Friday, March 10, 2006

the NAPA recap...

It starts and ends with Kate 'the great' Martini who wanted to do the Napa Valley Marathon from the get-go. She demanded that she be allowed to do it, AND NOW!!!! When we heard that the LA Marathon date had been bumped two weeks by Mr. Oscars, we were estatic! Kate immedately signed up, and the NEXT THING we knew, my baby sister Mary and her husband Stan were signed up! WOW! A family affair. Kate took care of many of the most important details, including booking the four of us in a SOLD-OUT bed-and-breakfast, only to convince the B&B owner Celeste to move us somewhere else. We ended up in the middle of a vineyard in a beautiful villa! It punctuated our weekend. Celeste was delightful and the accomodations were first rate. When we go back, we'll SURELY stay at her B&B since her hospitality was phenominal. Check out how much OTHERS love her at

RACE MORNING... 3:45am
We awoke to about 5-different cell phone alarms going off, and we don't even have 5-cell phones between us. Mary and Stan were CHOMPING at the bit to be RUNNING their first race, the 6+ months of preparation had put ants-in-their-pants. The forcast was for (no kidding) 100% chance of rain! 100%! It was, not surprisingly, raining! In the 28-years of the Napa Valley Marathon, they say that THIS YEAR was the single worst year. It has only rained 2 other times, and both times it was warmer with less wind. Try the low-40's with 20+mph winds at times. Brrrrrr. We each double-bagged the trash can liners, had gloves, hats, and were bundled up and ready to go. After a long-bus ride (seemed about 5-hours long) in the rain, we arrived and shivered our way into the porta potty lines. It wasn't too long after that and we were ON our way. Stan, Mary and I stuck together for about the first 7-miles, and Kate blazed her trail towards her 8-min mile workout. Around Mile 7, Coach Barefoot-Todd joined Mary and I and I went ahead to catch Stan. Mary and Stan were both doing REALLY well at this point and clipping away 10-min, 30-second miles. I was impressed how easily they ripped the miles away. When we passed the halfway point, both Stan and Mary were running the longest they had run to date! Woooohoooo! The rain got progressively harder, the wind got progressively stronger, and both Stan and Mary kept on chuggin. At 4:47 & 5:15 (respectively), they crossed the line for the completion of their first 26-mile, 385-yard journey and had the medals and wind burns to prove it.

After ICE BATHS, hour-long spa massages, and some grubbin food (isn't ALL food grubbin after burning 3,000+ calories at one time?) we crashed for the night. In the morning we got up early for the yummy breakfast of the magical Celeste (at the McClelland-Priest Bed & Breakfast Inn - Napa) and then we went to a special wine tasting she had set up for us. Needless to say, an amazing end to an amazing weekend.

EVEN the sky from the airport gate in Sacramento gives you an idea of exactly how the weekend was... simply beautiful.