• Calistoga - Napa,
    United States
  • March
  • 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Virtual Race
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Haley Gonzales

Sacramento , California, United States
52 33
"NVM - My First Marathon Of 2014"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Haley Gonzales's thoughts:

This year was the first time I have run the Napa Valley Marathon. It was a great experience! I would like to start out my review by saying this race was the most well-run, organized race I have been a part of. Everything from the expo to crossing the finish line was perfect.
The expo was at the Marriott Hotel. There were a ton of booths, free wine tasting and awesome SWAG. Nice quality shirts & well designed and duffle bags! Not just little crappy bags but actual full size duffle bags with the NVM logo. SO COOL!
After the expo my boyfriend and I drove along the course. I wanted to know what to expect. I had heard from some people the race was hilly in the beginning and could be a tough race, from others I heard the hills weren't bad and was an overall easy course. To me, the hills were not bad. There was a really long hill at about mile 1.5 - the first hill of the course. Mile 6 was the end of the "rolling hills" and mile 19ish was the last hill. When I crossed the finish line I was asked how the hills were (a friend was volunteering at the end and we had been talking about the race leading up to race day) I pretty much said "what hills?". Not that there weren't any, but I didn't think they were too bad.
The course was beautiful! Volunteers at aid stations were awesome. Plenty of people with water & sports drinks. Mile markers had trash cans to dispose of gel packets and water cups. I really liked that, it made it easy to NOT litter. There were some good spots for spectators - the website said it would be hard for spectators to be there, small roads & not a lot of parking, but there were quite a lot of people at the major crossroads. Although, I don't know how parking was for them.
There were also lots of photographers along the course. I have never had so many pictures to choose from! There were over 60! And with the vineyards in the background most of my pictures came out great.
At the finish line there were people there to guide you to the pictures, give you your medal, give you water - they opened the bottle for you, thanks! :) and ask how you were doing. The only other marathon I've run is the California International Marathon and I had to find some one and ask for my medal. I also didn't have anyone guiding me where to go at that race. So the fact that Napa had that was pretty cool.
I recommend this race to everyone! Great views, small town race but with great perks and well organized. Which is so important, races NEED to be organized and managed well. To me, it was a pretty easy course. I ran a PR of 3:56:57. That is a 22 minute PR from my CIM time. Thanks Napa Valley for such a great marathon!

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