If you’re fleet of foot and possess a competitive streak, Sonoma County’s lineup of marathon events will keep you happy, active and exceedingly fit.
Note: For more Sonoma County races, not just marathons, check out Biggest Running Events and Marathons in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County's many half marathons reflect the nationwide rise in the event’s popularity. At 13.1 miles, half marathons neatly split the distance of a full 26-mile marathon, which makes them appealing as a marathon entry point. Some runners move up to full marathons, but others are happy to remain at the half marathon level.
One of the great things about the marathon and half marathon races below is that most also contain smaller races, such as a 5K event, that are open to both runners and walkers. This allows many more people to join in the fun and high spirits that come with being involved in racing competition.
Here’s a look at Sonoma County’s marathon and half marathon events:
April: Annadel Half Marathon, 10K & 5K. Held in beautiful Trione-Annadel State Park, this event features a challenging half marathon on a hilly course, with a more than 1,500-foot elevation gain. There's also a 10K distance and an easy-going, out-and-back 5K. A complimentary post-race meal is served to all contestants. The 2019 event will be held April 6, and will raise money to build new trails in Taylor Mountain Regional Park. Get more details.
May: Windsor Run & Wine Half Marathon. This is the first of two half marathon races by Run Wine Country (the other, Healdsburg Half Marathon in October, is discussed elsewhere in this article). The Windsor race consists of three different distances: a 13.1-mile half marathon with no walkers allowed; and both 6.2-mile and 3.1-mile events (walkers welcome). All events start and finish under the oaks at Keiser Park, a new venue this year. The 2019 race will take place on May 19. More details.
July: Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. This popular race—selected as a top half marathon finish by Runners World, which described it as a “life experience”—starts at Cuvaison Carneros Winery, winds through the picturesque Carneros wine region on the southern tip of Napa and Sonoma valleys, and finishes up in historic Sonoma Plaza. This year, the event runs all weekend with the 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. Runners can pair the two events and get a special gift. Many fun accompanying weekend events are always on the agenda. The 2019 race takes place July 20-21. More details.
August: Santa Rosa Marathon & Half Marathon. This race offers a 5K and 10K on Saturday and a half marathon and marathon on Sunday. The full and half marathons take you through Santa Rosa and the lovely surrounding countryside. The full marathon is a U.S. Track and Field-sanctioned and certified course, making it a Boston Marathon qualifying race. The after-party in Old Courthouse Square (both days) features pancakes and craft beer. The 2019 race will be held Aug. 24-25. More info.
September: Petaluma Clo-Cow Half Marathon, 10K & 5K. The half marathon, 10K, and 5K race run beautiful courses through bucolic farm country and rolling hills dotted with plenty of cows (and they just might moo encouragingly as you race by). The course starts and ends in historic Petaluma’s downtown. All finishers receive a unique cowbell medal. The 2019 race date is Sept. 15. More details.
October: Healdsburg Half Marathon, 10K & 5K. This is the second of two half marathon races by Run Wine Country (the other, Windsor Town Green Half Marathon, is discussed elsewhere in this article). Healdsburg runners make their way through Sonoma County’s beautiful Alexander and Dry Creek valleys. At that time of the year, expect to see vineyards decked out in bright autumnal colors. The 2019 race date is TBA. More details.
October: Cloverdale Vineyard Races Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K. Head out into the beautiful Alexander Valley on a course offering a mixture of flats and gently rolling hills. You'll run among vineyards resplendent in fall colors, with views of the Russian River valley, and on varied terrain of paved country roads and groomed dirt/gravel country roads. The 2019 race is scheduled for Oct. 20. More info.
October: Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon and Hallowine 10K. You're bound to see some fun characters on this course through the Alexander and Dry Creek valleys for an end of wine harvest and Halloween themed race. The Half Marathon course is scenic and easy to medium difficulty, with gentle rolling terrain on backcountry roads. The Hallowine 10K starts at Martorana Family Winery and ends at the same Finish Line as the Half Marathon at Warm Springs Recreation Area. A Wine & Music Festival follows the race, with a costume contest and awards ceremony. The 2019 race will be held Oct. 25-26. More details.
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez