Sunday, March 14, 2010

Napa Valley Marathon

It's too good. Just. Too. Good. Whether or not I'm lucky enough to get picked for the New York Marathon in November, I think I've found a marathon I would love to run next year: the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon. The 26.2-mile run starts at Calistoga, winds south along Silverado Trail (hello my old friends, Stag's Leap and Robert Sinskey), and finishes at Vintage High School in north Napa. It's a mostly rural run that goes through Napa's stunning vineyards and scenic countryside.  Then there's the wonderful pasta dinner (accompanied by more Silverado Trail wine) the night before the race. The piping hot, homemade soup at the finish line. Rumors of sorbet at mile 23. And guess what the top male and female runners get as one of their prizes? Their weight in wine from the Silverado Trail Wineries Association.

Seriously?!? Where do I sign up?

The downside to running a race like this, however, is that there's not a lot of spectators to buoy runners up when their energy starts to flag. One of the best things about the New York Marathon, I've heard, are the crowds that flood the streets to cheer the runners on, whether they know them or not.

This entry from A Trail Runner's Blog does a pretty informative review of this marathon, particularly for serious runners. Since I'm not one of those people, you'll understand why this is my favorite line in this blog post: "If I had to drop, that would be fine - there are plenty of wineries along the way where I could recover in the shade with a nice Sauvignon Blanc."

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