The 14th running of the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon on Sunday, July 16, promises to be one of the fastest, and widely represented, in its history.
Destination Races announced a competitive elite field headlined by Matt Llano, Jeffrey Eggleston, Jane Kibii, and Sergio Reyes. More than 4,500 athletes from all 50 states and 27 foreign countries signed up for thed race which sold out in less than an hour.
The event also features the GunBunFunRun 5K which starts at Gundlach Bundschu winery and then follows the same route as the half-marathon into Sonoma Plaza on race day.
Llano, who trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, finished sixth in the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials and has a personal best in the marathon of 2:12:28 (Berlin 2015) and 1:01:47 in the half marathon (2014 Houston Half Marathon Championships). Eggleston, from Boulder, Colorado, is another accomplished Olympic Marathon Trials competitor who boasts a personal best of 1:02:41 in the half (Houston 2015) and a 2:10:52 in the marathon (Gold Coast Australia 2015). Llano and Eggleston will both be challenged by Reyes, another Olympic Marathon Trials competitor and former US Half Marathon Champion. Reyes finished second in the Napa to Sonoma in 2011 and 2014, and has victories in the Santa Barbara, Healdsburg, Oregon, Temecula and Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathons on his resume.
Jane Kibii, a native of Kenya now residing in Auburn, highlights the women’s field. Kibii finished second at Napa to Sonoma last year and boasts a personal best half marathon time of 1:10:23.
Sunday’s event starts at Cuvaison Winery in southern Napa and ends in the Sonoma Plaza. A new route using Seventh Street East and East Napa Street into the Plaza will be implemented this year due to a city council ruling.
This year’s event benefits a number of local, regional and national charities. Hanna Boys Center and FAHA (Finnish American Housing Association) provide the majority of volunteers for the event. Other nonprofit partners include the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition, American Diabetes Association, Project Purple, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Organization For Autism Support, Altimira Middle School, CASA, Native Sons of America, LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation, and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). CCFA’s Team Challenge program brings over 400 participants to the event and raises approximately $2 million annually in support of research and treatment of the disease.
For more information about the event visit destinationraces.com/.