into the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Half Marathon, a 13.1-mile race that starts at 7 a.m. on the Silverado Trail in St. Helena, near Conn Creek Winery, and follows a point-to-point course to the finish-line area at Vintage High School on Trower Avenue, on Sunday, March 3.

Briskman, a resident of San Francisco, said one of his focuses will be on trying to stay relaxed for the first few miles, making sure that he doesn’t go out too fast, while still looking to keep up a good pace.

“A lot of it is experience, having raced quite a few half marathons now,” Briskman said in a telephone interview last week. “It’s just knowing how it’s supposed to feel for the first few miles, so that you can pace yourself accordingly, so that hopefully you can finish strong or even a little bit faster at the end.”

Briskman, 27, is one of the elite-level entrants, event organizers said, as he has a personal record time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 12 seconds at the race distance.

The Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, a 26.2-mile race now in its 41st year and beginning at 7:30 a.m. in Calistoga, is also sold out, with 2,000 runners. The marathon heads south on the Silverado Trail, to the finish line at Vintage.

“That was kind of a breakthrough race,” he said. “I’m hoping to build on that actually at Napa this year and run even a little bit faster. The set-up is point to point, with very few turns. That makes it pretty quick, as well as it’s a little bit of a net downhill.”

“That’s what I’m shooting for, trying to get as close as I can to about that five-minute pace,” he said. “I’m really excited for it. I’m really excited to try and run a fast time.”

Briskman ran a PR of 2 hours, 20 minutes, 18 seconds and placed 63rd overall at the California International Marathon in December. His previous best was 2:28.

(02/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

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...
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Chris Maxwell is hoping to PR at the new Napa Valley Half Marathon as he gets ready to run Boston April 15

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
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Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

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...
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2014 Napa Marathon Champion Jenny Kadavy Is going to run the new Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Half Marathon

There is so much that Jenny Kadavy likes about the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon.

She likes the course, which is a point-to-point route and is considered fast because it is flat.

She likes the area’s beautiful scenery.

She likes the organization of the event and the time of year that it’s held.

“I know that you win some wine – so that’s a good incentive as well,” Kadavy said on Sunday in a telephone interview. “I’ve come out to watch some from friends run it in the past. It’s just always been a really well conducted event.”

Kadavy, a resident of Clayton in Contra Costa County, was the women’s champion and the seventh overall finisher of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon in 2014.

It was Kadavy’s first win in a marathon. She achieved a personal record, finishing the race from Calistoga to Napa in a time of 2 hours, 40 minutes, 47 seconds. She also qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Kadavy will be returning to Napa, but not to run the marathon. She is an elite-level entrant and is in the field for the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Half Marathon, a first-year race, on Sunday, March 3. The 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 marathon uses to reach the finish-line area at Vintage High School on Trower Avenue.

(02/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

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...
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The Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon has added a half marathon this year

The annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon has kept to its traditions over 40 years. It’s always on the first Sunday in March. The 26.2-mile full marathon race starts at 7:30 a.m. from Rosedale Road and the Silverado Trail in Calistoga. The USA Track & Field certified point-to-point course takes runners south, through St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville and to the finish line, located in the front parking lot area of Vintage High School in Napa.

The 13.1 mile half marathon race, new this year, starts at 7:00 a.m. on the Silverado Trail at Conn Creek Winery and also finishes at Vintage High School.

The companion Greater Kiwanis Club of Napa 5K (3.1 miles) race starts at 7:30 a.m. at Vintage High School where it also finishes. 

Michelle La Sala, the founder of Blistering Pace Race Management, is the event’s new race director.

La Sala takes over for Rich Benyo and Dave Hill, who retired after 16 years as co-race directors following the 40th annual race last year. Benyo and Hill have each been involved with the race for 30 years.

”It shouldn’t be a surprise that people love to come and run in the Napa Valley,” says La Sala.  “It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

On January 9, 2018 Forbes Travel Guide rated NVM among the top 13 marathons in the world “worth traveling for,” an honor it has bestowed on NVM three times in the past four years. On January 28, 2016 The Economic Timesranked NVM at the top of its list of the “world’s best marathon locations to inspire you to lace up and get training.” 

Runner’s World magazine selected NVM as one of the top ten U.S. marathons for first-time marathon participants in its January, 2011 issue. My Best Runs/World’s Best Road Races ranks NVM as one of the world’s best 100 races (regardless of distance).

There are so many amazing stories surrounding the Napa Valley marathon and here is one of them:

Steve Radigan (67, Fremont., Calif.) is the only runner that has completed all 40 to date. His phenomenal streak started in 1979, the first year of the event. He owns an amazing total of 156 marathons on his running resume. What keeps this runner returning to NVM every year?

“I love the course, the organization, the size of the field, and how the race has treated me over the years,” Radigan said. “And, it’s much nicer to run on a quiet, gently rolling, uncrowded country road with no traffic than any urbansetting. The fact that it’s a point-to-point course makes quitting less tempting. There’s no shortcuts to the finish line.”

Radigan’s first NVM was his third marathon ever. He was 27 years old and had been running for about three years. Although he liked what running had done for his fitness it was becoming clear that he was never going to be an elite runner.

After his third NVM marathon he remembers: “As I was nearing the finish of that year’s race I thought how much I liked the NVM course compared to others and it would be a good goal for me totry to run it every year until I was 50,” Radigan said. 

In 1982 Radigan crossed the NVM finish line in 2 hours, 49 minutes, and 9 seconds, dipping under the qualifying time he needed for Boston by 51 seconds.

