What You Need to Know About the Napa Valley Marathon

napa valley marathon

Photo Credit: Loic Le Meur

Although the Napa Valley is known for its delicious and high-quality wines, it’s difficult to overlook the region’s beauty and desirable temperate climate. The ideal vineyard environment is also one wanting of outdoorsy adventurers looking for a good frolic in the Bay Area’s surrounding hills. This is precisely what has attracted so many competitors to the Napa Valley Marathon each spring since 1979. This small West Coast race has earned a reputation for providing outstanding support to runners, as well as its beautiful point-to-point course. Also, lending to the race’s popularity is the coveted destination of Napa Valley, where runners come to race while enjoying a wonderful weekend getaway.

The Race

The Napa Valley Marathon was voted the best road race in the country by the Road Runners Club of America. It has earned a reputation for its excellence as a road race as well as the community surrounding it, providing great support services, charitable causes, and a beautiful route. This course is great for beginning marathoners as it is mostly downhill, descending nearly 300 feet from start to finish.

Along the way, there are aid stations every 2 miles where drinks, fruit, medical supplies, and restrooms are stationed. If runners have specific preferences or dietary restrictions they can even leave special drinks with organizers that will be distributed and waiting for them at the aid stations. Sweat bags can be left with the organizers and will be dropped at the finish line waiting for their owners. Runners have a maximum of six hours in which to finish the race. Transportation is provided to the start of the race. Bibs are available for pick up at the Sports and Fitness Expo on both Friday and Saturday, along with other fitness and health products for sale. Marathon College takes place on Saturday and will begin with some tips on running the Napa Valley Marathon, followed by tales from experienced runners.

A Napa Valley Marathon Weekend Getaway

It won’t take much to make your trip to the Napa Valley Marathon about more than just running the race. Like other visitors to the area, you’re sure to fall in love with the enchanting landscape, delicious wine and charming country culture. The Churchill Manor bed and breakfast in downtown Napa is a wonderful lodging option that will provide the utmost comfort as you unwind from your admirable feat. The exquisite beds and linens, along with antique soaking tubs will ease your tired muscles with style. Explore Napa Valley’s numerous offerings including vineyard tours, tasting rooms and galleries. The historic Uptown Theatre in downtown Napa is a favorite among locals and visitors alike and is just a few blocks from Churchill Manor.

The Cause

The Napa Valley Marathon has three main charitable causes. In 2014, they contributed nearly $50,000 to the community with a focus on supporting student athletes through programs and scholarships, as well as the Napa Valley Food Bank.

The Napa Valley Marathon is not only an ideal run for beginning and experienced marathoners alike, but it’s a great excuse for a weekend in wine country. Whether you’re running or simply want to volunteer, it’s a community experience worth having.