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Welcome to the Napa Valley Blog. Right now we are getting ready for the 2024 run and the blog contains all the posts from the 2023 race. We are leaving those because they may be handy in your prep.

2024 Blog

12/18/2024 For those of you visiting for the first time, the digital briefing from 2023 is a good primer on the race. The race will largely be the same.

12/6/2024 The one thing I notice from reading the old posts is that our friend Damon at Lincoln Ave Brewing passed away this year after a long fight to get a heart transplant. You’ll be missed Damon!

2023 Blog Below

April 14, 2023: As promised, there’s an old-timey race memo with all kinds of details about the race. You can find that here in a Google Doc and here as a pdf.

April 7: I just uploaded the briefing from last night. Here it is:

This starts with a video from 2017. The 20 mile race is now 35k!

GPX and Strava files added to the website! All righty by popular demand, I’ve added the Strava and GPX for the 50k, 35k, and Half marathon. You can find them under the COURSE tab, by race. For the half marathon, I added the Strava instead of the silly California State Parks map. I may do this for all the races after gather opinions from the runners (read: YOU).

April 5: Packet pickup update! We will have packet pickup on Saturday, April 15 from 3-6pm at Lincoln Avenue Brewing (The LAB!, 1473 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga. Directions.) Show your bib at any point through Sunday evening and get $1 off your first beer.

On more important topics (yes, more important than beer), The LAB is owned by a great guy named Damon Gault. I met Damon as we have been working on the Beer City Series. He is a hale and hearty person. A life force. He’s also been in the hospital for months waiting for a heart and kidney transplant. Learn a little about his story and maybe give a little to our guy, Damon. And then drink some of his beer, poured by the folks holding down the fort in his absence — and in his presence too when he’s stitched up and back at the bar.

Here’s a link to that fundraiser.

April 3: The race is less than 2 weeks away! This a reminder about the race briefing this Thursday at 8. I’ll be sending registered runners an email to remind you. (Scroll down to the March 22 post for log in details.)

One thing I’ll talk about is drop bags, cutoffs, and dropping. You can bring drop bags for Hwy 29 Aid Station to the Start. Please mark them clearly with your bib number. For cutoffs, at 11:45, we turn all runners back onto the 35k course. This ensures that everyone gets back by 6:30. On drops, this is a no drop(ish) event. If you want to stop at Hwy 29, you’ll need to wait for a volunteer or arrange a ride beforehand. (The -ish is obviously if you’re injured, we have medical support.)

March 25: We were up on on the Palisades Trail yesterday cleaning out logs that block the trail. Except for the dozen or so trees we had to chainsaw though, the trail was in pretty good shape. The one thing I would say is that it’s clear that not many people have been on the trail (probably because there are so many trees on it) so it’s not quite as worn as usual. Of course it will be marked for you on race day so that won’t be much of an issue.

One thing I did notice is that like all of California, the ground is more saturated than usual. The Palisades drains really quickly, but still here was more running water than I’ve seen in some time. The trails were firm but more slippery that usual. This is a very technical course, so you’re likely wearing a sturdier trail shoe anyway but if not, consider doing so.

Between yesterday and this weekend, we will have cleared almost all of the trail with saws and chainsaws. There are a few really big trees down and our friends at Napa Open Space will get out there with some really big chainsaws to get through those.

Here are some pictures from my time up there yesterday.

March 22: Mark your calendar now for the Napa Valley Virtual Briefing. It will take place Thursday, April 6 at 8pm. This gives everyone a whole weekend to buy anything you might need and to prepare! The briefing takes place on Zoom and also appears live on Facebook. I post a version of it on the blog here too the day after.