My Profile

@cathnam

Novato, CA Raving since 2014 IRONMAN, Ironman triathlete active 1 year, 4 months ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    Ironman Arizona

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Boston

  • I run because:

    I love the runner’s high!

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

50 States Map
image/svg+xml FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (6)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Weott, CA May 5, 2019
Half Marathon Weott, CA May 7, 2017
200 Mile Relay San Francisco, CA Nov 4, 2016
Half Marathon Ojai, CA May 29, 2016
Marathon Folsom, CA 2013
Marathon Calistoga, CA 2007

My Raves

Great fast flat course in the shade. Perfect to get a PR! Location is difficult to get to and there are not a lot of places to stay nearby - … MORE

Great fast flat course in the shade. Perfect to get a PR! Location is difficult to get to and there are not a lot of places to stay nearby – but well worth the effort if you want a PR.

Race production and swag could use an update. SWAG two years ago was much better. This year was just a cotton tee-shirt and a small reusable bag. I wish there were more food and beverage post-race. There were oranges, watermelon, and banana – but nothing with protien or for recovery – bars, or chocolate milk etc. They would knock it out of the park if they set up a grill on the lawn and had pop-ups where people could hang out afterwords!

Quite disappointed with the awards ceremony. Many in our party won age group awards – yet there were so many issues, after waiting 3 hours past when they were supposed to start awards…we finally left. (We waited almost twice the amount of time it took to run the race.) I felt bad for my friend and husband who won not only their age groups, but also the Grand Master Awards – and I won 3rd in my age group – and we left without them… We have contacted the race director, and hopefully he will mail them to us. Loved this race in the past, but not sure I’ll return.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
5
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

The beauty of the shaded course makes this a very chi run. You are so distracted by the redwoods, the Eel River, and the other runners, that by the time … MORE

The beauty of the shaded course makes this a very chi run. You are so distracted by the redwoods, the Eel River, and the other runners, that by the time you realize you might be a little tired, you’re already at mile 12. The course is basically flat with a few small rollers.

From start to finish, my experience at Avenue of the Giants was perfect. It is a very well run race – from the friendly volunteers at packet pick-up, to the well stocked aid stations, to the finish line snacks. But what impressed me the most was the attention to detail the race directors showed. I rode the course on my bike the day before and there were fallen branches all over the road due to the unusual winds that day. I mentally prepared myself for having to dodge all the branches on race day…however…by race morning – the course had been swept clean! What a nice surprise.

The one thing to be prepared for is the somewhat remote location of the race. We camped a few miles away, but even if you are staying in a hotel, many are 30 min to an hour away from the start.

All in all, the is one for your bucket list of races – a fast, beautiful course and a well run race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was my 4th time participating in the Napa Valley Ragnar. I've done it as both an ultra team and a 12 person team. The first 12 - 15 legs … MORE

This was my 4th time participating in the Napa Valley Ragnar. I’ve done it as both an ultra team and a 12 person team. The first 12 – 15 legs of the race are extremely scenic and you have wonderful views of the bay as you run across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Marin County, and up the backroads getting into Petaluma. This year the course through Santa Rosa changed significantly, and it was disheartening to run your 5-7 mile leg, but end up a quarter mile from where you started. It was like we were hamsters in a spinning wheel.

The biggest disappointment was being held back at different sections of the race because the course was not set up. At the end of leg 30 there was such a backup of teams that when they allowed us to start again there were more runners lined up waiting to start at 6:30 than there were at the start of the race in San Francisco. Basically, the race directors timed the race poorly – at the last minute, they needed to hold runners back because they could not get a permit to allow them on leg 31 before 6:30 am. This was frustrating for many teams and interfered with the flow of running a continual race.

