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One-time half marathon registration; motorsports

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In the past few years, one of the most popular mass running events held in the Valley has become a nationally known sanctioned event that attracts elite runners from multiple countries. It suddenly began to have a reservation sell-out almost immediately after the last runner crossed the finish line of that current run.

This situation left many local runners feeling shut out because they never saw, at first, this mass registration rush coming, and they would ask me is there anything that can be done.

I usually say to look around at the perfect settings for major races and running events in Sonoma and Napa valleys, so keep your eyes and ears open to when registration opens and closes, which in this case, can occur in a matter of minutes – how many I don’t know, but the event I’m writing about is the ultra-popular Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon.

So, for anyone interested in participating in the 2014 running of the Wine Country Half Marathon, which begins in Napa and winds its way to the Sonoma Plaza, here is the one-time chance to sign up: registration begins at noon this Thursday, Nov. 14. Remember, this event is expected to sell out immediately.

A lottery will be held for all team entries and any individuals who were not able to sign up before selling out.

Along with the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, the accompanying GunBunFunRun 5K will be held on the same course on the same day, and its registration will open once half marathon registration closes.

If you want to run, make sure you don’t let this window close and check out the web at destinationraces.com/runn2s.

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As for another form of racing, the Sonoma Raceway recently announced its 2014 major events schedule, highlighted by NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar and World Touring weekends.

Again, historic car racing will open and close the raceway’s 2014 major events season with the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival on May 17 and 18, and the Oct. 4 and 5 Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge.

Then drag-racing fans will be treated to back-to-back weekends of action, highlighted by the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals the weekend of July 25 through 27, which are preceded by the NHRA Division 7 Drag Races July 18 through 20.

Making its 10th appearance on the twisting Valley circuit will be the IndyCar Series, featuring the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, taking place the weekend of Aug. 22 through 24.

The final major summer event will bring international flair to Sonoma for the third consecutive year with the FIA World Touring Car Championship from Sept. 20 to 21.

Also, Sonoma Raceway’s popular Wednesday Night Drags program, along with the motorsport of drifting, ends tomorrow night, Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Gates open for “Drag and Drift” at 3:30, timed runs begin at 4, and the racing takes place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. – drifting from 4 to 10 p.m. – with the Wednesday Night Drags cost being $25 for competitors, $15 for students with a high school ID and $10 for spectators. The drifting costs are $40 with pre-registration and $50 at the gate.

For more Sonoma Raceway information, call 800-870-RACE (7223), or visit racesonoma.com or ticketmaster.com.

Happy racing.

Ciao!