I spent the weekend on the marathon course taking final detailed measurements at all mile marks and associated landmarks for inclusion in the paperwork required for USATF certification as a Boston qualified course.
I have been running on these roads for almost 40 years and I still look forward (and sometimes can’t wait) to rev up the endorphins in the all the beauty in this area. My favorite part in the 12 mile loop (8 to 20 miles) is mile 11 to 13.1. It's my little slice of “Heaven”. Picturesque, quit and serene.
The canopied road, with a few rolling hills (40 foot elevation changes “speedbumps”), is sandwiched between incredibly beautiful vineyards (Pellegrini and Oakwild) and a cozy cottage (I always wanted to own) overlooking a pond loaded with wildlife. If you are taking pictures this is a great spot (on top of the knoll a few hundred feet past mile 12)
Remember, once you have had the rare and unique opportunity to run through the DeLoach Vineyard and Winery barrel room you have only ½ mile to go to enter this scenic area. In fact, drive the down the W. Olivet and Oakwild Lanes after packet pickup at the DeLoach Winery Expo and/or Google Earth and place the street level man along the route for great views.
That’s it for tonight. Looking forward to a ten mile early Monday morning run across another stellar part of this course.
July 17: The spring wheat fields have been harvested and replaced with summer corn that is already sprouting (miles 6 - 8). Ten feet tall, verdant and a scenic attraction by marathon day. First time this year I spotted five pelicans floating and feeding in the pond at mile 6 (half marathon), and, besides my little snowy egret friend that hangs around the bridge at mile 6 (Eddy's Bridge), a rare and chance sighting (that made my day) Alpine, the Great Blue Heron, was standing tall and statuesque at the same bridge. The vineyards in this pictureque and beautiful 5 mile loop are rich and green and laden with hanging fruit. No wonder I can't wait to run in this area everyday. Should be a crowd pleaser.
Since there are more runners training on the course maybe we will cross paths some day since I am on it everyday, either running early or later biking. Maybe a shout out to the old guy wearing the blue Santa Rosa Marathon baseball cap.
Important training tip: The number 1 reason for poor marathon performance (besides going out too fast) is fluid and electrolyte imbalance, which leads to dehydration, cramping and usually lots of walking. There is no reason for this to happen. Lack of water is one culprit, so I would make sure that you drink 6 to 8 ounces of water or Gator Ade at each aid station. Sodium imbalance is the second and maybe most important culprit. Best to drink the Gator Ade, which contains some needed elctrolytes. The best way to handle this sodium imbalance is to use a product like Hammer's Endurolytes. I down two of their capsules just before every other aid station and chase them down with the available water. It is rare when I cramp and if I do feel one coming on I simply down two or three more and they go away in a few minutes. I have used them at the 135 mile Badwater race for ten years and they prevent cramping and diminished performance. They work. Period. They can be purchased at a sporting or bike store for about $20 for a bottle of 120. Try them in training runs.
That's it for today. Any questions give me a hollar. Arthur. Runerof100@aol.com.
Thursday, July 24:
Just received confirmation from USATF that the Santa Rosa Marathon is now a recognized Boston qualified certified course. Anyone wanting to check all the paperwork and maps submitted for certification may find all that info (have to poke around a bit) at USATF.org. Certification code is CA14081RS.
Spending most of our time finalizing the hundreds of tasks it takes to put on a "quality" marathon, hopefully to be enjoyed by all.
By this Sunday the entire half and full marathon mileage markers will be on the course (numbers are sprayed on the ashpalt (to be blacked out after the race). If you train on the course the blue markers are the half marathon miles and the green marks are the full miles. Since it is hardpack in the half from mile 5 to mile 7 and no place to spray: mile 5 is a few hundred feet from the Fulton Road path entrance, mile 6 is at the pond and mile 7 is a hundred feet from the exit of the path at the Willowside Road Bridge.
Important training tip #2: Don't rush your start. Whatever your race pace is do the first few miles at least 15 seconds slower. If you have trained properly this time will easily be made up in the later miles. I have witnessed hundreds of times the runners who go out to fast walking in the later miles and it mainly comes from running faster than race pace the first few miles. Remember, with chip timing your time starts when you cross the starting line so no need to go out with the lead pack or other faster runners. If you start smart and drink about 24-30 ounces of water and/or Gator Ade and take some electrolyte relacement along the way as indicated in the above blog, there is no reason you should not reach your goal. Period.
