Santa Rosa Marathon
25 August 2019
The largest city in Northern California’s wine growing region opens up the pathways along its Santa Rosa Creek and Prince Memorial Greenway park areas for the Santa Rosa Marathon which marks its annual running in the late summer.The Santa Rosa Marathon is a newly designed out and back course that starts in Juilliard Park in downtown Santa Rosa. The first 2 miles run through scenic Downtown Santa Rosa. Boston Qualified course that then continues along the scenic Prince Memorial Greenway. Mile 8 - 19 then goes through beautiful West Sonoma County and runs through De Loach Vineyards and even their barrel room!Open to both runners and walkers, the race features plenty of sights that make for a memorable run, from the trestle bridges runners cross over the creek to the vineyards and farm fields filled with rows of corn along the race route.Most of the race takes runners just west of the city’s downtown along the paved, natural surface and gravel pathways that parallel the meandering Santa Rosa Creek, much of which has undergone restoration efforts in recent years to reintroduce more natural environments and habitat for the native species of fish and birds that once thrived there, but had long since migrated elsewhere as the creekbed was paved over and became a haven for homeless encampments and vandals.The primary goal of the Santa Rosa based True Grit Running is to promote and stage a quality, flat, fast, accurate, and festive half and full marathon to be enjoyed by our community, spectators, and all the participants, including walkers, recreational, beginner and competitive runners as they start and finish in picturesque Juilliard Park after looping the entire length of the scenic Santa Rosa Creek Greenway.
Start:Begins at 6:00 am on South A Street alongside oak studded Juilliard Park.Mile 1 to mile 2.5:Flat and Fast. Weaves across wide paved streets through the heart of downtown Santa Rosa, which gives runners plenty of time to settle into their pace and position before entering the narrower pathway on the Prince Memorial Greenway, alongside the Santa Rosa Creek. There will be an aid station and porta-potty's at mile 1 1/2.Mile 2.5 to mile 6.5:Flat and Fast. The course follows a few minor bends and curves alongside the creek on the paved Greenway path. There are 10 feet of elevation changes at two street underpasses. This same portion of the race will be repeated on the return trip at miles 23 to finish line. First aid station and bathrooms at mile 3.2, mile 5, and mile 6.5. The same stations will be used at miles 22.5, 24 and 25.Mile 6.5 to Mile 8.5:Fast, flat and incredibly scenic: Follows a bend on the paved trail and then a mile and ½ straight shot along the creek. In this section which will also be part of the return route (mile 20.5 to mile 22.5) the runners will pass over three picturesque rustic trestle bridges spanning adjacent tributaries and run past several vineyards (Korbel and Martinelli), a horse ranch, and a cow dairy. One may spot a snowy egret and/or a great white heron wading in the water at “Eddy’s” second trestle bridge. Aid stations at mile 8.5 will be same aid station at mile 20.. Mile 8.5 to to mile 9:Paved but a little ruddy. Best is in middle on yellow line.Mile 9 to Mile 10:Flat, paved and fast. The race enters a 12 mile loop that (permit requirement) will be run inside conned lanes. Open lane is required for emergency vehicles and residents. At mile 10 runners enter the beautiful grounds of DeLoach Winery and Vineyards and as a special treat actually pass through its barrel room. Aid station at mile 10.5 resides on the vineyard grounds.Mile 10.5 to Mile 12.5:Incredibly beautiful. The course passes sprawling vineyards and at (mile 12) over two small rolling hills: The first is about 350 feet long with a 30 foot elevation gain and the second is about 700 feet long with 40 feet gain. A bit challenging but only lasts for a few minutes. Mile 11 to mile 12.5 is scenic and my favorite "heavenly" spot on the course. It's only a mile from the race expo at DeLoach Winery and worth a visit.Mile 13 to Mile 16:Flat and fast. Scenic pastoral miles dotted with oaks, small wineries and two aid stations at mile 13 and 15.Mile 16 to Mile 17:Flat, paved and fast: Conned lane on a busy street. Well, nothing is perfect, but it is flat and an a very large aid station resides at mile 17.Mile 17 to Mile 19:Another set of small rolling hills at 17.5 with a 20 foot elevation change for a few hundred yards and then flat and fast as the race, again, passes through more vineyards, and pastoral oak studded rural areas. A possible misting station at mile 18.5 and another large aid station at mile 19.Mile 19 to Mile 20.5:Rural residential and flat. Another aid station at Mile 20 just before the race reenters the Greenway trail.Mile 20.5 to Finish: Scenic and picturesque: Reverses the original starting miles using the same aid stations (miles 22.5, 24 and 25).Finish Line: A few feet from original starting line and beautiful spinner medallions, free pancakes and assorted food and festivities in the adjoining and beautiful Juilliard Park.
Starting in the 1980s, groups of concerned citizens in Santa Rosa began turning their attention and their fundraising efforts toward the creek, and since then many areas have opened up once again with trees and parkland, as well as paved pathways for running, walking, hiking and biking along the creek, which extends out west from Santa Rosa’s downtown district, and even passes by its City Hall building, which lies just a couple of blocks north of the race starting line, in Julliard Park.Known for its gorgeous green grassy lawns and its plentiful oak and redwood trees, the park bears the namesake of “that” Julliard — yes, the family whose son August founded the famous Julliard School of Music in New York City.The land for the park was donated by Frederic Julliard (August’s nephew) in 1931, after he moved from California to New York, and today the park is famous also for its contribution to the arts in the local area, as it hosts the city’s annual Live at Julliard summer concert series.
Aid stations are strategically positioned along the full and half marathon course, approximately every 2 miles. Fuel at stations will be gatorade, water and at selected stations: GU gels, pretzels, banana and oranges.
All marathon and half marathon runners should only participate if they are confident that they can finish the race in seven hours or less.