I spent this weekend in Napa Valley with three of my best friends from college, and it really got me excited for the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon which I’ll be running in July. If you’ve never been to wine country I highly recommend it. We stayed at the Napa Valley Lodge in Yountville, CA; and absolutely loved the place.
The weather this weekend was absolutely perfect, sunny and in the low 70’s, and we had an amazing time driving through the picturesque valley and savoring all of the wonderful foods, and wines. There are so many incredible wineries to choose from, you could spend months in this place and not get to sample them all. For the past few years I have been trying to gain entry into the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. The race takes place in July and registration happens the preceding November. Because this race is capped at 3,500 hundred runners; and is very popular (hello, beautiful course and free wine) it is pretty hard to get into.
For the past few years, I’ve approached it as one would your average half marathon race, where you typically have days, weeks or even months from the start date to register before it closes. The main difference for those races tends to be the price you end up paying for your registration.
Napa to Sonoma is a whole different animal, and it took me a few tries to finally get in. The same can’t be said for my friend Betsy who was planning to run it with me. I didn’t do a good enough job of explaining to her the importance of registering immediately (and I do mean immediately) as soon as registration opened.
I had put a reminder on my calendar, and even made sure to block out the time from work (sounds extreme I know) because I was determined not to miss out again this year. I approached the situation as one might when checking in for a Southwest Airlines Flight. I went to the registration page, navigated as far as I could, then waited with my mouse pointer hovering over the button as I watched the seconds tick down. At 12:00 PST on the dot, I pressed the button, and I had no trouble completing my registration.
Betsy, was at a physical therapy appointment, and by the time she got home and onto her computer, less than an hour later, the race was already full. So let that be a lesson to any of you who might be interested in trying this race yourselves, it is critical that you register immediately when registration opens if you want to have any chance of making it into this race.
If any of you have run this one before, I would love to hear about your experiences, and any tips you may have for me. I’d also love to hear about any of your must-visit wineries to hit up while I’m in the area.