NAPA, Calif. — March 6, 2016 — At today’s 38th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon (NVM), two first-time competitors at the race climbed the winners’ platform. Isidore Herrera, age 25, of Simi Valley, Calif. and Catherine Beck, 30, of Clinton, NY grabbed the victories, heading the field of over 2,800 entrants on a mild, partly cloudy morning in between rain storms. Herrera won the men’s race in 2 hours, 27 minutes, and 29 seconds. Beck crossed the finish line at Vintage High School in Napa in 2:52:34.
In the men’s race, Herrera sailed to a solo lead from the start with an ambitious goal of finishing in about 2:15:00. Dick Beardsley set the NVM men’s race record of 2:16:20 in 1987. Indeed, Herrera sailed through the 13.1-mile half marathon split point in a swift 1:07:40, on pace to a projected finish time of 2:15:20. Eventually, he was unable to keep up that effort.
“The first 16 miles went pretty easy and then the hills started slowing me down,” Herrera said. My workouts have been at 5 minute pace for 20 or 21 miles, so I was pretty confident that I could do 2:15 today, but the wind and the hills made it hard. My legs started cramping.”