The Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon is A Must Run

About two weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to run the Napa to Sonoma Wine CountryHalf Marathon and I could not have been more excited.  This race has been on my wish list for a few years and being invited as a blogger/runner was a huge thrill and honor for me.  Before I get into my own personal recap and experience, let me start by saying that Destination Races put together a MOST amazing weekend race event and holds nothing back.  I was very impressed with every detail {although I was not able to attend the pre-race dinner or the morning yoga because of other obligations} I enjoyed the perks of the VIP package.

Let’s just start with Friday night.  A very intimate Welcome Reception was held at Cuvasion Winery which is the start place of the race.  The evening had wine, food samples and speeches from the race director and race announcer.  A really nice way to welcome any runners who had purchased this part of the race package.

Napa to Sonoma Half

Photo Credit Destination Races

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If you have never visited the Napa/Sonoma valley and plan to in the future, this is a must see location.

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Race day morning was the usual for me, although it was not my first half marathon, I still had the nervous stomach and jitters.  I think this race meant more since it was right at home.  I had been familiar with the route obviously since living here for years and ran through it in my head the night before.  The route was however my first “hill” route.  Once leaving the driveway of Cuvasion, runners took an immediate left turn and headed up “butt burner” hill.  Pacing was my key to getting through this race.  I had no intentions of trying to take off and hit it right away.  I average about 2 1/2 hours for a half and knew just where to keep myself at a nice setting pace and when and where to bring it when needed.

As usual I had my amazingly supportive husband by my side.  Waking up early and heading out the door as the sun is rising on a weekend deserves kudo points for sure.  He is always at my races either taking photos I can’t,  cheering me on and talking me off the ledge of nerves. 

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The rows of buses coming in was pretty amazing to see.  I was fortunate to have the VIP parking and access to where ever I needed to get to.  I highly suggest getting the extras with the race package.  The VIP bathroom area was no joke, I felt like I was in a hotel bathroom using the porta potty and no lines.  I loved being able to head into the winery to the VIP lounge area pre-race to enjoy coffee and light food.  This particular races ALWAYS sells out in about half an hour and brings in about 3500 runners.  Yeah, amazing.

Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon

If you have never tried Kicking Horse Coffee, do so. Enough said. I had a canister of this in my swag bag and I have fallen in love.

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Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon

Butt Burner Hill .. no joke

The race has so many options to add to your race weekend experience and each event is top notch.  The staff and volunteers for Destination Races just really has it all together.  Cool vendors and sponsors, great wines being poured and the swag bags are top notch.

Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon

Mile 10 had me feeling ready to finish

Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon

Fellow Sonoma local and friend Tony Moll … Yeah I beat him to the finish by 3 minutes

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I finished my run a bit longer than I wanted, but I can’t complain.  I did it!  The rest of the day had some great vendor booths to visit, a VIP area for race runners, music and wine.  I live here so of course I have nothing but great things to say.  I am so blessed to be living in such a beautiful place.  I am so happy and grateful to Destination Races for this opportunity.  Make sure to check out their site and see all the amazing races they host.  I am looking forward to running more DR and beating my PR in the future.

Destination Races locations …

Santa Barbara Wine Country Half
Virginia Wine Country Half
Napa To Sonoma Wine Country Half
Oregon Wine Country Half
Healdsburg Wine Country Half
Kelowna Wine Country Half
Temecula.Wine Country Half

 

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Comments

  1. Sounds like a fantastic race. I can definitely understand why the VIP package would be worth it ! Great job and your pictures are beautiful.
    Karen – Fit in France recently posted…Virtual coffee date : AugustMy Profile

  2. Thank you Karen. The entire experience was really great.
    Fitnessmomwinecountry recently posted…The Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon is A Must RunMy Profile

  3. I always love to see the pics from out there. We are toying with doing the Ragnar in Napa next year.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Ultimate Coffee Date-AugustMy Profile

  4. It really is a GREAT race! The whole are is race heaven.
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter recently posted…Top Ten Crumbs: What Helped Get it Done This WeekMy Profile

  5. What a gorgeous place to run a race.
    Charlotte recently posted…Snack Attack With Fit ApproachMy Profile

  6. oh my gosh, this race and the VIP package look incredible. I would to join in on the fun in the future! Plus it would be a great reason to visit wine country 😉
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted…Meal & Workout Plan – Week of 8/3My Profile

  7. Loved reading your recap, and would love to run that half some day. I ran the Virginia Wine Country Half the first three years they held it and had lots of fun with my friends. It always started about 45 minutes late, though, due to the buses not being able to get runners to the start on time…
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…From Four To Five – The Wedding RecapMy Profile

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