May 16, 2017

Marita A. Dorenbecher
(707) 944-1373
(707) 738-7672

Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon
Will Be 2018 RRCA Championship Event


NAPA VALLEY, California—On March 4, 2018 the 40th edition of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon will be run through the world-famous Napa Valley, from Calistoga in the north to Vintage High School in the city of Napa. The race will be the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) National Marathon Championships.

The race will constitute a dual anniversary. “In March 1958, the newly-formed RRCA selected its first championship event,” explained Jean Knaack, RRCA Executive Director. “In 2018, the RRCA will celebrate its 60th anniversary, with the RRCA’s Championship Event Series being one of the oldest traditions in the sport. There is no better race than the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, celebrating its 40th running, to help kick off the 60th anniversary of the RRCA Championship Event Series.”

The RRCA, which began as a grassroots running organization, has grown to encompass 2500 running clubs, events, and event management companies. The member organizations put on more than 10,000 running events per year.

“We are proud of our long-running relationship with the RRCA,” said Richard Benyo, Co-Race Director and Board Chairman of the Napa Valley Marathon. “Their efforts over the years have made running a more organized and accessible sport and lifestyle.”

The RRCA offers a variety of services and programs to support and promote the efforts of local running clubs and events. Besides its championship racing events, it also offers a coaching program, a Kids Run the Nation program, race director certification courses, Runner Friendly Community Designation, a RunPro Camp involving Roads Scholar grants for upcoming running stars, National Running Awards, Leadership Development Scholarships, and an annual Run to Work and Run to School day. RRCA’s 60th national convention will be held in Washington, D.C. in early April.

The Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon is a non-profit California corporation that each year donates tens of thousands of dollars to youth programs throughout Napa County, including annual scholarships for graduating seniors from the six high schools in the county.

The first Napa Valley Marathon was run in 1979. “It’s just one of those cosmic quirks of nature that from the northern extreme of the Napa Valley to the northern edge of the City of Napa, it’s exactly 26.2 miles,” said Dave Hill, Co-Race Director and Treasurer of the marathon. “We have one of the most beautiful courses in the world,” he said. The course runs south along the historic Silverado Trail. “In the four decades of putting on the race, we’re kind of spoiled, in that we’ve been able to use the same course. Some races are forced to change their course every few years. Ours has always been the same,” Hill added.

The theme for the 40th running of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon was purposely kept simple, to mirror the simplicity of running itself: “40 Years Running.”

Certainly among RRCA championship events, the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon has a unique feature: Besides the male and female winners becoming the RRCA Champions, each will win his and her weight-in-wine provided by the Andretti Winery. At the RRCA awards ceremony, the male and female winners will be seated on one end of a scale while Andretti Winery representatives will pile cases of their premium wines on the other side of the scale until the runner is lifted off the ground. The weight-in-wine winner program has been a feature of the local marathon for decades.

Race weekend events are centered on the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa and include a running and fitness expo and the Kaiser Permanente Marathon College. All events are open to the public at no charge.

Registration is open now and, a full schedule of events will be posted on the marathon’s website:  as March 2018 approaches. The race is limited to the first 3,000 entries. Check the website for more information.