Best in training.
Wednesday July 31:
Another important training tip. How to prepare for a hot day: Sit in a hot sauna (150 to 180 degrees)if available to acclimate. It only takes a few weeks for good results. Start at 10 minutes first day and work your way up to 30 minutes a day in three weeks. Take fluids in with you and a few electrolytes. Check out my sauna tips article on my website under article tab at www.commitandfinish.com. I have used the sauna to acclimate at temperatures during the 135 mile Badwater Ultramarathon that have reached wicked 130 degree heat in the desert and it has worked. An acclimated runner will loose 50% less sweat and will feel way more comfortable and performance will be enhanced. If it is extremely hot on race day a slower race pace, water or Gator Ade and a few electrolytes at every station will help you finish without ugly dehydration problems.
There also nurses at every aid station and medical personnel all over the course to help any runner in distress.
Ooops time for my daily run on part of the marathon course and hopefully Eddy the Snowy White Egret will be at his brdge.
Friday Aug 1:
Started my run at marathon time (6:00) and the weather was ideal. Low hanging fog, cool. Perfect. Hope pattern holds. Spotted a pelican at mile 6 (half) in the pond and it appeared to be a swan floating on the placid water. Beautiful. The grapes are ripening earlier this year due to absolutely great weather all summer. Eddy was feeding at his bridge (mile 7 and 21 1/2 marathon and mile 5 1/2 and 8 1/2 half marathon). You may spot him during the race. Shout out his name and he will jerk his head in response. There are other egrets in the area who are less responsive. They are fake Eddy's. The three cornfields are almost a vivid green and getting tall. This area is so tranquil and soothing and is a special place to reset.
A few of us will begin to trim and beautify the first few miles of the Santa Rosa Greenway today and into next week and it will look like the hanging gardens of Babylon (sort of).
Few have asked the question about finding their runners along the way. Well, there are only a few spots to do this because there is no traffic on the 7 mile Greenway and the 12 mile county loop is sealed off by CHP.
So 1) you can spot your runner at, though closed you can drive and park near the closure, at the Pierson Street aid station.(mile 2.5 and 25) 2) You can park at the Stony Point Road business complex and watch you runner from the bridge or trailhead (mile 4.5 and 24). 3) Willowside Road aid station mile 8, 20 (road is closed but you can park at Summerhill School just at the closure and walk several hundred feet to the bridge. 4) Wood and Woolsey Road (mile 14) Road is closed at intersection but you can drive up to this point. There are a few other spots but to much traffic and a safety concern to all if you stop or slow down. Check race map and Google Earth for more details on getting to the above locations.
Water and Endurance Gator Ade will be available at all aid stations. Power Gels will be availabe for marathon runners at several ade stations beginning at mile 13 (so far) and up to mile 20. Porta Potties will be around every aid station, easy to spot. Oranges and banannas at many aid stations for all runners. Nurses will be at all aid stations, for any one needing medical attention. Also, roving medical teams and other medical personnel will be in the area to assist. You may ask any CHP officer at any intersection to call for medical assistance or the Sag wagon if you fill the need to be transported back to the start/finish area.
We will have several lead bicyclist and CHP officers leading the front runners. Just follow the trail of runers.
The course will be marked with tons of cones, chalk and race arrows so will be easy to follow. Anything that could present a safety issue is sprayed with yellow paint (includes various pot holes along the way.
Due to safety concerns, there is a no headphone policy that will be enforced and probably lead to the dreaded DNF. Sorry, but for the safety of all runners this is in place.
****When returning on the Greenway starting at the Willowside Bridge mile 7 (half) and mile 21 (full) stay to the right side of the trail (normal running lane). Faster runners will need to pass to your left. There will be bicylist and others reminding this point. (Another big reason for no headphones).
That's it for now. Off on my run through the beautifull vineyards and then trail cleanup time.
Best in training---Arthur---questions Runerof100@aol.com
Another endorphin filled run through the vineyards and across the beautiful rustic trestle bridges that will be shared by lots of runners from all over the globe in a few weeks.
