The Race

The Start

The StartThe race begins promptly at 7 a.m. on Sunday. The start is preceded by a brief invocation and "The Star Spangled Banner."


During the Race

Aid Stations
There are 13 aid stations along the course. We offer water, Gatorade Endurance, your special drinks, sponges at later aid stations, and medical supplies. Fruit (oranges, bananas) is available at aid stations in the second half of the course. Portable toilets are located at the start area, each aid station and the finish area.

The Start< On the course we will have Gatorade Endurance Formula that will help our runners to be stronger, go longer, and to be properly hydrated. Find out more about Gatorade at The Napa Valley Marathon also offers Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water at certain aid stations on the course in addition to plain old Napa Valley water.  Find out more about Arrowhead Water at

Aid stations will be located at the following distances from the start:
Start, 2.2, 4.3, 6.6, 9.4, 11.9, 13.9, 16.1, 18.5, 20.8, 22.4, 24, and 26.2 miles.

Special Drinks
Runners who prepare special drinks can have them delivered to specific aid stations by bringing the bottles to the start line where they will be placed in boxes labeled for specific aid stations. This can be done between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m.; the boxes are located 25 yards in front of the start line.

Medical Assistance
Experienced Kaiser medical personnel are located along the course at each aid station from 9.4 miles onward. Our emergency HAM radio team monitors the course, sag vans with HAM operators cruise the course, and ambulances are located at the finish area and at several points along the course. There is also a sag bus following the end of the field. The sag vans and sag bus are equipped with HAM operators, supplies, and blankets. The finish line medical staff (located at the Medical Center, just past the finish line) is equipped with cots, blankets, and medical supplies. Massage therapists are located in the Vintage High School gym.

Please be aware of the cutoff time of 1:00 p.m. Refer to the Cutoff Times (below) for details about how the cutoff time affects medical assistance.

The StartThe vineyards that parallel the race course provide world-class scenery but also have a downside. Most of them feature deep ditches to accommodate irrigation and rain runoff that severely limit parking on crossroads that intersect with the Silverado Trail (race course). As the Silverado Trail is closed to traffic for the first twelve miles and heavily restricted for the rest of the race course, these intersections become extremely congested, which leads to frustration for spectators and for residents of the area. If you park in these areas, do not block the traffic lanes, park on private property, or block driveways. And above all, please be cordial and courteous to law enforcement personnel and our local residents, in whose backyard the race runs. There will be a map available at race headquarters that will spell out parking available at each intersection.

Sweat bags and Discarded Clothes
The StartAt the start, there will be two buses for sweat bags. Buses will be parked on Rosedale Road just south of Calistoga within 30 yards of the start line. The sweat bags will be transported to Vintage High School where they will be waiting in the gymnasium to be reunited with their runners. Runners are responsible for guaranteeing that their race number is clearly discernible on the sweat bags.

Runners are required to use good sense and not pack anything of value in sweat bags. Leave valuables at the hotel desk or in another secure location. Double-knot your car key to your shoelaces. THE MARATHON IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST, STOLEN, OR DAMAGED SWEAT BAGS OR CONTENTS. The marathon is not responsible for clothing a runner discards along the course. Where possible, race personnel will transport discarded clothing to the awards area at the finish, but they will not arrive until well after the finish of the race. The chances of discarded clothing finding its way to the quad at Vintage High School are greatly increased if the runner discards the clothing at an official aid station, but once again, the marathon is not responsible for any discarded clothing, valuables, or personal items.

The Finish

Race MedalsAs you finish, a digital clock will display your unofficial time. A disposable chip will record your official time. The time on the digital clock may not match your official time. When you cross the finish line, you will be greeted by a volunteer who will present you with your finishers medal and help you find whatever assistance you may need. You will be directed to your sweat bag and from there to showers (bring your own soap and towel), medical personnel, and a place where you can relax and enjoy live music and/or a massage in the gym. You can also enjoy hot soup, rolls, fresh fruit, yogurt, water, and other beverages.

You can download an aerial view of our finish area (PDF ~400KB).

Under state law, and for the safety of all, DOGS are not allowed on the campus of Vintage High School at any time. Violators will be cited.

The StartDue to provisions in road-use permits, the marathon course is opened to traffic and closed to the marathon at 1:00 p.m. At 1:00 p.m., marathon officials and a representative from law enforcement will collect bib numbers from all participants still on the course. All remaining participants will be transported back to the finish line in the marathon “sag” bus. Runners who insist on staying on the course after aid stations are closed do so at their own risk. The marathon provides a sag bus that drives the course as aid stations are closed. Runners wishing a ride back to the finish area can catch the bus by waiting at an aid station. Runners who do not reach the 17-mile point by 11:30 a.m. will be removed from the course and bussed to the finish area. Race results close at 1:00 p.m. and only those finishing under 6 hours will be posted on the website. You will not receive a finisher medal if you do not finish within the 6 hour time limit. If you cannot finish the race within the 6 hour time limit, please do not enter and take an entry spot away from a runner who can finish within the allotted time.