Start: Begins at 6:00 am at Fire Hydrant #54 on South A Street alongside oak studded Juilliard Park.
Mile 1 to mile 2: Flat and Fast. Weaves down wide open (closed) streets monitored by the Santa Rosa Police through the heart of downtown Santa Rosa, which gives runners plenty of time to jostle and settle into their pace and position before entering the narrower pathway on the Prince Memorial Greenway, alongside the Santa Rosa Creek.
Mile 2 to mile 5 ½: Flat and Fast. The course follows a few minor bends and curves alongside the creek on the paved Greenway path. A few feet of elevation change at two street underpasses. This same portion of the race will be repeated on the return trip at miles 22 ½ to finish line. First aid station and bathrooms at 2.2 miles followed by one just past the underpass at mile 3.3. The same stations will be used at miles 24 and 25.
Mile 5 ½ to Mile 7 ½: Fast, flat and incredibly scenic: Follows a bend on the paved trail and then a mile and ½ straight shot along the creek. In this section which will also be part of the return route (mile 19 ½ to mile 22 ½) the runners will pass over three picturesque rustic trestle bridges spanning adjacent tributaries and run past several vineyards (Korbel and Martinelli), a horse ranch, a cow dairy and three sprawling emerald green cornfields. One may spot a snowy egret and/or a great white heron wading in the water at “Eddy’s” second trestle bridge. Aid stations resides after the underpass at mile 5 ½ and again at mile 7.3. These aid stations will be used again at mile 20 ½ and mile 22 ½.
Mile 7 ½ to mile 8: Paved but a little ruddy. Best is in middle on yellow line.
Mile 8 to Mile 10: Flat, paved and fast. The race enters a 12 mile loop that (permit required) will be run inside conned lanes. Open lane is required for emergency vehicles and CHP escorted residents. At mile 9 runners enter the beautiful grounds of DeLoach Winery and Vineyards and as a special treat actually pass through one of their above the ground barrel rooms. Aid station resides on the grounds.
Mile 10 to Mile 12: Incredibly beautiful. The course passes sprawling vineyards, a niche winery and two small rolling hills (maybe 40 feet of elevation change) or a small bump on the road.
Mile 12 to Mile 15: Flat and fast. Scenic pastoral miles dotted with oaks, small wineries and two aid stations at mile 12 and 14. An additional aid and mist spray station is possible.
Mile 15 to Mile 16: Flat, paved and fast: Conned lane on a busy street. Well, nothing is perfect, but it is flat and an aid station resides at mile 16.
Mile 16 to Mile 18: Another set of small rolling hills at 16 ½ with a 40 foot elevation change for a few hundred yards and then flat and fast as the race, again, passes through more vineyards, and pastoral oak studded rural area. Aid station at mile 18.
Mile 18 to Mile 19 ½: Rural residential, pavement is a bit ruddy, yet flat and fast. Another aid station at Mile 19 ½ as the route reenters the Greenway trail.
Mile 19 ½ to Finish: Scenic and picturesque: Reverses the original 7 ½ mile using the same aid stations but has one .9 mile hardpack spur with an additional aid station.
Finish Line: Thirty feet from original starting line and medallions, pancakes, beer, more food and festivities in the adjoining and beautiful Juilliard Park.
This course is 99 % flat. Elevation difference between highest and lowest points is only 100 feet. Two sets of minor rolling hills are the two noticeable changes of elevation and they are minor, but pesky speed bumps. I have run Boston qualifying times on this course during training runs. Ready, set. Go.