FAQs

The Race

Is this is a good course for beginners?

This is an excellent course for beginning marathoners. It is downhill, traveling from 380 feet above sea level to 80 feet above sea level at the finish line. There are rolling hills in the first six miles and the course is relatively flat thereafter.

Do you have a course map or course outline available?

Napa Valley Marathon course maps are available for download.

How do we get from Napa to the race start?

On race morning we provide transportation at no cost to each registered runner from the finish line at Vintage High School to the start line in Calistoga. Buses leave for the start at 5:30 a.m. Please plan to arrive early to be assured a seat.

Do you have a time limit on finishing? What is it?

Our permits with Napa County, CalTrans and the California Highway Patrol; and insurance require that all runners be off the course by 1:00 p.m. We adhere to this 6 hour time limit and ask that if you can't finish in that time period, please do not enter.

How late will the timer be there with people to greet you coming in?

While we attempt to ensure that all runners finishing the course have someone waiting to greet them and place the finishing medal upon their exhausted bodies, the Finish line officially closes at 1:00 p.m. You will be awarded a Participant’s Medal if you finish after 1:00 p.m.

Where will the aid stations be located?

The aid stations are generally 2.0 to 2.5 miles apart. Only near the end are they less than 2.0 miles apart.

What will be provided at the aid stations?

We offer Gatorade Endurance Formula and Calistoga Mineral Water at all aid stations and, fruit and nuts at later aid stations. You may provide your own special drinks. Kaiser Permanente provides medical personnel at each aid station starting at aid station #4 through the finish line.

SPECIAL DRINKS:  You must specify at which aid stations you want your special drinks placed. It is your responsibility to get your drinks to us at the start line between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. We will place them at the aid stations you request.

Which Gatorade flavors will be available at the aid stations?

Lemon Lime.

Are relay teams (4 members) allowed to participate in your splendid marathon?

Our event is limited to individual, registered runners.

Can I listen to headphones while participating?

In accordance with USATF and RRCA guidelines, headphones are not allowed. Any participant using headphones will be disqualified.

Can my dog accompany me during the race or meet me at the finish line?

Dogs are not allowed to accompany runners on the course and may not be brought to the start or finish areas. It is illegal to bring a dog onto a school campus such as the finish line at Vintage High.

Can you tell me how the wind (headwind, cross, tail) has been on the course in past years?

Traditionally in the Napa Valley there is a slight down-valley breeze, tailwind, in the mornings.

Is there a shuttle bus to return to Calistoga at the end of the race?
There is no race-provided transportation to Calistoga after the race. Additionally, there is no public transportation. As there is limited parking at the start line in Calistoga, we encourage you to park at Vintage High School and let us bus you to the start.

I would like my supporters to be able to see me at the start of the race and then at the finish line with possibly one stop in between during the race. What is the best way to accomplish this?

The course is closed to all but registered runners. Unless you are a registered runner and are starting the race, there is no way to view the start.
There are "feeder" roads from SR 29 up and down the valley and they are the best viewing points. A map is available at the Expo. Please keep in mind that there is limited parking on these roads and the CHP will be monitoring traffic flow at each viewing point. The finish line at Vintage High School has adequate viewing.

Registration

How many people typically run in this Marathon?

We limit our race to 2300.

Is there a limit to the number of people who can register?

We will only accept 2300 entries.

How will I know if the race is full?
In addition to a posting on the website, you will not be able to register online.

When does the race typically reach its limits of runners?

Usually we fill the field in late January.

What are my options for registering?

You may register online or download a mail-in entry form.

Can you send me a race packet and any other information that would be helpful for someone coming from out of state?

Information regarding lodging and sites to see in the Napa Valley are available on our website.  You may also contact the Napa Conference and Visitor's Bureau at 707.226.7459.

How do I know when I am registered?

Those who register online will immediately receive an email confirmation of your entry. You may also check your registration on our website.  Entries sent via US mail may also be confirmed on the website but will take longer.

Due to unexpected injury or circumstances I am unable to compete.  May I defer my registration to the following year?

You may write to race officials and request a deferral. Each case will be judged individually and the decision of the race committee will be final. In any event, please keep in mind that under no circumstances will a refund be granted.

If I am unable to compete, may I transfer my eligibility to another person or open the spot for someone else?

There is no transfer of registration. You may request a deferral as noted in the previous question.

Other Events

What additional events are offered and when are they scheduled?

The Exposition area of the website discusses the various events that are associated with race and provides a schedule of events.  The Greater Kiwanis Club of Napa sponsors a 5K Fun Run.

If I am already registered for the marathon, how do I get a ticket for the pasta feed?

You may contact us and request a ticket, the preferred way, or you may purchase a ticket, if available, at the Expo on Saturday.

Will seating be limited at the Pasta Feed?

Yes, due to popularity, we have two seatings limited to 150 per seating.

Can I purchase an additional runners’ shirt and a poster of the race prior to the marathon?

Merchandise is available for sale at the Expo and at the finish line on Sunday. Current year race runners’ shirts are not available until the following year.

Other Distances

Is there a 5K?

Yes. The Greater Kiwanis Club of Napa produces a 5K Fun Run that starts and finishes at the Marathon finish line at Vintage High School.  For further information, please call Mike Scully or Mandy at 707.255.7503.

Is there a half marathon?

We only offer a full marathon and a 5K.

Can walkers participate?

Due to the rural nature of this event it is not "walker friendly".  We will not allow "early starts" and everyone must be off the course by 1:00 p.m.

Miscellaneous

What are your sponsorship opportunities?

For sponsorship, Expo or goodybag participation, please contact the race office at 707.255.2609 or 707.257.6515 (fax).

Is Napa a qualifying marathon for Boston?

Due to the close proximity to the Boston event, the Napa Valley Marathon is always one year behind in qualification.  We do, however, send a complete list of results to the BAA Race Committee shortly after our results are official. If you qualify, your results will be with the BAA and it will be your responsibility to follow through with your entry with the BAA.