FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark Winitz
NAPA VALLEY MARATHON SUMMONS OLYMPIC SPIRIT AMONG TOP CONTENDERS
NAPA, Calif. - February 20, 2007 - The 29th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa
Valley Marathon on Sunday, March 4, 2007 will attract over 2,000 runners
intent upon completing the 26.2-mile distance for reasons as varied as
the vineyards along the marathon route that follows the scenic Silverado
Trail. For at least two top male entrants, the lure of Napa's largely
rural marathon is to earn a starting line position at an urban marathon
this coming November which many elite American men have been pointing
toward for several years.
Tom McGlynn of Burlingame, Calif. and his training partner, Mike Wallace
of Menlo Park, Calif., hope to score a fast time at Napa that will
qualify them for the U.S. Men's Olympic Marathon Trials on November 3,
2007 in New York City. The Trials race will select the U.S. men's team
that will compete in the 2008 Olympic Games men's marathon in Beijing,
China next year.
To qualify for the men's 2008 Trials, U.S. men must run a marathon under
two hours and 22 minutes flat for a basic entry (a "B" standard time) or
sub 2:20 ("A" standard) for an entry that includes amenities such as
travel expenses and lodging.
Coincidentally, exactly 20 years ago at the 1987 NVM, Dick Beardsley set
the current men's course record of 2:16:20 on NVM's USA Track & Field
certified course in a successful outing to qualify for the 1988 U.S.
Men's Olympic Marathon Trials.
"I've run Napa more than any other marathon," Beardsley said. "Napa is an
awesome course to run fast. I like the fact that there are rolling hills,
and the toughest hills seem to come in the early parts. The crowd support
at the crossroads along the course is excellent. The weather is usually
perfect and the race organization is second to none."
Beardsley, who placed second on the heels of Alberto Salazar in the
memorable 1982 Boston Marathon, and is the fourth fastest U.S. marathoner
all-time (2:08:54), returns to the NVM again this year as a featured
Neither McGlynn or Wallace dream of approaching Beardsley's swift record
mark at Napa. McGlynn, 34, formerly competed for Penn State, and is a
veteran of two previous Olympic Marathon Trials races (2000 and 2004).
Wallace, 30, is aiming for a first-time Olympic Trials spot. Not that
either runner expects to contend for an Olympic team berth in New York
among America's cream of the running crop. For them, it's getting to the
Trials that counts.
"It would put a nice culmination on all the running that I've done over
the years," said Wallace, who has been running competitively since the
third grade and works in fund raising at Stanford University. "I don't
know how many years I'm going to be able to keep the same level of focus
I've maintained over the last ten years. An Olympic Trials qualifier
would add a nice level of accomplishment to my life."
"I'd love to run 2:18 or 2:19," said McGlynn, a sales and marketing
consultant, whose personal best is 2:20:42. "But anything under 2:22 I'd
be delighted with. I've been training from 90 to 110 miles a week
specifically for this effort, but certainly running sub-2:22 is not a
foregone conclusion for me."
McGlynn says he has only resumed serious training for racing last August.
Up until then, his time was split between serving as an assistant coach
for the formerly Palo Alto-based Nike Farm Team, an elite running club
that has since relocated to Oregon, and founder of Focus-N-Fly, a running
club for serious recreational runners. McGlynn placed fifth (1:08:00)
and Wallace was seventh (1:08:52) at the recent Kaiser Permanante San
Francisco Half Marathon on February 4th.
Wallace, 30, is graduating to the marathon from middle distances. He was
a miler at the University of California San Diego where he was a
conference titlist at 1,500 meters in 1998 and has run 14:16 for 5,000
meters as a post collegian. Wallace has run three previous marathons,
with plenty of room for improvement on his 2:31:35 best.
McGlynn and Wallace spent ample time searching for the right marathon for
their Trials qualifier attempt. They looked at the City of Los Angeles
Marathon (on the same day as the Napa Valley Marathon) among other races,
but gave Napa the nod.
"We talked to David Hill [Co-Race Director] and he was very gracious and
open to our aspirations," McGlynn said. "We went up and drove the course
and found it a little bit rolling in the beginning, but there are few
turns, and a great finish. We felt that we could run fast on it."
