Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon Race Review & Recap


Hello and Happy day to you!

Because I haven’t written a race review & recap in almost 2 months (Thanks again RnR San Diego), I am beyond excited to FINALLY have a race to talk about.

Goodness gracious, it’s been too long.

And seriously- how big of a mouthful is this blog post!?!?

Try saying that 10 times fast…

You can’t do it can you!?!?!

All jokes aside, this is race has been on my bucket list since I started running back in 2008.

Napa to Sonoma is Destination Races flagship event in their Wine Country Half Marathon Series.

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Only 3,500 runners are allowed to run in this coveted race and it sells out in less than 30 minutes each year.

Seriously.

The question you are probably thinking to yourself…

Is it worth the hype?

Allow me to walk  run you through my journey to completing the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon on July 17, 2016.

I arrived at the expo at 9 am on Saturday wide-eyed, bushy-tailed and overwhelmed with the excitement that surrounded this race.

expo1

I am in LOVE with the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon (I have run it twice! check out my race recaps here and here)…

So I was excited to see what N2S had in store for me.

The expo was EXTREMELY organized and was located at the breath-taking Cornerstone Sonoma Event Center.

expo4

It had it all!

A Selfie Station..

expo3

And wine tasting!

What is a Wine Country Half Marathon without pre-race wine tasting, right?!?!

Right!

expo2

Meadowcroft, Poseidon and Keating Wines were on-site pouring complementary tastings for everyone.

I tried the Keating Sauvignon Blanc and it was fantastic!

I mean… I HAD to.

expo5

After picking up my packet, checking out all of the vendors, sampling some Skinny Pop Popcorn and Krave Jerky (YUM!!), I headed back to the hotel to meet my friend for an afternoon of wine tasting.

I mean come on… We were in Napa for goodness sake.

When in Rome Napa, right?

Right!

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On Saturday night, I did my typical pre-race routine…

#FlatAshley

flatashley

Yes, I know that I totally match.

My friends at Destination Races sent me the adorable pink DR hat, so I HAD to wear it.

So I scoured the internet for a matching shirt and borrowed some pink socks from @SLOLuckyRuns (thanks again, Heather!)

By 6:30 on Saturday morning, my chauffeur was dropping me off at the starting line with a promise to meet me at the finish.

readytogo

I was ready to rock!

The starting line (no surprise here) was well organized and the finish time/pace teams were well spread out to prevent a bottleneck at beginning of the race.

Way to go DR!

And then I met my Arch Nemesis…

Conveniently named “Butt-Burner Hill”.

buttburnerhill

That hill was NO JOKE.

As you can see from the elevation chart, the course is pretty hilly.

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I was NOT, by any means, prepared for it… but it was GREAT hill training.

In case you can’t tell my the photos below… the course is absolutely gorgeous.

Like really gorgeous.

Like really, really gorgeous.

Need I say more?

I mean really…

Stunning.

Absolutely stunning.

I definitely tried to enjoy myself and walked a lot…

I wasn’t really in the mood to race, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking my time and enjoying the scenery.

Aaaaannnndddddd partake in the race libations.

guiness

THIS guy was at mile 9.

Totally awesome.

The finish line is in Sonoma (duh!) at the beautiful Sonoma Plaza.

The crowd support was great and I was definitely looking forward to the post-race wine tasting celebration at the end.

All 13.1 miles were worth it!

finishash

Although my finish time was THE slowest of the year (not counting my pacing gigs), I felt and still feel very fortunate to have been able to run this race.

Destination Races really put on an amazing “roll out the red carpet” style event.

If you ever have the opportunity to run it, I highly recommend it!

I will DEFINITELY be running this race next year.

Finish time: 2:12:15

 

-RatherBeRunnin’

Let’s connect!

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