NAPA, Calif. — March 2, 2014 — Matt Flaherty of Bloomington, Ind. and Jenny Kadavy of Concord, Calif. garnered big wins in competitive fields at today’s 36th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon. Flaherty, 28, an accomplished runner who was crowned the 2013 U.S. 50 Mile Road Champion, improved upon his fourth place finish at last year’s Napa Valley Marathon (NVM) while recording a winning time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 15 seconds. Kadavy notched the women’s victory in 2:40:47 on a day that presented near-ideal weather conditions for distance running: overcast, little wind, with temperatures hovering around 48 degrees at the start. Light showers sprinkled the later finishers, but didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of about 2,700 marathon entrants.
In the men’s race Flaherty was content to pace himself behind two-time NVM champion Chris Mocko (San Francisco, Calif.) and Ryan Donovan (Fort Collins, Colo.) in the early stages of the race, a strategy that eventually paid off for him on the scenic, gently rolling, point-to-point course from Calistoga to Napa. Co-leaders Mocko and Donovan ran together for 10 miles at which point Mocko assumed the lead. At the halfway point (13.1 miles) Mocko had a 30 second gap over Donovan and 44 seconds over Flaherty, and appeared to be in control.