Spent most of day with a small crew dolling up the entrance to the Greenway (mile 1.2 half mile 2.5 full) while race director was busy chasing down final permits, signage and a zillion other tasks. More to do next week.
We will be biking the half marathon this morning (marathon tomorrow) with a handfull of others just to make sure the lead bicyclists know every nook and cranny along the course.
We will also review the Ipod policy. We know how important it is for most runners to have their favorite music along. During 40 years of running I have trained about 150,000 miles and it has almost always been with some form of device filled with music (radios long ago, CD players (yuck, heavy but worked) and Ipods. So I totally understand the issue. Stay tuned.
Most marathons offer gels or some type of nutrition along the way but logically if you have trained with something else bring it along. Its impossible to fill hundreds of different choices.
Till tomorrow or later today, Arthur
Sat Aug 9:
Can't believe its been a week since I have placed anything on this page.
It was an extremely busy and hectic week polishing off a hundred tasks to help make sure everyone has a safe, fun-filled, memorable experience on the beautiful race course (well, most of it, nothing is perfect) that's practically in my backyard.
I spent most of the week clipping, trimming, weeding about 13 miles of the course to make sure that it is as presentable as possible. And to make sure there is nothing (trees, vegetation) that sticks out into the course from the sides or overhead that would impede or distract your line of sight or travel.
We also sprayed yellow paint on the ruddy parts of the trail pavement so that you will be well aware of any possible oncoming tripping hazards.
Thanks to the Sonoma County Parks and Rec for filling lots of problem areas by the incredibly beautiful area around Eddy's Bridge, which he was hanging around all week, feeding in the dribble of water below. The drought has affected everyone , including the water level in the creek you will be running around. It is down to a very small flow but still filled with thriving vegetation and wildlife.
The 3 cornfields are on steroids, rich, verdant, tall and scenic.
The mornings for the past week have been perfect for running, cool, a bit of hanging fog and 50 degrees. Perfect. Hope the pattern holds.
In a few minutes I am off to show the lead bikes the marathon and half marathon routes to make sure the lead runners are on target (so that they take the shortest possible route as I measured for the Boston certification and for everyone else following).
Boston here we come. Have to run, oops, I mean bike. I will write later today.
Sunday 8/10 The deed is done all lead bicyclist know the route. There will be several bikes: one for first runner, one for second runner(s) and one for next wave of runners. There may also be a Santa Rosa Police officer escorting runners thru the downtown portion to the opening of the Greenway trail. And at mile 8 for the full marathon the lead runner(s) will be led by CHP escorts, bikes and a vehicle or two (for the twelve mile loop) and then back to the finish along the Greeway led by bikes. There will be cones, barricades, chalk race arrows and volunteers showuing the proper race direction. No one should make any wrong turns.
Just thought of something. Almost everyone carries cell phones along the way. If you call someone or want to snap a picture of some of the beauty along the way, please step off the trail or roadway to allow the runners behind clearance, especially along the Santa Rosa Greenway trail. You will know when you are on the Greenway trail because the Santa Rosa Creek will always be on your left or right (depends on which direction you are running. Check map.
Lots of questions about the mountains (oops, I mean the pesky small hills) you will encounter on this course.
Lets see if I can be clear.
There is a small incline just past mile 111/4 (Pelligrini vineyard entrance sign) by yellow house with brick facing (only a few houses in this area so easy to spot) that is maybe 100 feet long and you go from 85 feet to 95 feet (small bump in the road) and just past that there is a very gradual 23 foot climb that lasts for 500 feet (a larger, but still small bump in the road). At the top, which turns right you are going downhill for a half mile and just past the 12 mile marker there is a 300 foot long section that rises 20 feet total (small challenge) that tops out on the prettiest part of the 12 mile loop at the cozy green cottage with spectacular views (beautiful area for pictures: I ran in this section for many, many years early in the morning and always looked forward to the beauty and the buzz I needed to deal with the trials and tribulations in the workplace). Then down hill for a few hundred feet and smack into the biggest hill challenge; It's about 600 feet longthat starts at 65 feet and tops out at 110 feet (45 feet elevation gain). That's it. Well, almost it.
