Destination Races Returns to Flagship Event at Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

July 14th, 2015

Destination Races Returns to Flagship Event at Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

Popular Race Offers World-Renowned Wine Country Ambience and Hospitality

July 14, 2015—Sonoma, CA—The Wine Country Half Marathon Series, sponsored by Newton Running and produced by Destination Races, makes its next stop in Napa and Sonoma on July 19, 2015. Hosted in two of the world’s most renowned wine regions, the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is the flagship event in the series. This popular race features a fast and scenic course that winds through the Carneros wine appellation, with vistas of the Napa-Sonoma Wildlife Marsh and San Pablo Bay along the way.  The race starts at Cuvaison Carneros Winery and finishes in front of City Hall in historic Sonoma Plaza, home of the trademark Wine + Music Festival.

The Race Expo is held at the Hanna Boys Center campus just minutes from downtown Sonoma on Saturday, July 18th from 10:00am to 6:00pm.  Hanna Boys Center has been the primary beneficiary of the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon since the inaugural race, as the staff and young men of Hanna Boys Center have been instrumental as race volunteers over the years.  The Race Expo offers participants a chance to pick up their race packet, meet exhibitors and race sponsors, product sample, shop for official race apparel and gifts, and attend informational and inspiring seminars and discussions from special guests.

This year’s featured guest is Magdalena Boulet, a 2008 Olympian, and winner of the recent Western States 100 miler.  Magdalena, a world-class runner in multiple distances, will be hosting a seminar at the race expo at 1:00pm and speaking at the race dinner.  Sponsored by GU, Magdalena will be competing in the half marathon and attempting to break the women’s course record of 1:13:16, set last year by Sara Hall.  The men’s field is led by Tesfaye Alemayuhu, five-time defending champion of the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, and course record holder (1:02:38) set in 2012.

The Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, which originated in 2014 and sells out in less than an hour, has been featured as a bucket list race in a number of publications such as Runners World Magazine, Women’s Running, Shape, and Conde Nast Traveler.  Destination Races also offers the GunBunFunRun 5K for participants looking for a shorter distance.  The race starts at Gundlach Bundschu Winery and follows the final 3 miles of the half-marathon course before finishing in Sonoma for the post-race Wine + Music Festival. To register for the 5K and sign up for special events and activities, visit

The post-race-race celebration begins at the signature Wine + Music Festival in Sonoma Plaza, presented by Alaska Airlines.  This year’s festival highlights over two dozen wineries and Lagunitas Brewing Co. plus health and wellness exhibitors, food, live music from the Dave Andrews Band, the SOLS Grape Stomp and the awards presentation.  Participants have an opportunity to interact with Destination Races’ sponsors, including Newton Running as the series Presenting Sponsor, Alaska Airlines as Presenting Sponsor of the Wine and Music Festival and official airline of Destination Races, Fitbit as the market leader in connected health and fitness, CamelBak hydration systems, GU Energy Labs athlete nutrition and SOLS’ custom 3D printed insoles, and Rabobank, sponsor of the prize purse and VIP hospitality.  Each sponsor will offer an exclusive and captivating experience at the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon.

Fly Alaska Airlines, Official Airline of Destination Races, and save 10 percent on flights to San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Rosa airports for the race. Visit the Race Travel page for more information. 


Friday, July 17th

Welcome Reception at Cuvaison Winery 6:00-7:45pm

The kickoff to race weekend begins Friday night at Cuvaison Winery! Enjoy the scenic views of the Cuvaison Estate Vineyards from this spectacular indoor/outdoor tasting room. Your Welcome Receptions hosts include race announcer Whit Raymond and Destination Races Founder & Race Director, Matt Dockstader. Cost $40.

Saturday, July 18th

Race Expo at Hanna Boys Center 10:00am-6:00pm

The Race Expo will offer race packet pickup, a chance to meet exhibitors and race sponsors, product sampling, shopping for race apparel and gifts at the exclusive Harvest Boutique, and the opportunity to attend informational and inspiring seminars and discussions. Admission is free.

Pre-race Dinner at Artesa Winery 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Our signature pre-race dinner in the beautiful Barrel Room at Artesa Winery. Artesa Winery sits high on a hilltop overlooking the renowned appellation of Carneros in Southern Napa Valley. With views of the start line, enjoy dining and mingling with fellow runners and special guests during the evening.  Guest Speaker is Magdalena Boulet.  Cost $85 (sold out).

Sunday, July 19th

Race Start at Cuvaison Carneros Winery 7:00 am 

Post-race Wine & Music Festival at Sonoma Plaza 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Once you cross the finish line, the celebration gets underway with the Post Race Wine and Music Festival in the heart of the Sonoma Plaza. There will be over 20 wineries and local breweries pouring, health and wellness exhibitors, along with live music. This event is open to guests so bring your friends and family to celebrate with you. Wine glasses for guests may be purchased through Race Extras.

Local Charity Involvement

The Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon benefits local charities and organizations including Hanna Boys Center, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America—Team Challenge; City of Hope; and Save our Sports of Sonoma Valley.  Participants can visit the Charities & Fundraising page for more information about Destination Races charity partners.  If you would like to support any of our local charities and organizations by volunteering on race weekend, please contact

About Destination Races: 

Destination Races, based in Sonoma, California, is the pioneer producer of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series. Founded in 2004, the Wine Country Half Marathon Series consists of seven races across prestigious wine regions in North America. Offering unforgettable experiences on and off the course, including the popular post-race wine and music festival, runners travel far and wide for these boutique destination races. The race series attracts elite runners as well as food and wine enthusiasts who share their common bond of running and celebration. The Wine Country Half Marathon Series has limited fields in each event to ensure the participants and their guests can enjoy all the race weekends have to offer, including exclusive winery tours, plus receptions and dinners featuring the local bounty at esteemed wineries and other unique venues.

Current races include – Santa Barbara, Northern Virginia, Napa-to-Sonoma, Oregon (Willamette Valley), Kelowna, B.C., Woodinville, WA, Healdsburg, CA and Temecula Valley, CA.  

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

Destination Races

Destination Races Returns to Flagship Event at Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

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Shanna Burnette

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