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Friday, 03 October 2014 14:44

Talented Field, New Course for Healdsburg Half

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This year’s guest speaker and runner is ultra-marathoner and author Dean Karnazes.  Dean just returned from his recent trip to Greece where he ran in the Spartathlon, a 153-mile journey from Athens to Sparta - HEALDSBURG, Calif. - The Wine Country Half Marathon Series, sponsored by Newton Running and produced by Destination Races, makes its next stop in Sonoma County on  Saturday, October 25, 2014.  This late October run basks in the glow of orange, red and yellow leaves, passes 25 wineries- two with wine stops- and features a costume contest for runners at the post-race Wine & Music Festival.

Voted best Destination Race in the Pacific West region, by Competitor, the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon has a near cult-like following, attracting runners from all over the country to run in costume in celebration of this end of wine harvest and Halloween-themed race.

This point-to-point course weaves its way through the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys in one of the world’s most dynamic wine regions. Sonoma County boasts over 100 world-class wineries, and with the average October high temperature being 77 degrees, it provides the ideal environment for a festive, fall half marathon. 

All half marathon finishers receive a finisher’s medal (recently noted by Runner’s World as one of the best race medals), a technical shirt and an exclusive Riedel wine glass to take with you to partake in the popular Wine + Music Festival immediately adjacent to the finish. 

The Wine & Music Festival at Trentadue includes wine tasting from 20 local vintners, live music from T-Luke and the tight Suits, awards ceremony and costume contest, Lagunitas Brewing Co. beer garden, food trucks, exhibitors and product sampling from 9:30 AM – 12:15pm.  The new half marathon (13.1 miles) course now kicks off at 7:30 AM at the soon-to-be named winery currently known as the Home of the White Doe off Canyon Rd.

“Sonoma County is where the concept for the first Wine Country Half Marathon originated with the Napa-to-Sonoma race,” says Matt Dockstader, Founder and Race Director of Destination Races. 

“There isn’t a more alluring time of year to be in Sonoma County, and running on this course through the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys, you’re practically running on top of these multi-colored vineyards. This event really showcases the bounty of the area and brings out the creative and enthusiastic side of everyone.” 

As a lighter alternative, runners can opt for the Hallowine 5k that starts at 8:40 AM at Mazzocco Winery and follows the final 3.1 miles of the half marathon route, also finishing at Trentadue Winery for the post-race celebration.

Headlining the women’s field is Olympian and professional runner Kim Conley. The roots of Kim’s running career stem from a variety of formative experiences in Sonoma County, which is home to long and distinguished distance running traditions. Conley definitively emerged on to the professional running scene at the 2012 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. In one of the most dramatic races of the meet, Kim mounted a comeback effort over the final lap sending her to London for the 2012 Olympic games.

This year’s guest speaker and runner is ultra-marathoner and author Dean Karnazes.  Dean just returned from his recent trip to Greece where he ran in the Spartathlon, a 153-mile journey from Athens to Sparta, originally run by Pheidippides in 490BC, just before the Battle of Marathon.

A partnership has grown out of elite runner and native Sarah Hall and husband Ryan’s attraction to the Wine Country Half Marathon series.  Ryan & Sarah will be hosting the first annual Running Retreat Weekend with the Halls in Santa Rosa, October 24-26, 2014, which includes participation in the Healdsburg Wine Country Half.

For more information and to register, go to destinationraces.com/runhb.  Destination Races and its winery partners go the extra mile to offer a truly unique wine country destination experience.

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