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Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

Quick facts

Distance Half marathon

About Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

Napa-to-Sonoma is the flagship event in the Wine Country Half Marathon Series. This popular race features a fast and scenic course starting at Cuvaison Carneros Winery and finishing in historic Sonoma Plaza in front of City Hall. The world-renowned Napa and Sonoma Valleys serve as the host of this event, offering the finest in wine country ambience and hospitality. Other activities are scheduled around the race, so bring family and friends and plan to stay and play! You’ll also meet new friends and running colleagues at this iconic event which draws from all fifty states and many foreign countries. This is not your typical running race, this is a lifestyle experience!

Selected by Runner’s World magazine as the half marathon with the “best finish,” due in no small part to the Wine & Music Festival that awaits runners at the finish line in Sonoma Plaza, the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon & GunBunFunRun 5K races offer some of the country’s most beautiful and dramatic scenery for a road race, both at the finish line and all the way along the course.

Distances

5K

  • 5km

Half Marathon

  • 21.082354km

Practicalities

Aid Stations

Seven aid stations will be placed on-course between the start and finish areas. Various non-profits, school teams and other groups host these stations. They are placed on-course at key locations and intervals approximately 1.5 miles apart.

Equipment Storage

A gear check area is provided at the start for runners to place their warm-ups and other items in the bag provided by race staff. Write your bib number and name on the bags and they will be transported to the finish area for pickup. Any items left at the event will be donated to charity after 14 days.

Maximum Time

To enter the half marathon you must be able to finish the course in 3 hours and 30 minutes and keep a 16:00/mile pace or better. Casual walkers are not permitted in the half marathon due to this time limit. If you cannot keep the required pace on course, you will not be guaranteed course supervision by law enforcement and volunteers.

Refreshments

Water will be offered at each aid station and GU Hydration Drink (Lemon lime flavor) will be provided at every other aid station. GU Energy Gels (Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, and Salted Watermelon flavors) will be distributed at Aid Station #4. Please discard wrappers in trash receptacles at aid stations, or put them in your pocket, not alongside the road.

Timing

The race is chip timed to provide accurate and fair results. Runners will receive a chip and gun time, the top 3 overall finishers are based on gun time, all other finisher results use chip time results. The timing chips are disposable and do not need to be returned.

Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon Route Map

Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon Route Map

Start:

Cuvaison Carneros Winery

Napa,us

Finish:

Sonoma Plaza

Napa,us

Highlights

This scenic and fast 13.1 mile course starts at Cuvaison Carneros Winery where runners congregate in one of the most beautiful start areas anywhere. You’ll warm up next to the winery alongside rows of rolling vineyards and a reservoir. Runners must be dropped at the entrance to the winery by bus or by vehicle in the Domaine Carneros parking lot. There is NO parking there or anywhere near the start area!

Out of the starting gate, you’ll take a left turn on Duhig Rd. and make your ascent up Butt Burner Hill. Once over the crest it’s a beautiful cruise downhill into the Carneros wine appellation. Enjoy vistas of the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Preserve, San Pablo Bay and Mt. Tamalpais in Marin as you wind through hundreds of rolling acres of vineyards and wineries. The course also passes ranches and farms filled with a variety of animals including horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, chickens and donkeys.

Overview

Mile 0 – .4: Cuvaison, Domaine Carneros & Butt-Burner Hill

Enjoy the setting as you stretch among the vineyards and irrigation reservoir adjacent to the Cuvaison Carneros tasting room and production facility. Once through the starting line and winery entrance gate you’ll take a sharp left past Domaine Carneros winery on your right and begin your ascent up Duhig Rd, fondly called Butt-Burner Hill for three-tenths of a mile. Go easy and avoid burning too much energy early on the climb.

Mile .5 – 2.2: The Duhig Descent

The descent is well worth the climb! This is the most photographed stretch of course and also the fastest section with great views of Carneros and the Napa/Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area. It’s mostly downhill for 2 miles but make sure to keep your eyes open. It’s gorgeous! Your first aid station is at the intersection of Las Amigas next to Acacia Vineyard at mile 2.

Mile 2.2 – 4: From Napa to Sonoma County

After making a sweeping right Duhig Rd turns into Ramal Rd as you head west past the vineyards. You’ll encounter a animal farm on the left (sheep, cows, horses, goats) and then a couple of rolling hills. At the three-mile mark you’ll cross over from Napa County into Sonoma County (notice the pavement change) and shortly after Skaggs Island Rd you’ll find aid station #2 at the entrance to a wine production facility.

Mile 4 – 6: Serenity and Vineyard Section

Once the field thins out in this section there is plenty of time to let your mind wander and enjoy the scenery. Take in Mt. Tamalpais to the south, resting peacefully as a backdrop to the Napa/Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area just off the left side of the course. There will be vineyards to right throughout this section. After making another sweeping right you’ll soon find aid station #3 at Donum Estate at mile 6, home of Robert Stemmler and Donum Estate wines.

Mile 6 – 7.5: The Halfway Mark & Hwy 121

After winding through a few turns and passing a sheep ranch or two you’ll finally begin to encounter civilization. A sharp left on Dale Rd and then a right on Burndale Rd. and you are suddenly at Hwy 121 complete with aid station #4, portable restrooms, live music, Homewood winery, and your friendly CHP. The officers must let cars through at various intervals, so if you are asked to stop briefly, please obey. It will be a short respite before you tackle the 2nd part of the course.

Mile 7.5 – 9.5: Burndale Rd. Farm Animals

After crossing the highway you’ll continue on Burndale Rd. Aid station #5 is on Burndale Road as you pass Herschel Road. This section curves through vineyards and homes before taking you up a small hill lined with farm animals. Sheep, goats, horses, pigs, alpacas, chickens, and cows all reside on this stretch of the course leading up the crossing at Napa Rd. where CHP will again control the traffic and runner flow.

Mile 9.5 – 11.5: Shady Denmark & Gundlach Bundschu Winery

Relief is on the way. You’ll cross over Napa Rd (CHP controls this intersection also) and onto tree-lined Denmark Rd. where trees and shade are abundant. Upon passing water station #6, you’ll see the beautiful vineyards of Gundlach Bundschu on your right, and a table set with small tastes of Gerwurtztraminer wine. Wine not? This is where the GunBunFunRun 5K (8:15am start) merges with the half marathon course, so there may be a blast of fresh, fast energy as you pass this location. You’ll veer left and follow Denmark St. into the path at Sonoma Valley High School. This is a longest straight and flat section on the course. Hanna Boys Center provide the water at station #7 just before the path leads you past the fields and track at the high school.

Mile 12 – 13.1: A Broadway Finish

After a jaunt though the path at the high school you’ll end up on MacArthur Rd for a tenth of a mile then onto Broadway for the final half-mile stretch into Sonoma Plaza. Historic City Hall and its trademark palm trees are your target ahead. As you get closer to the Plaza the cheers get loader until the adrenalin carries you right across the finish line. Congratulations! You have completed the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. Time to rest, hydrate and celebrate with family and friends for the famous post-race Wine & Music Festival in Sonoma Plaza!

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.