Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marathon #5 - Check

A whirlwind weekend to say the least!  I have now crossed over to the traveling portion of this 12 in 12.  It sure takes a lot out of ya.  However, it is now part of the deal since there are no marathons in my home state during the winter monthes.  Honestly it's just a great excuse to be able to go out and do all the marathons that I've wanted to do anyways!

Napa Valley was AMAZING.  You might have seen my previous post about it's description.  It said that it might be a 'bit challenging'.  These race directors and their vague descriptions.  Seriously. 

I've missed writing a top ten list, so without further ado...

The Top Ten Reasons Why Napa Valley Trail Marathon Is So Hard-Core

10.  Only the first 10 feet is on pavement and then the rest is literally on singletrack trails.

9.  Moss covered trees crossing the trails that required, once again, my cat like hopping skills.

8.  The race director runs Envirosports and is also a past winner of the Escape from Alcatraz swim.  He won back in the days of the au natural wetsuit - as in he didn't wear one...  Pretty tough dude.  He just about has me convinced to do the Death Valley Trail Marathon in December instead of California International.  We shall see...

7.  The purse for the winner - a purse with a rubber chicken in it.  Really.  Not doing it for the money, people.

6.  Trail runs = no ipods.  If spotted, immediately DQ'ed.  One guy found that out the hard way.  Don't mess with a guy that can swim from Alcatraz.

5. I looked around at the start line and thought all these dudes should be running Northface or Patagonia challenges.  A pretty tough crowd.  Guys that were worthy of Runners World covers.

4.  And by crowd, I mean 26.  There were 300 runners there that morning.  The race director yelled out that we're going to stagger the racers and that the marathoners would start first.  Yeah, only 26 of us walked forward.  Everyone else was running the half or 10K.  Have you ever ran an organized event that only had 26 marathon runners?  Me neither.  Needless to say, the whole second half of the race I was on that mountain alone, with no one in sight.

3.  Of those 26, only 20 finished.  We know of at least 6 that dropped out somewhere midrace - the course was that tough.  Of those 20 finishers, only 7 were women.  I came in 4th out of 7 women, 16th overall.  I wasn't last - I'll take it!  BTW - the top women's finisher was 4:26 - I wasn't too far behind!

2.  When I say the course was tough, we're not just talking inclines but sliding down rock sections, clay mud sections, a little creek hoppin' and definite log hoppin'.  There was no PR to be had at this race, but it didn't even matter to me.  I finished feeling like a champ.  Even though I was slow, I honestly never hit a wall.  The trail was good to me that day.

(these are the scaling rock mtn sides sections of the course)


1.  In this course of my 12 marathons in 12 months - Napa Valley Trail is my #5 race - I finished the race exactly at 5 hours, 5 minutes, 5 seconds.  Not even planned, I promise!  I really wanted my watch to say 4 hours blah, blah, blah but when the lady checking times at the finish line asked if I got the same finish on my Garmin, which I did, we both just got the chills...  And it was Halloween weekend...ooohhh, kinda spooky....

I can't say enough great things about this race.  It was challenging and beautiful.  This one will definitely be on race calendars in the future years to come!  If anyone's interested, they run the same course in February - sign up now - it always sells out early!

No wine tasting at the the fancy schmancy distilleries but we did take a few pics.  I was too stinky, sweaty, and muddy to go sit down to gourmet meal.  So we enjoyed the countryside on the drive back to the Bay Area - it was simply gorgeous with lines and lines of vineyards on both sides of the highway.  Just breathtakingly beautiful.

So, another one chalked up.  I have lots of thoughts about where my upcoming training is going, changes I need to make etc.  Good stuff to come.  

November's Race...Rock n Roll Marathon - San Antonio!  Yee haw! 


  1. The Napa Valley Trail marathon looks like it was very scenic and challenging:) Nice work on finishing yet another one! Oh my goodness, you also have San Antonio coming up in November!?! Amazing:) Great report with beautiful pictures!

  2. What a cool event! I totally want to try trail running next year, but perhaps not a marathon...yet :)

    Congrats once again...You're doing amazing Dawn!!!

  3. Congrats on finishing that bad boy and placing so well! It looks and sounds spectacular!

  4. You are crazy hardcore. Of all the marathons you could have picked you went for that one! Kudos to you! Great job!

  5. I looked into this race as well and now definitely want to run it. I will, however, make time for wine tasting!

  6. WOW! That does look like a tough race! Good job! Great time! Let me know whenever you are near Sac and we'll set something up.

  7. that looks like a hard race!
    im also trying to run 12 in 12. we'll see how it goes....

  8. That is super, well done! Fantastic photos of the course. I will like that marathon. I like these small field races, makes you really special.

  9. That race sounds like a serious mix of awesome and scary. Only 26 runners - you are definitely a rock star. Really enjoying following your quest for a dozen. You are an inspiration!

  10. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: You are a warrior!!!

    Congrats on another great race!

  11. So awesome. What an experience! Your next one will the home of my birth. Sacred I say, sacred.

  12. Good for you...that looks like a tough course!! Congrats on marathon #5!! That is awesome!!

  13. Beautiful! I would do this race in the future. I have to get stronger and faster first, but I definitely want to try it.

  14. so awesome! you make me so excited to run mine in may, which is forever away but you are keeping me motivated and pushing me.
    btw what did you eat the day before and what did you change about your gu/energy blocks and water/gatorade during?

  15. This looks incredibly hard. It seems to be worth two marathons at least! Wow!

  16. Looks beautiful - and burly! I hope you had some wine to celebrate?!

  17. Oh yeah - Could you tell a difference w/ the carbo loading pre-race? Did it work?

  18. I love hearing about all of your experiences! It really makes me anxious to get into racing more. Way to go! (fun pics!)

  19. Well done on the marathon, I bet you'll be celebrating for weeks! The way you write about the experience and the photos you include make me feel like I was actually there. Can't wait to read about your next one!