FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mocko and Herron Victors at Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon
NAPA, Calif. - March 6, 2011 - Chris Mocko, 25, of Palo Alto, Calif., and
Camille Herron, 31, of West Lafayette, Ind., registered victories today at
the 33rd Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon. For Mocko, the day
was particularly memorable. His victory, in 2 hours, 27 minutes, and 2
seconds, came on his 25th birthday as his father, Paul, watched from the
finish line. Herron led the women's race from wire to wire and recorded a
finish time of 2:42:20. Periodic rain showers and moderate headwinds
dampened an otherwise mild day for the sellout crowd of 2,400 marathon
participants, but it did not damper their enthusiasm as they raced through
the scenic Napa Valley wine growing region.
Mocko used a strategy of hanging behind the early leaders and then jumping
at opportunity to score a victory and a personal record in only his third
marathon. The recent steeplechase and cross country specialist for Stanford
University did not attempt to accompany leaders Kevin Pool (Folsom, Calif.)
and Austin Weaver (Sacramento, Calif.) who took the race out at sub-2:19:00
finishing pace. Pool, in particular, was pursuing the sub-2:19 standard set
by USA Track & Field for entry into next January's 2012 USA Olympic Team
"Going in, we knew about Kevin (Pool) and his hopes to go for the Olympic
Trials (standard)," Mocko said. "I wasn't capable of running that fast. In
my first two marathons I kind of blew up. Going out a little bit slower
made sense to me."
At five miles, Weaver pulled out of the race as Mocko ran comfortably in a
small pack that included 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet
who was on a 20-mile training run and did not finish. By 14 miles, Pool had
built a four-minute lead, but was slowing as he fell off the pace he needed
for an Olympic Trials qualifier. Then, at 15 miles, Pool called it a day
and exited, yielding the men's lead to Mocko and his Asics Aggie teammate,
Kota Reichert (Menlo Park, Calif.).
"I got really excited when I heard that Kota and I were in the lead,"
Mocko said, "and at that I point I really picked up the pace. The
adrenaline got me through 20 miles, but then I really started feeling it.
But, I was able to hang on. Overall, I ran a negative split for the race,
so I was pleased."
Reichert finished second in 2:30:29. Nathan Yanko (San Francisco,
Calif.) was third in 2:33:07. Casey Strange (Campbell, Calif.), age 47, won
the men's masters (age 40 and over) title in 2:47:30.
Women's winner Camille Herron led from the gun and never looked back.
The Napa Valley Marathon was her fourth marathon within the last three
months. Before that, she ran 2:38:23 at the 2009 USA Marathon Championships
in Minneapolis, earning an "A standard" qualifier for the 2012 U.S. Women's
Olympic Marathon Trials race. Herron wore bib number 235 at Napa in pursuit
of a finishing time around 2:35, but the tall and thin athlete said a
persistent headwind (of about 8 m.p.h.) hampered her efforts.
"I've been really consistent in the low 2:40s for the last few marathons,"
said Herron, who is sponsored by MarathonGuide. "I haven't been doing a lot
of speed work yet, but have been running very high (training) mileage,
about 120 miles per week. I just need to get in some speed work now, and
maybe hit another marathon in a few months."
YiOu Wang (note capital "O" correct spelling) of Mill Valley, Calif.
emerged from a small trailing pack of women at about 18 miles and garnered
second place in 2:46:45, improving upon her third place finish last year.
Although Wang scored a new personal record, her time was 45 seconds short
of the 2:46:00 women's "B" qualifying standard she sought for the U.S.
Olympic Marathon Trials.
"It was so windy the last couple of miles on the flats, and I was all alone
at that point," Wang said. I tried to put my head down and work against the
wind, but it took too much out of me. I knew I was going to get a big PR,
so I'm pretty happy."
Kami Semick, 44, of Bend, Ore. placed third in 2:49:23 and earned the
women's masters win. Semick was USA Track & Field's Female Ultra Runner of
the Year in 2009 and 2010, and the women's 100K World Champion in 2009.
A new, more spacious finish line greeted 1,755 marathon finishers. The
finish was moved around the corner to the parking lot at Napa's Vintage
High School this year, and the marathon course was re-certified for
accurate distance. The change was the first one to the fast, rolling
marathon course from Calistoga to Napa in the 33-year history of the race.
The 2011 Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon once again served as the
Road Runners Club of America's Western Regional Marathon Championship race.
Known as "the Biggest Little Marathon in the West," the race rewards male
and female open and masters winners with oversized bottles of wine etched
with their championship accomplishments. The male and female winners of the
race also receive their "weight-in-wine" from the sponsoring Silverado
Trail Wineries Association.
In the accompanying Kiwanis 5K Fun Run, Jeff Wilson (30, San Francisco,
Calif.) was the men's winner in 16:22 and Maggie Conley (27, Portola
Valley, CA) was first among women in 18:14.
Full race results for the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon are
available on the event's web site at www.napavalleymarathon.org.
All proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit organization) are
donated to local charities in the Napa Valley.
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.