The fact that Napa is close to home also played well with the duo because
they hope to attract other competitive runners they know in Northern
California to enter the Napa Valley Marathon with the goal of reaching
the Marathon Trials. In a similar manner to some big prize money races,
they have arranged for two pacesetters, or "rabbits", to run a
pre-arranged 5:20-per-mile (2:19 marathon) pace for the initial 15 or 16
Officially designated pacesetters are allowed under USA Track & Field
rules provided they are official entrants in the race for the purpose of
leading competitors through designated split times, and they start the
race. The pacesetters at Napa that McGlynn and Wallace will follow will
be available for all runners (desiring to run the pace) so no single
competitor has an unfair advantage.
Additional top male entrants include Ben Turman, 37, of Kensington,
Calif. The women's field is wide open. Diana Fitzpatrick's excellent
women's NVM course record of 2:39:42 (set in 1992) should not be
Organizational detail and unparalleled scenery have prompted Runner's
World magazine to select the Napa Valley Marathon as one of the top 20
marathons in America and Competitor magazine to name the race the best
rural marathon in the nation. The point-to-point 26.2-mile race course
along Napa Valley's Silverado Trail traverses one of the world's most
spectacularly majestic wine growing regions in the world.
According to Co-Race Director Rich Benyo, the event has an additional
notable distinguishing attraction.
"We just try to keep the event simple, and as retro as possible," Benyo
said. "It's an old-time, down-home type of event. Many first-time
marathoners choose the Hollywood type, expansive, blown-up marathons.
But, the feedback that we get from our runners is that they like ours.
It's laid back. The runners don't get tense and excited. They have a good
time and are treated on a very personal basis."
Sixty percent of the Napa Valley Marathon's participants hail from
Northern California, enjoying the marathon's reputation as the "Biggest
Little Marathon in the West."
Tom Knight, a USA Track & Field/RRTC course certifier, has measured
numerous road courses, including marathons, for over 20 years. He has run
Napa four times and has measured the course for official distance twice
over the years.
"Napa is my favorite marathon that I ran," said Knight. "I love the down
to earth. local area feeling of the race and the very beautiful, very
fast, and uncrowded course."
The 2007 edition of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon has again
been selected by the Road Runners Club of America as its National
Marathon Championship-a designation it has received since 1998. Runners
may also choose the companion Kiwanis 5K Run, which starts and finishes
at Vintage High School on marathon morning.
Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon weekend includes a Sports and
Fitness Expo, Saturday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Napa Valley
Marriott Hotel & Spa. Also on slate is the marathon's popular Marathon
College, an innovative speaker/seminar program that includes a "faculty"
composed of respected running authorities and celebrity runners
The marathon starts on Sunday, March 4 at 7:00 a.m. sharp in Calistoga on
the Silverado Trail near the intersection of Rosedale Road. The race
finishes at Vintage High School in Napa. Top runners are expected to
reach the finish between 9:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Runners will receive
official times up until 12:30 p.m. when the course closes.
EVENT ENTRY: Entry is limited to the first 2,300 registrants. Runners can
register for the marathon online or download an entry form at
Alternatively, contact the race via telephone: (707) 255-2609. The
registration fee for the race is $100. There is no race-day registration.
* * * * * *
The Napa Valley Marathon appreciates generous sponsor support from Kaiser
Permanente/Thrive, Calistoga Mineral Water Company, Gatorade, ASICS
America Corporation, Silverado Trail Wineries Association, Marathon &
Beyond, Road Runners Club of America, USA Track & Field, MarathonFoto,
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, GU, CBS 5 and UPN Bay Area, Comcast,
Napa Valley Register, KVYN/99.3 The Vine, KVON 1440 AM, the Napa Running
Company, KCBS 740 AM, Barbara's Bakery, and DJ's Growing Place.
The Kaiser Permanente Thrive campaign demonstrates Kaiser Permanente's
founding philosophy of members getting and staying healthy throughout
their lives, by taking an active role in caring for themselves in
partnership with their health care provider. Exercise, healthy eating
habits, and good health choices are important components of the Thrive
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