Around mile 171/2 there are a few very small inclines that are not much of a challenge and then level the rest of the way to the finish line.Hope this helps. You can go to Google Earth find that part of the course and put the yellow icon man right on the course at street level and almost run it as if you were there. Gads this is confusing me (but I am 72 and is part of the package) so I best take an early morning run around the course and check this out.
Next time, I will post a most important training tip. It is one that I have used for 40 years and has helped me to finish every race from the marathon distance to the most extreme running challenge on this planet (15 times).
Good morning to all.
Perfect running weather, again. Looks like will hold for next 7 days and hopefully 7 more.
GPS (Garmin) explanation: A GPS device measuring a marathon course will always be long ,even if you ran the shortest possible route (cutting corners, running diaganols from one street to the next and more: a certified course is measured this way). The actual distance of the marathon is not exactly 26.2 miles in length. It is 26.218757 miles long or about 100 feet longer than 26.2 miles. So a perfectly ran route would show as 26.22 miles on your watch. Weaving, drifting, passing, taking wide corners, potty breaks, throwing up, etc. will add more time. That's it. Oh, by the way sit in a chair, turn your GPS on and watch it gain a foot or two when you are not even moving forward. Enough said.
Only 13 days to the starting line and most runners will be tapering (though another relatively hard week never hurt my race performance). As we all know tapering is the hardest part. The rest is helpful but jitters and pacing like a caged animal and some snapping is awful. Be kind to those around you who have no idea what you are going through. Also, I read that there is a surge in marriage dissolution paperwork during taper week. Actually, I just made that up, yet, it could be true. Be careful.
Important race tip #3 or 4 or...Run for childrens charities. Visit them before the race and tell them your "lofty" goals. Then perform for both of you. Now, if you have trained properly and stay completely focused on your mission there is no reason/excuse on this planet not to reach that goal. Most kids are looking for legitimate heros and that's what you represent. There is mutual motivation and inspiration at work here. A successful journey will help plant a seed in their mind that if they work hard and respect and honor the human spirit by working hard and always finishing what they start then they will feel much better about themself and become more confident. A most gratifying win-win.
"There are those people who say they can and there are those people who say they can't. They are both right".
Off on my run.
Life is Grand.
Sorry, to anyone dialing into this blog, but I have been extremely busy with a million tasks and have not posted for a few days.
Race day info:
There will be pomegranate Blueberry Power Gels at the full aid stations (probably beginning at mile 13, or 15) up to mile 20.
GatorAde lemon-lime endurance will be available at every aid station 1/2 and full marathon (water too).
There will be nurses at every aid station to address any medical issues (cheering volunteers) and lots of other medical personnel on the course.
There will be CHP California Highway Patrol at 10 locations on the 12 mile marathon loop at the barricaded intersections, which will assist if possible, including calling for the SAG wagons to transport runners that dropout back to the start/finish line.
There will be several lead bicyclists for the entire race (full and half) and a few CHP escorts in the full from mile 8 to 20. There will be several other vehicles (probably vans) with race staff in the mix to insure safe passage.
Remember, we are required by permit to use one lane of the 12 mile loop (mile 8 to 20) while residental traffic uses the other lane. So stay inside the cones on runners designated lanes (chalk, race arrows, escorts). Last year there were only a few cars in the zone since the residents were informed of the race (this year also) and slept in (I guess). But due to the weather (perfect) the grapes are early and there may be a few vineyard trucks along the route.
Anytime on the Greenway path (mile 1.2 for half and back to finish) and mile 2.5 to mile 8 (full) and on the return from mile 20 to finish there is a one ear bud policy in place. Required anytime you are running on the narrow path alongside the very obvious Santa Rosa Creek.
Please stay to the right on the return to the finish on this pathway so that faster runners have room to pass. (That's mile 7 to finish for 1/2 and mile 20 to finish for full).
Remeber when things begin to get tough there is cold beer and lots to eat at the finish line. Yeah!
Lots of beautiful and scenic sights along the way, step off trail street, to take pics to allow runners to pass by.
Probably forgetting something ( I am old and that comes with the territory) but will revisit tomorrow.
City and county agencies pitching in to fill some spots on paved trail and streets but a few miles still need attention. But I have sprayed yellow paint on spots to beware of (miles 11 to 15 1/2).
The weather has been perfect again this week for running (that's 5 weeks in a row), hope it continues to hold that pattern.
Remember, lots of race day running hints above in previous blogs and in my dropdown training tips. Most are known, but to those who follow are guaranteed to reach their goals.
Again, this course is in my backyard and I have been on it almost everyday for, at least, 25 years. There are many areas that are just plain beautiful and postcard picture stuff. You will cross 3 scenic rustic trestle bridges and pass lots of vineyards, 3 flowing and verdant cornfields, horse ranches, a dairy and along the way may spot my wildlife friends (Eddy, the small pure white Snowy Egret that usually hangs around Eddy's Bridge mile 7 full, mile 8 half, Milk the large Great White Egret and hopefully the white pelicans (look like swans feeding in the pond, mile 6 for half marathon) and for the full the short trip through the DeLoach barrel room at mile 10 is an added touch. Hopefully, no one will go away disappointed.
Although I will be extremely busy (course stuff) on expo Friday/Sat I will try and stop by to meet and greet some runners. I completly understand and respect your running dreams and goals and want to touch basis somewhere along the way.
I will be in one of the vans on the 12 mile marathon route and will be yelling encouragement along the way. I believe I will have a few magnetic signs on the van from my last Badwater race that states Arthur Webb #14 "The Grinder". Shout outs are required. Woo-Hoo.
Now I am off on a short run through my slice of "Heaven" to reset, rev up the endorphins and visit my friends.
Life is Grand.
Any questions email me at Runerof100@aol.com
"The Grinder." Shout outs all around are required. Woo-Hoo.
There will be porta-potty's at or very near (just before or just after) all aid stations. Pay heed: Once you have ran by a group of them there will not be another group for about 2 miles.
There will be timing mats (naturally at the start/finish and at 13.1 miles in the marathon (only on one side of the street so make sure you run across this mat) and at the Willowside Bridge. The half marathoners will cross this mat at mile 7.05 and the full marathoners will cross this mat at mile 8.24 and again at mile 20.2. Anyone will be able to check the runners progress at these mats on mobile devices and on any computer. Details to be posted soon: On this blog, emails, Santa Rosa Marathon website and at expo.
If you are doing last minute training on the course this weekend; remember green mile marks on asphalt are marathon and blue marks on asphalt are half mileage marks . During race there will be signage to indicate miles.
I have no idea who the front runners will be or their projected times, but I know that a runner out of the ultra running world where I have spent so much time and energy has signed up for the full marathon and his portfolio is more than impressive. Jon Olsen holds a World record at a 24 hour event and an American record at the 100 mile distance. Jon was the first American to ever run 100 miles in less than 12 hours. That's like running 4 marathons in a row at 3 hours each at a 7:23 pace.
That's it for now. Off to my run.
Weekend weather was perfect for running. Cool, dripping fog with the sun breaking thru about 11:00. Perfect for running and beer drinking at the finish line. Projected weather for race weekend looks to be the same. Should have many personal best times and a good percentage of excited runners fulfilling their dreams to toe the line at Hopkinton for the 2015 Boston Marathon. For those who have not yet been there, this is really, really exciting stuff.
Spent weekend, on course , filling some pot holes (actually Oscar filled the holes) , respraying with yellow paint other ruts on portion of roads (about 4 miles) and a hundred other tasks.
There were about 5 miles of the Greenway trail that had some problem spots (cracks and fizzures) but we contacted county and city agencies and thankfully last week they addressed the concerns and the pathway is now in very decent shape. The best I have seen it in years. Fast, fast and faster.
So, for the marathon it's 2.5 flat miles thru the downtown area on wide streets, then 6 flat miles along the narrower, now, smoother paved Greenway and then a 12 mile paved loop that has a few rollers at mile 11 1/4 and two bigger rollers around mile 12 and again way smaller rollers at mile 17 1/2 and the rest is flat. For reassurance, remember, I have ran Boston qualifying times during training runs on this course.
The half is 1.2 miles downtown and 11.9 miles along the Greenway, which is all flat and from mile 5 to 9 (as beautiful as it gets).
