Soldier in Kuwait is Among Participants for Sunday, March 1 Race
NAPA, Calif. - February 13, 2009 - When a sold-out crowd of 2,300
participants line up for the 31st Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley
Marathon on Sunday, March 1, 2009, each runner will carry with them a
personal story about why they are tackling the challenging 26.2-mile
distance. Their stories are as varied as the backgrounds of the race
entrants from 40 U.S. states and 11 foreign countries.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Stories follow about entrants Tim Burgess (Healdsburg,
Calif.), Janet Cain (Sonoma, Calif.), Harry Cadelago (Napa), Steve
Radigan (Fremont, Calif.), Jo Groner (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Mark Groner
(Centennial, Colo.), and Jean Pommier (Cupertino, Calif.).
U.S. Army Major Tim Burgess will write home about a particularly unique
marathon experience. Although he'd like to line up with his running
friends at the starting line for his second Napa Valley Marathon, Burgess
has a job that won't allow him to do that. The 37-year-old resident of
Healdsburg, Calif. is an Electronic Warfare Officer based in northern
Kuwait where he's stationed at Camp Virginia to support war operations in
Iraq. So, Burgess will run the Napa Valley Marathon "remotely" and cover
26.2 miles by running multiple circuits of a five-mile-plus loop around
his camp. When he does it on race morning (March 1) he will be the
event's first finisher in 2009. The time in Kuwait is 11 hours ahead of
Last year, Burgess ran the Napa Valley Marathon -- his second marathon
race ever -- with three friends from work and finished in 4 hours, 31
minutes, and 33 seconds. Then, he was recalled into the Army and returned
to active duty last August.
"I love the Napa Valley Marathon race and I love the route, plus I live
next door in Sonoma County, so I didn't want to miss it," Burgess said.
"Plus, I do better if I'm working towards a goal. Training for the race
helps me to structure my day and plan my routine."
Since Burgess is involved with inspecting and troubleshooting military
equipment from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, his training runs are at 6
a.m. He also teaches spinning classes on the stationary bicycle, so he
spins on the bike over 12 hours a week.
Three Medics will support Burgess during his marathon race and provide
refreshment at aid stations, plus several soldiers will run a lap or so
with him. He hopes other soldiers will cheer him on. The morning
temperatures at Camp Virginia have hovered in the 50s and 60s, but
they'll rise to 100 degrees by mid March, On race morning, the weather
should be perfect for good running, according to Burgess, unless a
"I think I should be able to finish in 4:30," said Burgess. "I've had a
little case of Achilles tendonitis, and I haven't been able to do as many
long (training) runs as I did last year. So, I'll have to keep my pace a
little slower than I'd like."
Burgess will carefully record his finishing time and submit it to race
organizers who will include him in the official marathon race results.
Dr. Janet Cain, 57, a clinical psychologist who lives in Sonoma, Calif.
and has a professional office in Napa, will return to this year's Napa
Valley Marathon following an excellent run last year. Cain expects to
improve upon her age-group-winning time of 3:31:57, which was among the
top 15 U.S. performances in the 55-59 age group in 2008 according to
active.com. Cain says that training guidance from Dick Beardsley has
enhanced her fitness and competitiveness. Beardsley, a world class
marathoner in the 1980s, holds the men's all-time Napa Valley Marathon
record (2:16:20, 1987).
"For the past year, Dick has had me doing interval (speed work) training
for the first time in my life," commented Cain, a running veteran of 33
years. "Also, I recently had a really good 24-mile training run on the
marathon course, and came in at about 3:18. So, I'm really optimistic."
Cain won a marathon in Rome, Italy in 1985, in a personal best time of
2:50:00. She will run her 50th marathon in Boston this coming April.
"But Napa is my favorite marathon," Cain commented. "It's just
Harry Cadelago, 61, is intimately familiar with the spectacular scenery
along the marathon course, which stretches the length of the Napa Valley
past world-famous vineyards, flowering fruit trees, and colorful mustard
fields. Cadelago lives two blocks from the finish line at Vintage High
School in Napa. He has run every Napa Valley Marathon except for one
since the inaugural race in 1979, and he has completed all 29 of them.
Until 1992 Cadelago ran the race with his father, Harry Cadelago, Senior.
About two weeks before that year's marathon, Harry's dad passed away.
Although he was heartbroken, Cadelago managed to finish, but barely.
"I was emotionally spent at about mile 22," recalled Cadelago, who is
the Director of Instrumental Music at Napa High School. "I started
walking, and asked myself 'what am I doing here?' But, I felt my dad's
At that point, a fellow runner, who Cadelago speculated was about his
father's age, offered him some lemon drops, The boost gave him the energy
In 2006 and 2007, Cadelago ran the marathon with his daughter, Angela
Cullinger. This year, Cullinger, an opera singer, is performing in an
upcoming opera, and won't be able to race. So, Harry is on his own again,
but he carries a photo of his dad in his cap during the marathon.
