Napa Valley Marathon Kicks Off Virtual Race Experience
December 10, 2020
The Perfect Pairing blends running and wine in first-ever virtual challenge.
NAPA, CA — On Thursday morning, the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon and Half Marathon opened registration for their new wine-themed virtual experience, The Perfect Pairing. The announcement comes after the organization made the difficult decision to cancel their 2021 in-person events last month. The Perfect Pairing is a collection of five individual race distances that runners are invited to complete over a two-month time frame from January 15th to March 7th.
“In the Napa Valley, running and wine have always been a perfect pairing, and while we may not be able to safely experience it together in person just yet, we’re excited to bring the Napa Valley to our participants with the Perfect Pairing Virtual Experience,” said Race Director Michelle La Sala.
The cost to participate is $65 per person, which gains entrants access to all five challenges: Tiny Taste 1 Mile, Grape Gallop 5K (3.1 miles), Vineyard Voyage 10K (6.2 miles), Harvest Half Marathon (13.1 miles), and Barrel Blend Full Marathon (26.2 miles). All participants originally registered for the in-person 2021 Napa Valley Marathon and Half Marathon will receive a unique registration discount via email on December 10th. Once registered, runners will choose to complete as many distances as they like, in any order. The 1 Mile, 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon are intended to be run as separate, distinct races, but the Marathon may be run in segments, allowing a runner to upload multiple runs to reach a total of 26.2 miles (hence the Barrel BLEND). Additionally, each distance corresponds to a unique wine-themed swag item; the more distances a runner completes, the more items they’ll receive toward creating a full wine and cheese set.
The Perfect Pairing offers two alternative options to general registration, a $30 “swagless” option ideal for multiple-participant households, and a Kid’s Crusher Challenge for children age 14 and under. Organizers say they aimed to make the race as accessible as possible to runners and walkers of all levels, as well as families who want to complete the virtual experience together.
“We want this virtual experience to really celebrate the Napa Valley and encourage our community to stay healthy and active during these unprecedented times,” said La Sala. “We’re offering a swagless option as well as a kid’s component with the hope that families will sign up to run or walk together, even if ‘together’ means virtually.”
The Kid’s Crusher Challenge invites children age 14 and under to log as many miles as they can between January 15th and March 7th and earn a celebratory race beanie. Each registration comes with a downloadable and printable PDF with a mileage tracker and coloring pages to celebrate distance milestones corresponding to the Perfect Pairing.
Napa Valley Marathon, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that typically provides nearly $30,000 in support back to the local community each year. The organization says that the upcoming year is no different, and they intend to make their local charitable contributions in full.
For more information about the Perfect Pairing and to sign up, please visit https://napavalleymarathon.org/the-perfect-pairing/.
About the Napa Valley Marathon and Half Marathon
Established in 1979, the Napa Valley Marathon has always been dedicated to fostering and promoting quality road racing in an inspiring setting. The marathon has earned a reputation for outstanding runner support, attention to detail, and a beautiful point-to-point course. 2019 saw the addition of the half marathon to their catalog of events, making their race weekend experience available for more runners to enjoy the Napa Valley. The marathon is also a non-profit, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years back into the local community of the Napa Valley.
Michelle La Sala, Race Director
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