Toured entire course with lead bicyclists yesterday in the morning, then out for a short run, then for a walk with my wife. After 30 years, it never gets old. And the best part (that made my day---see what happens when you get old) is that I spotted my pesky little pure white snowy egret wildlife friend "Eddy", twice, foraging for his meals in the very shallow water under his bridge (mile 6 1/2 marathon and mile 8 1/2 half marathon).
Can't wait to visit him on my daily run in a few minutes and hopefully he will be hanging around or at least give everyone a fly by on race day.
Life is Grand.
Tuesday minus five days to go.
Here are two really neat and helpful sites: Have some fun checking all this out.
1) Registered runners and a check of leaderboard during the race http://acop.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16356&RId=96
2) Track your runner or favorites during the race. http://m.racetecresults.com/Search.aspx?R=910.
Saw lots of my friends on the list and anxious to meet and greet all the runners if time is available.
Key to success (everyone already knows but reiterated):
1) Start the first few miles a tad (15 seconds slower than race place). This is a difficult concept or task to do, since there is so much stored energy, but running even 15 to 30 seconds faster than your race pace at the start will almost guarantee to add many, many, many minutes during last few miles, including some walking. No need for that. Start slower. Period.
2) Even pace the rest of the way. Even pace means run the race at your marathon pace.
3) Drink at Ade stations: 20 to 24 ounces of liquid an hour is required to remain balanced. A quick stop , gulp and go. No need to linger (too many crappy things can happen when you stop too long) Plus even stopping for 30 seconds at every aid station adds 5 or more minutes to your finish time. The rest station comes just after the finish line.
4) Endurance Gator Ade should fulfill electrolyte requirements.
5) Water only, requires an electrolyte replacement (probably at every other aid station) to remain stable. Salt stick, Succeed, Hammer Endurolytes all work well. (They prevent cramping and help keep the system oiled and balanced). They work.
6). Stay focused on your mile splits and goals. Do all those things you spent so much time and effort on during training.
7) Remember if the wheels begin to fall off: "Pain is temporary. Pride is forever." And each step is one closer to the cold beer and pancakes.
Off to see the CHP.
Wednesday minus 4 to race day.
It's 5:30 in Santa Rosa and I am standing outside in a cool, drippy fog bank just as it has been every morning for a few weeks. Perfect, perfect, perfect. If this pattern holds for next few days and appears it will there will be a bunch of happy campers toeing the starting line in Juilliard Park. The best part is the sun has just started to break thru about 11 or 12 and most runners will be back at the finish area with the beautiful spinner medallions in tow and enjoying all the festivities.
Lots of questions about race pace:
One more time (well maybe, again tomorrow): No matter how energized and confident one is at the starting line, which includes everyone, you will never be able to hold a pace during the half or full marathon that you haven't trained for leading up to the race. It's a fruitless to believe otherwise. It will never happen. Somewhere down the road the wheels will come off and lots of misery, suffering and disappointment will be served up. Start a tad slower the first few miles and then even pace (Your trained marathon pace).
Read my race day hints on my training tips dropdown on this website for more valuable insight. Although, even when all the planets line up perfectly, we do have bad days, but if you follow the tips they will help you reach your lofty goals, dreams and aspirations. Guaranteed. Boston here I come.
Way easier to follow your runner on tracking website (yesterdays blog) than attempting to find them on the course. But it can be done. Look at a map as you read the next few lines. Spectator spot #1 west third (west direction) to Willowside Road turn right to barricades and walk few hundreds yards to (mile 8 and 20). Spectator spot #2 West third (same west direction) to Fulton Road turn right 2 1/2 miles to obvious coned lanes, park on side streets (mile 16). West Third is same street you entered mall parking garages in east direction, but now you will have to go west to spectator spots. Gads, easier to sleep in and track.
Time to fill my endorphin tank.
Any questions on anything send me a note, I will try an answer as best I can probably thru Friday.
Thursday: Three days: Anyone excited yet? I am and not even running the race.
Best way to get to this race is to arrive from Highway 101. Northbound traffic take Downtown exit and you will see the huge parking facility to your right . At the bottom of the ramp its an immediate right turn and another immediate right turn into the lots. Southbound 101 traffic also take the downtown exit and go a few blocks to West Third ST hang a left for a block and after the 101 underpass the parking lot is to your right. Attendance will stir you into the right location.