“Other races have come and gone,” said Radigan. “But I’ve been fortunate that NVM has continued and allowed me to come back year after year.”

(02/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mark Winitz
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Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

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...
Share

Napa Valley Marathon has added a New Half Marathon Distance event

Half the distance, that’s a new option for runners flocking to Napa on March 3, 2019, for the 41st Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon and new this year Half Marathon. Registration opened on June 13, 2018. The 13.1-mile race will start on the Silverado Trail at Conn Creek Winery, which is the halfway point of the 26.2-mile route. The half marathon takes off at 7 a.m. and the marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. All finishers end up at Vintage High School. “With the half marathon also comes a host of updates, including a new logo, website, and exciting new partner in Conn Creek Winery,” said Michelle La Sala, Napa Valley Marathon race director and president of Blistering Pace Race Management. “We have been working hard to enhance the runner experience while maintaining our long-standing commitment to the runner.” Runners will enjoy not only the new half-marathon option, but also the same long-time perks that the Napa Valley Marathon is known for—participant shirt, bag, medal, a boutique expo with free wine and beer tasting, VIP guest speakers, and tasty cooking demonstrations. The Napa Valley Marathon has garnered a loyal following on a beautiful point-to-point course through the nation’s most scenic wine country. It’s indeed an inspiring setting and has become known as the “biggest little marathon in the West,” and attracts the legends like Joan Benoit Samuelson. (06/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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40 years running through the Picturesque Napa Valley

The 40th anniversary of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon (March 4) presented perfect conditions for racing 26.2 miles through California’s picturesque Napa Valley. Cool temperatures at the start in the mid-30s with little wind greeted over 2,100 entrants eager for fast times. Andrew Bauer, 34, of Martinez, Calif. ran way with the men’s overall victory while Casey Crosson, 19, of Los Angeles, Calif. earned the women’s title. Bauer crossed the finish line with a time of 2:24:04 and Crosson secured her win in 2:50:49. (03/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Cassie Scallon is going for her weight in Wine at Napa Valley Marathon

A hamstring injury has forced Cassie Scallon to cut down on her training, but she still plans to be in the field for Sunday’s Napa Valley Marathon as one of the race’s elite women’s entrants. The injury, said Scallon, has been frustrating, as she has dealt with it now for the last two months. “I’ve been spending a lot of time in therapy and seeing doctors, so that’s frustrating,” the Santa Barbara resident said. “I’m not where I want to be...but don't count me out." It will be Scallon’s first appearance. By winning, one of the rewards is their weight in wine provided by the Andretti Winery. Cassie was the USA Track & Field’s 100K Trail national champion in 2012 and 2016. She won the title at USA Track & Field’s 50-Mile Road Championships in 2013. (02/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Three Time Napa Valley Marathon Champion Racing Again

The Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon announced today that three-time women’s champion Devon Yanko will return to the world-renowned Napa Valley and highlight a compact, but determined, elite field on Sunday, March 4, 2018. Yanko, age 35, has competed four previous times on the race’s fast point-to-point course, and emerged victorious in three of those instances (in 2007, 2012, and 2015) and placed third in 2014. Only one athlete to date has won NVM four times: Mary Coordt (Elk Grove, Calif.) who ran away with women’s victories in 1997, 2005, 2009, and 2010. (02/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Benoit Samuelson going to run 5K at 40th Annual Napa Valley Marathon

Runners from 16 countries and 44 states will gather in California’s Napa Valley for the 40th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon and Kiwanis Club of Greater Napa 5K Run on Sunday, March 4, 2018. American running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson (Freeport, Maine), a member of the Running USA Hall of Champions, will be a special guest and will be running the 5k. It was 34 years ago when Joan Beniot won the inaugural U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials race in 1984 and then winning the gold medal in Los Angeles at the first women’s Olympic Games marathon. (02/15/2018) ⚡AMP
Olympians
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Kristen Zaitz used to run 120 miles weekly...she now wants to see what she can do on less mileage

Kristen Zaitz is a three-time U.S. Olympic marathon trials qualifier and has a personal best time of 2:32:48. Her next marathon will be Napa... There used to be a time when Kristen Zaitz was putting in 120 miles a week. “I had done it for so long, at such a high level, that I was pretty burned out when I had my daughter a year ago,” said Zaitz. “The training has been super laid back and I really just wanted to come back slowly and have not much pressure on myself. Napa will be a good little eye opener for me.” (02/13/2018) ⚡AMP
Runners
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Napa Valley Marathon is Worth Traveling For says Forbes Travel Guide

Over the last four decades, the Napa Valley Marathon brings thousands of runners and spectators to the Valley every year in the spring, at a time when the tourist industry is usually slow. The race helps bring attention and prestige to Napa County. The race is routinely picked as one of the best marathons by running-related media, most recently by Forbes Travel Guide, which included it in the list of “13 Top Marathons Worth Traveling For In 2018,” joining events in Tokyo, Rome, London, Boston and New York. (02/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Joan Benoit-Samuelson will Be keynote Speaker at Napa Marathon

This year’s Napa Valley Marathon is also the Road Runners Club of America National Marathon Championships. “We are proud of our long-running relationship with the RRCA,” says Rich Benyo board chairman of Napa Valley Marathon. Joan Benoit-Samuelson, who makes her home in Maine, will be the featured keynote speaker at the NVM expo. “I’m looking forward to returning to the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon to celebrate the 40th running of the event at age 60,” Benoit-Samuelson said. (01/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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