Santa Rosa Marathon Update # 1
December 27, 2012
This short (well, probably long) welcome note is from the Santa Rosa Marathon co-founder and prior race director Arthur Webb. Unfortunately, due to several very critical family health issues and the urgent need to care for my grandchildren, it was imperative that I stepped aside this year (2012) to help deal with some major problems. Fortunately, all is well, now, and I have returned, full of vim and vigor, as a race consultant, course organizer and the preparer of email updates, in order to assist in the time consuming and ongoing effort that will continue to produce and enhance the presentation of this little “gem in the rough” community homespun event.
Ready, set, here we go:
1) Revised marathon course: Although the current marathon double loop is still a quality, scenic flat and fast course, due to runner feedback and our attempt to avoid a few early race pinch points and also to present a more spectacular marathon course, we have spent the last few months creating a single loop “out and back” marathon course and are currently working with city/county administrators, elected officials and various agencies for the numerous required permits. Green lighted, so far, we are very close to finalizing agreements that would permit us to stage another stellar certified Boston qualified marathon event. Stay tuned.
Basically the start will be the same (Juilliard Park), but, now, meander 2.5 miles through the quaint downtown Santa Rosa area and the historical Western Neighborhood before entering and traversing five miles on the original course on the picturesque Prince Memorial Greenway along the wildlife preserved Santa Rosa Creek. The course will then branch out into the new12 mile (paved streets closed to traffic) west county loop that will showcase numerous niche wineries, breathtaking views of sprawling vineyards and rural oak studded scenic settings before returning the last six miles to the finish line in Juilliard Park along the incredibly beautiful Greenway with its rustic trestle bridges, manicured vineyards, cornfields, horse and dairy ranches.
Essentially we have enhanced the original first 13 mile loop and added another 13 mile breathtaking loop. Except for a few minor rolling hills at mile 11 this marathon course is flat and fast and should continue to lead the nation in producing the highest percentage of Boston qualified runners (an amazing 34%).
I have been training and racing (long ago, I race directed two shorter events on these very roads) on these beautiful and serene “loops” for over 35 years and I honestly believe that everyone participating in this grand event will be more than satisfied with this new addition. A birds eye user friendly colored-lined depicted view of this preliminary marathon course presented by Google Earth and Map My Run will be posted on the Santa Rosa Marathon website in early January. Stay tuned.
2) Half marathon course: Although most of the original course will be used, we have revised the first two miles by adding the downtown Santa Rosa area and eliminating the downstream Greenvale loop and several challenging bridge crossings. Detailed course maps will soon posted on the Santa Rosa Marathon website.
3) Deloach Vineyards: We are excited to announce double gold medal winning DeLoach Vineyards (2009 OFS Pinot Noir) and Twelve Times “Winery of the Year” (Wine and Spirits Magazine) in a welcomed partnership role and they will be play a significant role in the presentation of the Santa Rosa Marathon.
- The Friday and Saturday expo with extended hours will be held on the beautiful grounds of Deloach Vineyards at 1791 Olivet Road in Santa Rosa.
- Free wine tasting during the expo hours for every runner (set fee for non-runners) in the relaxing atmosphere of the Deloach Vineyards tasting and gift room and in the comfort of the adjoining courtyard.
- A beautiful memento “Finisher’s Red” bottle of wine, blended from Sonoma County’s finest varietals (retail value $20) and crafted by their winemaker exclusively for Santa Rosa Marathon entrants (over 21) will be presented to the limited 1500 marathon and first 100 half marathon registrants attending the DeLoach Vineyard expo, bib and packet pickup.
- A Saturday night limited seating $25 per person pasta dinner will be held poolside on the Deloach Guesthouse back deck surrounded by outstanding views of Pinot Noir vineyards.
- As a special and exciting treat on race day the marathoners will enter (mile-9) the beautiful Deloach Vineyard grounds and before exiting will have the privilege to run through a real working winery ground level cellar, passing fermentation tanks and French oak barrels containing some of Sonoma County’s famous wines.
- www.deloachvineyards.com. Visit their website for special offers and view photos of the luscious grounds that DeLoach Vineyards has generously allowed our runners to trek through, which may possibly be construed as an “icing on the cake” highlighted moment.
4) The 2013 finisher’s medallion: Currently being designed. It will not only be another acclaimed and cherished sparkling double spinning medallion but, also, bigger and heavier. Every full and half marathoner will receive this “keeper” bling at the finish line.
5) The runner’s shirt: Also, currently being designed with the effort to continue to create a quality product that will be worn and appreciated during training and at other races through out the year.
Post Race - Finish area - Free to all Runners:
6) Pancakes: The highly touted post race pancakes will be back but topped this year with whipped cream and strawberries.
7) Free beer tasting: Post race selection of free beer tasting to all the parched finishers (over 21). If needed, I can be found in this line.
8) Free wine tasting: Deloach Vineyards will again have a special assortment of free wines for all runners over 21 to sample (fee to non-runners, with proceeds going to local charities).
9) Courtesy of the Juice Shack: Free oranges, bananas and a 4 ounce smoothie.
10) Farmers Market: Another free organic fruit and vegetable give away from local merchants and growers.
11) Watermelon and Water: Free slices of watermelon and water will be offered by Whole Foods to all the runners.
12) Kids Activities: Assortment of free kid’s activities.
13) Music: There will be music and a dancing venue.
14) In progress: We are continually seeking other food vendors, sponsors, assorted activities and surprises in order to make the post race “finale” as festive and memorable as possible. Our intent is for everyone participating in this event to walk/hobble/shuffle away from this “must do” race with a sense of welcome and fulfillment
Stay tuned to the Santa Rosa Marathon website and e-mails for details and updates.
Any questions just send me a note.
Best wishes to all.
PS Just a subtle reminder that the marathon, already half full, will have a bump in registration fees on January 1st, 2013.
PPS Today, as I crossed the rustic trestle bridge spanning the Peterson Creek, on my daily run along the Santa Rosa Greenway, I spotted my wildlife friend “Eddy,” a pure white snowy egret feeding in the shallow swirling waters below, and a few minutes later, as I ran past a recently pruned sprawling dew laced vineyard glistening in the early morning light, a vee formation of honking Canadian Geese flew over my head and gently landed in a small pond nestled on the edge of an emerald hued rye grass covered pasture sprinkled with sprigs of vibrant yellow mustard. What a special treat and blessing to be surrounded by all this incredible beauty and a gentle reminder that the Santa Rosa Marathon was created and designed to share with runners from around the globe this “little slice of heaven.”
Life Is Grand
It is good to be back.