"I think I run it more for him now," said Cadelago. "I'm getting older
myself, but it's a test of whether I can still do it."
Steve Radigan, 57, of Fremont, Calif. is also still doing it. He's run
all 30 Napa Valley Marathons and is entered once more.
Jo Groner, 63, of Lake Oswego, Ore. has run over 120 marathons and has a
personal best of 3:57. His son, Mark Groner, 37, of Centennial, Colo. has
run almost as many. This year's Napa Valley Marathon will be the younger
Groner's 100th. Father and son plan to run the race together.
"Neither of us has run the Napa Valley Marathon, but we'll put both of
our passions -- wine and marathoning -- together for a very special day,"
said Mark Groner.
Jean Pommier, 45, of Cupertino, Calif. is also familiar with wine and
long races. The Vice President of ILOG, a software company recently
acquired by IBM, moved to the U.S. from France in 1999. He has never run
the Marathon du Médoc, a marathon held in France's Médoc wine country,
which is world famous for its wine tasting stands along the course.
In Napa's wine country, however, the dual citizen of France and the U.S.
will contend for a specially etched bottle of Napa Valley wine. The wine
bottles are awarded to the first place overall and masters (age 40 and
over) runners to recognize the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA)
National Marathon Champions. (The 2009 edition of the Kaiser Permanente
Napa Valley Marathon has again been selected by the RRCA as its National
Marathon Championship, a designation it has received since 1998.)
Pommier will compete in his first Napa Valley Marathon on his 45th
birthday, an occasion he hopes to commemorate with a 2:45:00 finish.
Although he's run competitively for just ten years, and sports a fine
2:37:00 marathon personal best, for the past two years Pommier has earned
a reputation as a talented ultra-distance runner. Pommier has placed
among the top three in a number of ultrarunning events ranging from 50
kilometers to 100 miles. In fact, recently the prolific runner received
the 2008 Ultrarunner of the Year Award bestowed by the Pacific
Association of USA Track & Field.
In 2006, Alex Tilson, a standout ultrarunner who holds the U.S. 50
kilometer road record, won the Napa Valley Marathon in a winning time of
2:32:17. Pommier's aspirations, however, are more modest.
"I'm just hoping to run under 2:45," Pommier said. "I'd like to think,
and demonstrate, that (each year) I can keep running marathons under two
hours and my age in minutes. A 2:45 will also give me a good qualifying
time for the Boston and New York City marathons. But, the beginning of my
season has been disrupted by shin splints, which impacted my training.
So, I'll need a perfect race."
The 2009 Napa Valley Marathon has once again filled to its capacity of
"Amidst the difficult times and economy that we're all experiencing, the
Napa Valley Marathon is very fortunate that 2,300 dedicated runners and
their friends and families have elected to come to the Napa Valley for
our 31st annual race," said Co-Race Director David Hill. "We aim to
maintain our reputation for excellence and our unofficial title as the
Biggest Little Marathon in the West."
The marathon starts on Sunday, March 1 at 7:00 a.m. sharp in Calistoga on
the Silverado Trail near the intersection of Rosedale Road. The
marathon's fast, USA Track & Field certified (for accurate distance) road
course runs the length of the beautiful Silverado Trail and finishes at
Vintage High School in Napa. Top runners are expected to reach the finish
between 9:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Runners will receive official times up
until 1:00 p.m. when the course closes.
Entry slots are still available for the companion Kiwanis 5K Fun Run,
which starts (8 a.m.) and finishes at Vintage High School on marathon
Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon weekend includes a Sports and
Fitness Expo, Saturday, February 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa. Also on Saturday's slate is the
marathon's popular Marathon College, an innovative speaker/seminar
program that includes a "faculty" composed of respected running
authorities and celebrity runners.
Every Napa Valley Marathon participant assists important local causes.
All proceeds from the Napa Valley Marathon (a non-profit organization)
are donated to local charities and schools in the Napa Valley region. In
addition, an economic assessment conducted by the marathon in 2004
estimated that the local economic impact of the marathon is between
$593,000 and $1,465,000 annually in direct spending. The average marathon
participant brings two additional people with them for the race.
For more information about the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon,
please visit the marathon's web site at NapaValleyMarathon.org.
The Napa Valley Marathon appreciates generous sponsor support from Kaiser
Permanente/Thrive, Calistoga Mineral Water Company, Gatorade, ASICS
America Corporation, Silverado Trail Wineries Association, Marathon &
Beyond, Road Runners Club of America, USA Track & Field, MarathonFoto,
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, GU, CBS 5, Comcast, Napa Valley
Register, KVYN/99.3 The Vine, KVON 1440 AM, the Napa Running Company,
KCBS 740 AM, Silverado Brewing Company, DJ's Growing Place, and Wine
Country Inn/Napa Valley.