About 400 people came to downtown Yountville on Monday morning to get 2018 off to a running start.
They participated in sixth annual Napa Valley Resolution Run races of five (3.1 miles) and 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). Depending on your viewpoint, there are few better or worse ways to start off the New Year then pounding the pavement, sucking in big gasps of air and ratcheting up the pulse rate.
For Georgia Taylor of Napa, running the Resolution Run took some, well, resolve. She’d just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom and had jet lag.
“I napped a lot last night in preparation,” she said as she waited to run her first 5K race ever, with such songs as U2’s “New Year’s Day” thumping over an event loudspeaker. “Made it to midnight, then fell asleep.”
At least she and the other participants could enjoy a California Dreamin’ morning, or certainly the type of morning people on the frigid East Coast can conjure up only in their imaginations. The sun was out and temperatures were in the high 50s, virtually shorts weather for runners.
Yati Accettola of Napa stood next to Taylor. She said she loves running and smiled as she considered her goal for the race.
“I hope I make it to the finish line,” she said. Then, with a laugh, she upped the ante and added, “I’d like to win.”
This being the Resolution Run, both Taylor and Accettola had a New Year’s resolution, and, as it turns out, the same one. Fulfilling it might depend more on money and time than on steely willpower.
“I want to travel more, all over the world,” Accettola said. “I love to travel. I love to see different countries.”
Barrett Larson of Palo Alto came to Napa Valley to celebrate the New Year’s holiday with a friend on Sunday saw a sign advertising the Resolution Run and decided to sign up. Running is no chore for him.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s therapeutic. It’s meditative. It’s obviously good, healthy exercise. I find it relaxing. I find it enjoyable in many ways. Of course, sometimes it can be a little painful. I love that, too.”
A New Year’s Day race poses one particular challenge.
“We were out partying late,” Larson said, adding that doesn’t make for optimal performance conditions.
Still, he looked as awake, alert and energetic as if he’d turned in early. The event organizers did their part to help out the revelers by making the race starting time 10 a.m.
He has a goal for 2018, one that might take a good deal of willpower for the average person.
“My resolution is to be a better listener,” Larson said.
Brooke Williams of Vacaville came to run her first 10-kilometer race, though she’s raced five kilometers. She’s a running neophyte.
“In the last year, I’ve been running to get healthy and deal with the stress of three kids,” Williams said.
She usually runs on a treadmill in her garage. She has a New Year’s resolution that befits the Resolution Run.
“To keep running,” Williams said. “To keep at it. I’ve only been at it for year.”
The Resolution Run is sponsored by Athletic Feat. Race proceeds are donated to the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition and part of the race is along the Vine Trail.