Former Stanford Runner Wins Napa Valley Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 7, 2011
  • Updated Jul. 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM UTC
Chris Mocko breaks the tape in Napa. Photo: Napa Valley Register

It was just his third marathon.

At mile 11 of the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon this past weekend, Chris Mocko found himself in a position most competitve runners dream of. Both of his main rivals in the race had already dropped out–one of which, Kevin Pool, had hopes of running under 2:20. It was essentially Mocko’s race to lose.

“I had never been in that position before,” said Mocko. “Going in, we knew about Kevin [Pool] and his hopes to go for the Olympic Trials. I knew I wasn’t capable of running that fast. Going out a little bit slower made sense to me. I was definitely hurting that last six miles or so. Somebody told me it was supposed to be downhill, but it sure did not feel like that.”

Mocko is a former cross country and track runner at Stanford University. He broke the tape in 2:27:02 and received his weight in wine as a reward. Another bonus for Mocko: The race was held on his 25th birthday.

For More: Napa Valley Register

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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