The Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is not only the most beautiful coarse in the country, it’s among the most prestigious as well, attracting some of the biggest names in running and topping the sport’s ‘Best of’ lists.
Headlining the July 20 event will be Olympic Silver Medalist, 2014 Boston Marathon Champion and 2009 New York City Marathon Champion, Meb Keflezighi. Ryan Hall, the American Half Marathon course record holder and U.S. Olympian in the marathon in the 2008 and 2012 games, will also compete.
Tesfaye Alemayehu, the four-time defending champion and Napa-to-Sonoma course record holder (1:02:38) returns, as does Sergio Reyes, winner of the 2014 Flying Pig Marathon and 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon.
The women’s field is equally impressive. The elite roster includes Lauren Fleshman, two-time USA champion in the 5,000K. A columnist for “Runners World,” Fleshman will be a guest speaker at the race expo. Fleshman makes her half-marathon debut at Napa-to-Sonoma against former Stanford teammate Sara Hallm who broke the course record in her first half marathon at the 2013 Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon. Laurie Knowles, Jane Kibii, and Rowan Torckler are also in contention for the coveted women’s title.
Keflezighi, who is sponsored by Krave Jerky of Sonoma, will be the guest speaker at the race expo and race dinner. He will also lead the race next to running legend Mary Decker Slaney, who will lead the female runners.
Napa-to-Sonoma covers a scenic 13.1-mile course that starts at Cuvaison Estate Winery in Napa, runs through the Carneros wine appellation and finishes in Sonoma Plaza.
Registration sold out in 35 minutes when registration opened in November. The GunBunFunRun 5K, starting at Gundlach Bundschu Winery and finishing in the Plaza, is also sold out.
The race is produced by Destination Races and presented by Newton Running.
“Everyone is so excited for the race,” said Matt Dockstader, president and founder of Destination Races. “With the fast sell-out, this stellar elite field, and all the publicity the race has been receiving lately, the anticipation is off the charts this year. This will be fun to watch.”
Four thousand runners are signed up for the race, and over 10,000 people are expected to see the finish in Sonoma Plaza.
The race was recently selected as one of the top half marathons in the world by “Women’s Running” and is featured on the exclusive “must-do races” lists. “Runners World” magazine chose the event, which features a post-race party at the Sonoma Plaza finish line, as the country’s “Best Half Marathon Finish.”
The party runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon, with 28 wineries, along with Lagunitas Brewing, on hand to pour, and live music from T-Luke & the Tight Suits.
“Everyone is so excited for the race,” enthused Matt Dockstader, President and founder of Destination Races. “With the fast sell-out, this stellar elite field, and all the publicity the race has been receiving lately, the anticipation is off the charts this year. This will be fun to watch.” Four thousand runners are signed up for the race, and over 10,000 people are expected to see the finish in Sonoma Plaza.