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Monday, 21 July 2014 18:11

Alemayehu, Hall Win Napa-To-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

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Local native Hall broke the existing 3-year course record by over 2 minutes, Lauren Fleshman runs to second place finish - SONOMA, Calif. (July 20, 2014) - Tesfaye Alemayehu and Sara Hall won the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon presented by Newton.  An estimated 9,000 people attended the race and post-race festivities in downtown Sonoma.  Produced by Destination Races of Sonoma, Napa-to-Sonoma is the flagship event in the Wine Country Half Marathon Series.

Local native Hall, who graduated from nearby Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, where she was a standout distance runner,  broke the women’s course record set in 2011 with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes, 16 seconds.

Alemayehu won his 5th consecutive Napa-to-Sonoma race with a time of 1:03.22. The race sold out in less than 35 minutes back in November, and the scenic 13.1-mile race started at Cuvasion Carneros Winery and finished at the historic Sonoma Plaza in front of City Hall. 

The race on Sunday attracted 3,500 runners from 50 states and 11 foreign countries who enjoyed ideal race weather conditions and a festive atmosphere along the rolling, serpentine course.

Meb Keflezighi, Olympic Silver Medalist and this year’s Boston Marathon winner, led the elite men on an Elliptigo. Alemayehu, who lilves in Antioch, Calif, was followed by Sergio Reyes of Palmdale, Calif. in in 1:04.59.

Rounding out the top 3 was new father Ben Bruce of Flagstaff, Ariz. with a time of 1:05.59. US half marathon record holder, Ryan Hall, dropped out near mile 6 but then cheered on his wife Sara Hall, as she broke the course record.

Hall, who won her first Wine Country Half Marathon last October, broke the existing 3-year course record by over 2 minutes. Cruising to a second place finish, Lauren Fleshman ran her first ever half-marathon and completed the 13.1-mile course in 1:15.25 followed by Allison Maxson in 3rd with a 1:16.57.

“I happened to be at the inaugural Napa-to-Sonoma half marathon in 2004,” said Fleshman. “I was here to watch my training partner race and cheer him on. It is amazing to see how far the event has come, and it is an honor being able to debut my half marathon at this event. The scenery is spectacular and the pre and post race events made for an amazing weekend with my family and friends.”

The post-race Wine & Music Festival featured wine tasting, food, beer, bands, and the awards ceremony in Sonoma Plaza. Twenty-five wineries and Lagunitas Brewing Company poured at the festival, while exhibitors offered product samples and demonstrations. Each finisher received a performance running shirt, and unique wine glass and wine charm finisher’s medal, and a Riedel wine glass good for the pouring at the festival. The top 3 finishers in each age category received a bottle of wine.

Team Challenge, the endurance training and fundraising program for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, brought 730 runners and raised $2.9 million at the event.  Hanna Boys Center of Sonoma, Hope, Sweat and Cures, Native Sons of the Golden West, One Team Flight, Save Our Sports Sonoma, and Community Action of Napa Valley (CAN-V) provided volunteers for the race and served as beneficiaries.  

”What a rewarding and fun day it was for everyone involved in this event,” said Matt Dockstader, Founder and Race Director of Destination Races. “The entire event is truly a team effort that starts here in our community and expands to all our partners and our participants from all over the world.”  


10th Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

Sonoma, CA, Sunday, July 20, 2014



1. Tesfaye Alemayehu        30        Antioch, CA                          1:03:22

2. Sergio Reyes                    32        San Mateo, CA                     1:04:59

3. Ben Bruce                         31        Flagstaff, AZ                         1:05:59



1. Sara Hall                           31        Flagstaff, AZ            1:13:16

2. Lauren Fleshman                        32        Bend, OR                  1:15:25

3. Allison Maxson                28        Folsom, CA                           1:16:57     



For more Information on the event series and Destination Races, go to Friend them on Facebook at and follow them on Twitter @winecountryhalf and see exclusive race images on Instagram

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