This used to be one of my favorite team running races, but it has really gone downhill and I won’t be doing it again. (Not a big deal – but in the past we’ve always received tech t-shirts in the goody bag, but this year it was just a cotton one.) I wonder if the Ragnar franchise is just trying to cut corners? It’s not the well run race I remembered from years past.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
3
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

A few years ago I ran the marathon, and this year I completed the half marathon distance. While the half marathon course itself is FAST - the scenery will not … MORE

A few years ago I ran the marathon, and this year I completed the half marathon distance. While the half marathon course itself is FAST – the scenery will not motivate you at all. For the first few miles, you are running up a bike path by wire fences with an oil refinery on your right, and after you make the the turn to go back to town, you are running past run-down strip malls and gas stations. The road is quite uneven at this point and you need to watch your footing. Run towards the center line – it seemed flatter there. The last mile along the beach is the best part of the run. If you you choose this event, the MARATHON is the way to go. You’ll enjoy the scenery of the mountains and shade of the trees as you run down the bike path.

The event itself is VERY well organized. The pick-up day was quick and there were a variety of vendors at the expo in case you needed more fuel, a new race belt, or extra socks. The aid stations were well stocked and the high school cross-country team volunteers were helping in handing out water, nutrition, and sports drink. There isn’t much cheering along the race, however there were a few spots where teams of people were out there.

Overall, I love this race, but will only return if I’m doing the marathon.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

I returned in 2013 because I missed qualifying for Boston the year before by 22 seconds. In 2014 I was able to negative split the second half of the race, … MORE

I returned in 2013 because I missed qualifying for Boston the year before by 22 seconds. In 2014 I was able to negative split the second half of the race, and the feeling of running past hundreds of people in the last 6 miles gave me the boost I needed. (And I’m going to Boston.)

This is a BIG race and can be a little overwhelming when you walk into the Expo. There are many vendors, and you could spend hours finding things you “need”. My advice is to register, get your swag, listen to the course overview (very helpful), and then get back to your hotel to put your legs up. The swag is a nice Tech-Tee.

This is a point to point race, and I recommend staying at the finish. There is a shuttle that takes you right to the start. Don’t try to have a friend drive you to the start. You won’t be able to get close and the roads are closed off.

The start is crowded, so be careful not to slip on all the bags that are thrown off at the beginning of the race. After a half mile or so there is a right turn and it gets really congested since people haven’t spread out yet. Think about where you want to place yourself before that turn. If you don’t like that claustrophobic feeling, run on the left side of the road.

The pacers are really good! You can talk to them the day before at the expo to see how they are going to run it, and they will talk you through the entire race. During the race they give great tips and focuses. I stayed with my pacer for the first 8 miles or so and then found my groove and went off on my own.

The course is a net downhill, but has little rollers. The scenery is not very interesting, and you run by many strip malls, but my favorite part is crossing the bridge around mile 20. When you cross the bridge, you can tell you are nearing the end are getting into the city. Once you are in downtown you can count down your blocks easily, and making that final turn to run up the capitol makes it all worth it.

One thing to note about the finish is that there are two very separate finish chutes for the men and the women. The women turn into the chute about 25 yards before the men, but have to run a little farther down.

Overall a well run race with thousands of participants. It’s a popular course runners to use to qualify for Boston. I would run it again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful point to point race on the Silverado Trail. It starts in Calistoga and ends at Vintage High School in Napa. The bus ride to the start … MORE

This is a beautiful point to point race on the Silverado Trail. It starts in Calistoga and ends at Vintage High School in Napa.

The bus ride to the start is long, and I would recommend having a friend drop you at the start. When I did the race several years ago, it wasn’t that big and I was actually able to toe the line and not feel intimidated. The start was mellow and people didn’t seem as anxious or intense as other races I’ve been in. That’s not to say there weren’t some very FAST runners though.

Spectators are few and far between. There are a few spots along the course where they can stop and get to the course, but for the most part you are running by vineyards and wineries with just your fellow marathoners.

Make sure to pace yourself well because there is a hill at mile 21. Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal, but when you’re tired it can seem like a mountain. The good news is that after that hill, it’s downhill and flat the rest of the way.

My favorite part of the race was the sorbet they served at mile 22. (Oh and the warm soup at the finish.) After running through the chute, all participants were covered with space blankets – a nice plus when you start cooling down.

The one drawback for me is the time of year it takes place. Generally the weather has been mild, but there is the possibility of a very rainy race. And since it’s in the winter, most of my heavy training was done in the rain.

Overall – this would be a fantastic destination marathon. Recover by getting a spa treatment, visiting some wineries, and having some delicious meals.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

My Followers