FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon Announces Elite Entrants
NAPA, Calif. - February 26, 2011 - The Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley
Marathon announced its elite field today. A strong group of top runners
will join a sold-out crowd of 2,400 participants for the 33rd annual race
on Sunday, March 6, 2011. Although the race does not offer prize money, its
fast and scenic course that spans the length of the world renowned Napa
Valley wine country draws runners of all abilities from near and far.
This year, marathon participants from ten countries and 44 U.S. states will
line up with aspirations of crossing a brand new, spacious finish line in
the parking lot in front of Napa's Vintage High School. The new finish
allows more space for spectators, runners, and finish line logistical
support and amenities.
In addition several notable U.S. marathoners will be on hand as VIPs
including Olympians Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Magdalena Lewy
Boulet who will participate on a training run -- plus Dick Beardsley,
America's all-time fifth fastest marathoner.
The Napa Valley Marathon's 26.2-mile race course, which is certified (for
distance) by USA Track & Field, offers a unique, runner-friendly, and
awe-inspiring marathon experience. The point-to-point 26.2-mile route runs
the length of the famed Napa Valley wine-growing region.
Runners are treated to panoramic views of the valley, flowering fruit
trees, and dormant vineyards carpeted with golden mustard flowers.
On this speedy course, a group of about half a dozen women and several men
will attempt to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon,
which will take place in Houston, Tex. on January 14, 2012.
The Trials race will select the three men and three women for the U.S.
Olympic marathon squad that will compete in London
"Napa provides a good course for athletes looking for a Marathon Trials
qualifying time, especially if there is a pack at the front going for the
same goal," said 1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson.
"They just need to be patient because the course has some downhills in the
beginning, it's generally cool in the early morning, and you tend to want
to go out fast, Then, it warms up, and the hills can begin to take their
The standards for entry into the Marathon Trials, set by USA Track & Field,
are demanding. Trials aspirants at Napa must finish the 26.2-mile distance
in 2 hours and 19 minutes or faster (men) or 2:46:00 or faster (women). The
qualifying window for the Trials began on January 1, 2009 and will end 30
days before the event. In 2008, just three weeks before the qualifying
deadline, four women qualified for the '08 Women's Marathon Trials at the
Napa Valley Marathon.
The Napa Valley Marathon's women's course record of 2:39:43 was set by
Diana Fitzpatrick in 1992. Dick Beardsley, a two-time Olympic Trials
Marathon qualifier (1980 and 1988), holds the men's course record of
2:16:20 set in 1987.
Here are some of the top elite athletes who will vie for titles at this
year's Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon:
Camille Herron, 29, of West Lafayette, Ind. aims to win the women's
division at the 2011 Napa Valley Marathon, and she has the credentials to
do it. Herron ran a personal best marathon of 2:38:23 for eighth place at
the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon which served as USA Track & Field's national
marathon championship. She qualified for the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials,
and has already met the standard for the 2012 Trials in four different
races. She is making her first Napa Valley Marathon appearance.
Caroline Cretti, 26, of Berkeley, Calif. also has Marathon Trials
experience. The Williams College (Massachusetts) 15-time All-American
finished the 2008 Marathon Trials in 2:40:12 for 21st place. She was the
youngest athlete among the top-25 finishers.
Patty Rogers, 36, of Lakewood, Colo. is a marathon veteran who hopes her
Napa effort will yield a second Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. Rogers
finished the 2006 Houston Marathon in 2:45:34 and qualified for the
2008 Trials where she ran 2:49:18.
Additional top contenders in the strong women's field include:
-- YiOu Wang (25, Mill Valley, Calif.) who hopes to improve upon her
third-place finish at last year's Napa Valley Marathon
-- Katherine Koski (38, Duluth, Minn.), a 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic
Marathon Trials qualifier with a 2:42 marathon best
-- Kami Semick (44, Bend, Ore.), a 2009 and 2010 USA Track & Field
Ultrarunner of the Year and 2009 100K World Champion. She also excels at
the marathon distance with a personal record of 2:45:24. Semick is pointing
towards the 56-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa on May 29th where she
hopes to improve upon last year's fourth place finish.
In addition, one of America's top female Olympic marathoners will
participate in a training effort. Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Oakland,
Calif.) is an official starter, but does not plan to finish. Instead, she
will do a fast-paced workout at Napa as she prepares for the IAAF World
Cross Country Championships in late March, the London Marathon in April,
and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. In 2008, Lewy Boulet placed
second at the Trials and earned a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that
competed in Beijing. She is the fifth fastest U.S. woman ever at the
marathon distance with a 2:26:22 personal best.
Kevin Pool, 28, of Folsom, Calif. is making his debut at the Napa Valley
Marathon. His best marathon to date was at the 2009 California
International Marathon where he turned in a 2:22:23. At the USA Half
Marathon Championships last month in Houston -- a race that provided a
preview of the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials course -- Pool placed 24th in
1:06:30. Pool's aim is to return to Houston and compete in the Trials.
Carlos Siqueiros, 30, of Menlo Park, Calif. won the 2007 Portland Marathon
in 2:25:25. He hopes to return to that form at Napa.
Siqueiros' training partner, Kota Reichert (27, Menlo Park, Calif.) is also
entered. The full-time physical therapist at Stanford University Hospital
owns a marathon best of 2:29:29, but hopes to lower that by five or six
minutes on the fast Napa course.
Chris Mocko, 25, of Palo Alto, Calif. is aiming for a finish time in the
low 2:20s. The recent track and cross country runner for Stanford
University has a 5K personal record of 14:26, and he might surprise himself
in only his second marathon. Mocko's debut marathon last December yielded a
finishing time of 2:32:40.
The 2011 edition of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon has again
been selected by the Road Runners Club of America as its Western Regional
Marathon Championship, a designation it has received since 2009. Marathon
weekend includes a Sports and Fitness Expo on Friday, March 4th from 1 p.m.
to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 5th 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 on Saturday, March 5th, an innovative speaker/seminar program that
includes a "faculty" composed of respected running authorities and
The 2011 Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon starts on Sunday, March 6th
at 7:00 a.m. sharp in Calistoga on the Silverado Trail near the
intersection of Rosedale Road. The road course runs the length of the
beautiful Silverado Trail and finishes at Vintage High School in Napa.
Entry slots are still available for the companion Kiwanis 5K Fun Run, which
starts (8 a.m.) and finishes at Vintage High School on marathon morning.
Every Napa Valley Marathon participant assists important local causes.
All proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit organization) are
donated to local charities and schools in the Napa Valley region.
For more information about the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon,
please visit the marathon's web site at www.napavalleymarathon.org.
The Napa Valley Marathon appreciates generous sponsor support from Kaiser
Permanente/Thrive, 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 The CW, Comcast, Napa Valley Register, KVYN/99.3 The Vine, KVON 1440
AM, the Napa Running Company, KCBS 740 AM, Silverado Brewing Company, Wine
Country Inn/Napa Valley, Arrrowhead Water, and Southgate Mini Storage.