The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has named the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon among its 2012 National Running Award recipients, designating the 35-year-old race through California’s scenic Napa Valley as its 2012 Road Race of the Year. The RRCA is the oldest and largest organization in the U.S. dedicated to distance running with over 1,000 member running clubs and running events representing over 200,000 running club members. It will honor the Napa Valley Marathon (NVM) among all of its 2012 National Running Award recipients and outstanding contributors to the sport at the upcoming RRCA National Running Awards Banquet and Ceremony on May 4, 2013 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For a complete list of the RRCA’s 2012 National Running Award recipients go to http://www.rrca.org/.
This year’s edition of NVM, which was held on March 3rd, served as the RRCA National Marathon Championship, a designation it also received from 1998-2009. Last year’s race served as the organization’s Western Regional Marathon Championship.
“We have great respect for the good work the RRCA does and we’re honored to have served as its 2012 Road Race of the Year,” said Rich Benyo who co-directs NVM with David Hill. “It takes a huge team to put on a viable road race, and our team of board members, volunteers, and sponsors pull together to improve the race on a yearly basis. We’ve been fortunate to host the RRCA’s Marathon Championships for so many years, and look forward to working closely with them at future Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon races.”
Several RRCA administrators and dignitaries attended this year’s NVM, including RRCA Executive Director Jean Knaack and RRCA Coastal California State Representative George Rehmet.
The Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon boasts one of the most beautiful courses in the world. The USA Track and Field certified 26.2-mile course runs the length of the famed Napa Valley wine-growing region. It begins in Calistoga, famous for its geysers and curative waters, and winds south along the historic Silverado Trail (paved road) to finish in Napa. Runners are treated to panoramic views of the valley, flowering fruit trees, and dormant vineyards carpeted with golden mustard flowers.
Last year, Forbes Travel Guide rated NVM among the top ten marathons in the world “worth traveling for.” Runner’s World magazine selected NVM as one of the top ten U.S. marathons for first-time marathon participants in its January, 2011 issue. American Express’ Departures magazine declared the NVM as #7 in their “ten travel-worthy races that make for truly memorable journeys on the run.”
Historically, a remarkable 30 percent of NVM’s entrants are first-time marathoners. A sold-out field of 2,600 entrants from 16 countries, 45 U.S. states, and Washington, D.C. participated in this year’s race. The popular event reaches its entry limit every year. Entry limits for the race are largely determined by the number of available hotel rooms in the world-renowned Napa Valley wine producing and tasting region.
Every Napa Valley Marathon participant assists important local causes. Proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit organization) are donated to local charities and schools in the Napa Valley region. In addition, an independent economic impact analysis commissioned by the marathon in 2012 estimated that the local economic impact of NVM is approximately $3 million annually in direct spending.
Next year’s 36th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon will be held on Sunday, March 2, 2014.
More information about the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon is available from the marathon’s web site at www.napavalleymarathon.org.
The Napa Valley Marathon recognizes sponsor support from Kaiser Permanente/Thrive, Gatorade, ASICS, Silverado Trail Wineries Association, Marathon & Beyond, Visit Napa Valley, Napa County California, Road Runners Club of America, USA Track & Field, MarathonFoto, Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, GU, CBS 5 and The CW, XFINITY, Napa Valley Register, KVYN/99.3 The Vine, KVON 1440 AM, Napa Running Company, KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM, Arrowhead Water, Wallaby Organic, Running USA, Hurley’s Restaurant, Southgate Mini Storage, Napa Smith Brewery.