FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mark Winitz
NAPA VALLEY MARATHON ANNOUNCES COLLEGE FACULTY
NAPA, Calif. - (January 16, 2004) - Not many runners prepare for a
marathon road race by going to college. That's exactly what they'll do
heading into the 26th Annual Napa Valley Marathon scheduled for Sunday,
March 7, 2004. Each year on race weekend freshman runners and marathon
graduates alike learn the ins-and-outs of the 26.2-mile distance from a
renowned panel of experts at the Napa Valley Marathon College. The
Marathon College takes place on Saturday, March 6 at the Napa Valley
Marriott Hotel & Spa in conjunction with the marathon's Sports and
Fitness Expo, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Both the Marathon College, in its
seventh year, and Expo are free to the general public.
"For a race our size, 2,200 runners, I don't think anyone else devotes a
full day to presentations by a faculty of seven or eight individuals who
are well known in the sport," said co-race director Rich Benyo. "I think
that's what makes our Marathon College so attractive. You would have to
go to larger events to find anything like it. It's another perk that has
earned our event a reputation as the biggest little marathon in the west."
Prominent marathoner and ultra-distance runner Helen Klein will present
the keynote address to Marathon College attendees. Klein, 81, of Rancho
Cordova, Calif. holds multiple U.S. age group records at race distances
from the marathon to 100 miles. Last year, Klein finished the fast Napa
Valley Marathon course in 4:41:53 after setting a world best mark of
4:31:32 for 80 to 84 year-old women three months before in Sacramento.
She has run over 60 marathons and 140 ultras.
Additional 2004 Napa Valley Marathon College faculty members include Joe
Henderson (author of 23 running books and columnist for Runner's World
magazine), Dick Beardsley (fourth fastest American marathoner of all time
and NVM course record holder), John Keston (world age group record
holder), Frank Bozanich (America's premier ultra-distance runner during
the late '70s and early '80s), Roger Robinson (world age group record
holder and author of numerous running books), and Allan Steinfeld
(president and CEO of the New York Road Runners Club and race director of
the ING New York City Marathon).
Beardsley, who has participated in the Marathon College since 1998, is
one of its most popular running mentors. He is among the faculty slated
to anchor a 10:30 a.m. roundtable discussion entitled "What We've Learned
from Running the Marathon." The 1982 Boston Marathon runner-up (to
Alberto Salazar in one of the most thrilling marathons ever), has enough
lessons to teach - both inside and outside of running - to last a
An unlikely series of accidents in the late 1980s and early 1990s on
Beardsley's Minnesota farm and in his automobile led him to an addiction
to pain-killing narcotic drugs. After a difficult rehabilitation that
lasted years, the former 2:08 marathoner returned to running which plays
a significant role in his sobriety. He soon became an inspiring and
sought-after motivational speaker. Beardsley's upbeat recounts of his
life's challenges, always related with humor, help both novice and
veteran runners put their endeavors in perspective.
In his book Staying the Course, Beardsley comments "training for a
marathon or running a marathon is such a walk to the mailbox compared to
beating an addiction."
"I wrote that because it's such a good analogy for me," Beardsley
explained. "I know how hard I work to run a marathon. And, I know how
much harder it is to maintain the type of life I want without drugs."
Following Klein's 1:00 p.m. keynote address, a group of veteran Napa
Valley Marathon racers conduct an interactive session with Marathon
College attendees entitled "Secrets of Running the Napa Course."
Beardsley, Steve Radigan (the only runner that has completed all 25 Napa
Valley Marathons), local media personalities, and others provide valuable
practical advice about how to run the scenic 26.2-mile Calistoga to Napa
course. The fast, rolling route tours Napa's famous wine-growing region.
All participants in the Marathon College have ample opportunities for
personal interaction with presenters and panelists. Faculty members dine
with runners at two seatings of the Pasta Loading Dinner on Saturday
evening. Plus, early arrivers for marathon weekend can meet the faculty
during a social hour in the lobby of the Napa Valley Marriott on Friday
evening, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
"Any runner has access to every faculty member and every person on the
panels," Beardsley said. "It's an opportunity to rub shoulders and talk
one-on-one with all these knowledgeable folks. I think that's special."
The Napa Valley Marathon is rapidly approaching its entry limit of 2,200
runners. Runners can register online or download an entry form for the
marathon and the same-morning 5K Run presented by the Kiwanis Club of
Napa at www.napa-marathon.com. Alternatively, contact the race at NVM,
P.O. Box 4307, Napa, CA 94558, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: (707)
255-2609 or FAX: (707) 257-6515.
All proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit organization)
are donated to local charities in the Napa Valley. The 2004 edition of
the NVM serves as the Road Runners Club of America National Marathon
The Napa Valley Marathon appreciates generous sponsor support from the
Silverado Trail Wineries Association, CBS 5 and UPN Bay Area, Gatorade,
USA Track & Field, Calistoga Mineral Water, Tra Vigne, Asics, Marathon
Photo, RRCA, GU, Marathon & Beyond, St. Helena Hospital, and the Napa
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