The Santa Rosa Marathon in late August holds a special place on the medal hook for the Running Lushes. It is one of our signature team races and we are proud to to be ambassadors as we feel strongly about the mission and quality of this race. This year’s race was the 10th Year Anniversary and it made a fabulous summer destination race. On to the recap to see why we keep coming back and why you should join us next year!
As this is an official team race, we had members running both the full and half marathon distances. We all drove up from the Bay Area and met at the Expo, which this year was at Sports Basement. Bib pickup was easy to navigate and we enjoyed chatting with and getting samples from all the vendors. We especially enjoyed the VIP lounge this year and enjoyed talking with other racers and with the Art and Orhon, the race founders! They are both very hands-on, down to earth and work hard to make this race a fun experience.
Santa Rosa and the surrounding area is known as wine country — which means wine-tasting and good food! One of our pre-race rituals is go to DeLoach Vineyards who are sponsors of the race and as it so happens where we are wine club members. We headed there for a relaxing time on the patio before dinner and got to see the barrel room where the marathoners run through. We also love that we get a bottle of their wine as part of the swag and ended up purchasing a few others from our tasting. Speaking of swag…on top of the bottle of wine, we also received a jacket, a long sleeve tech shirt, a water bottle, a key chain and your typical samples and coupons. It has some of the best race rewards.
After wine tasting, we headed to dinner at Riviera Ristorante near downtown Santa Rosa. It had great fresh pasta for reasonable prices. We are remembering this for next year!
The next morning, we were up bright and early to take Lush Kat to the marathon start at 6:30am. Layne hung out and kept warm in the pre-race VIP tent and met up with Miina and Jim for the half marathon start at 7:15am. The pre-race setup is in a park and had plenty of port-a-potties, water and free coffee. It has a very casual feel and easy to navigate which helps with the pre-race stress. The person who sang the National Anthem also jumped in the corral and ran the marathon! Both races started on time and it was fun seeing so many people we knew there.
Both the marathon and half marathon start in downtown Santa Rosa and then run along the Santa Rosa Creek Trail and through the scenic countryside. The marathon splits off around mile 7 and continues to go through more wine country and as mentioned through the Barrel Room of DeLoach where there is a Chardonnay Shot!
Both courses are mostly flat, very pretty and very well supported with plenty of water, gatorade, honey stinger gels and aid. There were also plenty of spectators cheering you on and many pace groups to help you get across the finish. The Taiko Drums are an inspiring sight and sound at mile 7!
The course gets a little crowded on the back half when the fast marathoners catch up to the half marathoners, but there is plenty of space to move over. It is also very impressive to see the elites fly by.
Towards the end of the race, you run back through downtown and when you turn the corner, you are greeted with a view of the finish line and excitement of a cheering line of people. The announcers also call your name when you cross which is always a nice touch.
The Finish Line festival is one of the main reasons to do this race! Every year, we look forward to the BIG AWESOME SPINNER MEDAL that the volunteers drape over our neck as well as the pancake breakfast. This year, they even had fresh fruit to top on your pancakes. There is also a live band and beer festival where participants get free entry to taste and enjoy many craft beers. It is a great ending to a perfectly flawless race!
Santa Rosita Cocktail
- 1 Bottle of cheap White Zinfandel on the sweeter side
- 1 – 2 cans of sprite to taste
- a splash of cranberry
- 1 oz of grand marnier
Mix all in a blender with ice until just crushed. Pour in lowball with a lime wedge garnish. Cheers!