Locals use 101 or Highway 12. Guernevelle Road will be closed at 6 so use River Rd or 116 to Highway 12
The city streets will be sealed off with barricades and police at 5:00 and almost impossible to meander thru that zone.
Any attempt to follow runners first few miles is impossible, the Greenway is tough to get to and the 12 mile loop is also sealed off with barricades and CHP. It would be a vain attempt to get through any of this.
The best way to find your runner was described in previous blog.
We will mark the course with some race arrows blue is half, green is full and lots of chaulk, although both races return on the same pathway in the same direction for the last 6 miles so you will not have to worry about the race arrow color at that point.
Between mile 15 1/2 and 16 1/2 we are on a main street. We have one lane and a bike lane to run on. The one lane is mostly a buffer coned lane. You may run on all of this but I would run closer to the bike lane and curb. It will be obvious when you get to this point. Heck last year we only had narrow bike lane and it worked, but now we are permitted to use the additional traffic lane.
The most critical point in the race is immediately after the under the bridge crossing almost at mile 5 for the half. The marathon runners will continue to run straight down the Greenway the half will circle over the bridge and run on the other side of the Greenway before converging with the full 2 miles later and returning to the finish area. Will be staffed with race personnel to make dure this happens. Check the race map anyway.
The best and most efficient way to personal best is to have negative splits. That means running the last half a tick or two faster than the first half. Woo-Hoo.
Lots of questions about my wildlife friend "Eddy" and his bridge. No matter which race you are running his bridge is the second or middle beautiful rustic trestle bridge. Hard to find this little prize of nature cause creek is overgrown, but he may be spotted in some of the clearings.
Lots of core people working 24/7 now to make this logistically difficult course become a memorable and fun-filled day for every runner.
I have to go now.
Good luck to all.
Weather was again perfect for running yesterday and still looks to be the same on Sunday. Early morning overcast, a bit of very light mist and the sun peeking through around 11:00 and a pleasant high of 77 (prediction). Hard to order better weather than that.
The course will be marked on Saturday and this is how it may/probably be done. Any changes I will pass info along on this blog, so keep checking in even as late as Saturday night.
We will use chalk arrows and race arrows.
Blue race arrows are designated for the half marathon runners.
Green race arrows are designated for the full marathon.
White Chalk arrows are designated for both full and half.
Most arrows will be laid down by side paths to avoid and sprinkled at a few other spots along the Greenway. No need to "pave" the pathway with a zillion arrows.
Since the full and half enter the Greenway and run in the same direction to mile 5 we will use white chalk and at times a blue arrow and a green arrow side by side meaning everyone is heading in right direction. At mile 5 just after the Fulton Road undercrossing the half will follow the line of blue arrows that will circle you over the bridge to the other side of the Greenway. The full will continue to follow their (now only green arrows) straight down the pathway. In two more miles the full will turn right and do a 12 mile loop off and follow chalk and green arrows. Both races again converge at (mile 7 half and mile 20 full) and return on the same pathway in the same direction to the finish line. So again, since every runner is using the same route for six miles to the finish it will be a combination of a blue arrow and a green arrow side by side with a few white chalk arrows in the mix.
Check the race map to be familiar with your route.
No matter where you are on this course just follow your colored arrows. Blue for half and green for full. Chaulk arrows for both.
Since the lead runners will have lead bicyclists (CHP escorts on 12 mile loop) who know the way just follow everyone ahead of you.
There will be mile markers for each race:
Again Blue mile signs are for half and green mileage signs are for full.
If they are missing, stolen or moved (it does happen) your mileage markers are painted on the pathway. These painted mile markers are the certification marks so are exact miles. Blue numbers are for the half and green numbers are for the full.
Saw the medallions yesterday and they are shiny, big, heavy and beautiful. Definitely a looker and keeper.
Nice presentation with the DeLoach bottle of wine you will receive. Classy, stylish look and most likely a great taste. (I could use a bottle or two about now).
A million things to do so off I go. Maybe can relay any new info today or early tomorrow>
If not I will encounter most marathon runners in the 12 mile loop that I will be patroling in my van with #14 Badwater signs on the side. Hope to meet and greet a few at the expo (if I can break away from my tasks for a few minutes, we will see).
