- 3 miles/5K, 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
Paso Robles Harvest Marathon serves as a fundraiser for the Paso school districts, all race proceeds go the schools. The race is organized by the high school athletic director and staff, the volunteers are students from the school's sports teams and coaches.
The race offers a half marathon, a 5K and a children's mile. Prior to this year, they offered a USATF certified Boston Qualifier marathon course. Due to road closure issues and low registration, the full was dropped from the schedule this year. Registration was available online and went from 70- 90, I believe.
Packet pick up was in the city park on Saturday from 10-7. There were 2 vendor booths- Costco and a local gym. From 4-9, they also had a live band as well as tri tip and a pasta dinner for runners to purchase. Registration included a technical tee with race logo, bib with timing chip, finisher's medal and free race photos. The only other thing included at packet pickup was a reusable shopping bag from the Running Warehouse.
Race started at 8:30 which is rather late for the area. The race started and finished at Le Vigne Winery, plenty of street parking was available for runners and family and organized by the football team. After a few announcements and the National Anthem the race started exactly on time. It’s a small race with a little over 200 hundred runners for the half. Aid stations were every 2 miles until mile 7. Due to an out and back section of a mile, the aid station at mile 6 was also at mile 7. From then on it was every 2 miles again with an extra station just past mile 12. Water and Gatorade was available at all stations and gels at the mile 6/7 station. All stations were adequately staffed.
The course is a giant loop on back country roads through scenic wineries and farms. There were 2 little graveyards as well. Course monitors were at every turn to ensure that no one was able to get lost. The course is not flat- it runs around 600 in elevation gain. Mostly rollers throughout but there was one long climb from mile 9 to 10.2. The roads are not fully closed so it is entirely possible that vehicles will pass you at multiple points along the course. While very scenic there is little no crowd support on course. Only the people working the aid stations are out there to cheer for you. I am used to both of those things but it is something to consider, there are long stretches where it is just you and the runner in front of you.
The finish line is back at the winery where you were presented with your medal and a full bottle of water. There was also a post race brunch going on next to the winery which smelled amazing. I believe there was also live music from a local band but when I finished they were announcing the Age Group awards. Overall male and female finisher were awarded with $500.00 as well as bottles of wine. The top 25 male and female runners were also given a trucker hat emblazoned with “CRUSHEDIT”. Top 3 male and female AG were awarded medals and the 1st place finisher in each group was also given a bottle of wine.
The race has always offered free race pictures, they were all uploaded and organized by bib number the next day- awesome!
Great local race with a hometown feel
Supports a great cause
Very scenic course (it rained this year and I still thought it was pretty)
Well organized aid stations
Free race pictures
Great finishers medal
Prompt timing results
Free pictures- Did I day that already?
Good awards for AG
No prerace emails until 2 days prior- I was questioning if I had even registered
Minimal crowd support
Minimal swag for the non speedy
Overall it was a well run race and I am glad I was finally able to run it. I could have done without the rain for 7 miles but organizers have no control over the weather. :) I like smaller races and even the rain couldn’t detract from the scenery. I was not adequately prepared for that last long climb though. This is a race I would run again.