Santa Rosa Marathon Race Report – Bryan Gray

Race: Santa Rosa Marathon

Runner: Bryan Gray

Race Date: 08/28/2022

Location: Santa Rosa, CA


Strava Activity Link:

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Flat course, almost all along a creek or through vineyards
  2. Weather this year was perfect (not always perfect at this venue)
  3. At mile 10 you run through the barrel room of a winery. There’s a sign that says “if Britney can survive 2007, you can survive 26.2.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

I heard some pacers were well ahead of pace. My pacer was great but a friend’s was 46 seconds ahead for a few miles and the people in the group were falling behind, then passed her because she walked to fall back to pace.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Wine shots were given out in the barrel room.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

The first 19 miles I was doing well. Unfortunately I bonked, but I kept running and still hit a PR.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

The first 8 miles is slightly downhill, then there’s rolling hills, then the last 6 are slightly uphill. The rolling hills are predominantly in the first 13 miles.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Start on the right side of the corral. The first 4 turns are right turns.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The course is narrow around the creek, and you pass slower half marathon racers. Some are good about letting you by, but plenty wear headphones and run side by side, blocking the path.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

It is beautiful

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

It can be a tough course, especially on warm days.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

It felt well run but I’ve been told it wasn’t when they first started.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

I finished 141st in 3:26:04

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

There’s a lot of hotels nearby. Book early and stay nearby. The race starts at 6:30 am to try to avoid the heat.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

2 have gels, all of them had electrolytes and water

Weather and typical race conditions

Usually it’s pretty warm but today was under 60 the entire time I was on course.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

This year I didn’t need anything besides nutrition but usually I would bring a little water.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

There’s a lot of spectators.

How’s the Swag?

Nice jacket and a nice bag.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

8 stars. I’d recommend it. A number of BQ’s were made today.

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