Again, I totally understand your running anxieties, aspirations and goals to succeed. I have been in your shoes hundreds of times and know the task ahead. I can only hope that all your dreams are fulfilled and you have a fun-filled, memorable and successful trip around this beautiful course, that I have enjoyed for almost 40 years and created this marathon to share with runners from around the world, (Remember it is not Yosemite or Big Sur but still beautiful :most of it: ).
Best to get to the expo early today to alleviate any jamming later.
Weather has held so a major plus.
Remember follow the green arrows for full and blue arrows for half.
The two colors will be side to side at most locations on the Greenway which means you are both heading in the right direction.
Follow your color when they make a change of direction along the way.
Study the race maps.
Remember at mile 15 1/2 to 16 1/2 we have a bike lane and a traffic lane. You may use either lane but best to stay closer to the bike lane and curb. The traffic lane is okay to run down but is really a buffer because there is traffic in the next lane. It will be obvious.
I marked 12 mile loop yesterday, which you will spot if driving the course today and in a few minutes heading to mark Greenway, which you will not be able to drive on. But that's okay: just remember it is flat and some scenic and picturesque areas to savor tomorrow.
Again, there is a core of behind the scene race staff, who are now working 24/7 to make this logistically difficult race happen, but you will never see or greet, that deserves a thanks and shout out.
And lots of volunteers that you will see too.
Kudos to Orhan Sarabi, the Santa Rosa Race Director for his relentless pursuit during the last year.
Have to go, will be busy all day and night so probably this will be my last entry.
Probably see you in the 12 mile loop with a race crew magnet on my van and #14 Badwater magnets on the side..
Best of luck to all.
Welcome to the Santa Rosa Marathon.
Enjoy my backyard.
"There are those people who say they can and there are those people who say they can't . They are both right."
Still, busy, busy and busy with the post race stuff and many other things but wanted to remind whoever is still peeking at this blog that I will have a wrap up that I sincerely wish to share with every runner who honored my backyard. Excuse for the grammer but still very tired, my mind is mush with tons more cleanup to do today.
Besy wishes to all.
Life Is Grand.
To all Santa Rosa Marathon (and half) runners:
This note is my race day reflection, and I am certain, shared by all Santa Rosa Marathon race officials.
It’s been ten days, since the Santa Rosa Marathon and I am now just mentally recovering from the event.
Yesterday, I walked to my favorite part of the course, Eddy’s Bridge, to not only find my egret friend, but to also reflect on the event. Each year I ponder the same question. Is it worth spending so much exhausting time and effort to help stage this logistical nightmare?
I had been running for decades and covered distances from the marathon to mega events in the ultra-running world and I thought it was time to give back to all the runners, our community and to a host of local and deserving charities.
So, six years ago, the Santa Rosa Marathon was created. The number one goal was to present to the running community a home-spun, memorable event on a beautiful course (in my backyard) that offered the best swag (and pancakes).
Never in our wildest dreams did we ever believe that we would eventually fill both races (half and full) and present a Boston qualifier to boot.
The idea was to work hard and meet and greet every runner at the finish line and award the well-earned medallions. My intent was to do this every year. But that has not happened, yet. There are so many behind the scenes tasks that have to be completed in order to make this incredible event a successful journey, that time has never allowed for the finish line drama. Next year, I will be there (famous last words). Sounds good, anyway
This year, I was in the 12 mile loop, coordinating logistics with the CHP, shadowing the lead runners and tailing the last runner to the finish line.
But the best part was the few moments directing and high-fiving runners at the Willowside Bridge where both races merge for the trek back to the finish line. It is at the very heart of the race, where achieving aspirations, dreams, and lofty goals are only a 10K away and written on the face of every runner. Exciting and fulfilling stuff.
I can only imagine the release of emotions at the finish line.
And topped off by several hundred runners qualifying for Boston.
Then dozens of thoughtful, sincere and thankful emails.
Hard not to get emotional.
Yes, it was worth every minute (except, for maybe, the days of cleaning up).
A heart-felt shout out and thank you to every runner.
Santa Rosa Marathon
Co-founder, race certifier and logistics.