John Van Metre MBA ’09 is running in the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, a 26.2-mile race that is held on a point-to-point course from Calistoga to Napa, in March. He has not run a marathon since 2009 and has only done three in his lifetime. He has a personal record time of 2 hours, 59 minutes at the Boston Marathon. His best finish was 380th in a field of 6,000 runners at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in 2008. 

 “It’s been a while,” said Van Metre, a San Jose resident, who works in business software sales for Armanino McKenna.
As a member of the adidas Transports Racing team, he has joined some talented and experienced runners while also elevating his training. He is getting quality coaching with the club along the way.
Just four years ago Van Metre said he was more of a recreational runner who didn’t train more than 30 miles a week. His workouts have changed big time and he’s coming off a successful road racing and cross country season for Pacific Association of USA Track and Field events.
He was in 19 races last year, with one of his best performances coming in October when he took third place overall in the Humboldt Redwoods Half Marathon in a PR time of 1:08:13. He was ranked fifth overall for the Pacific Association USATF cross country season.
“I surprised myself in terms of improvement, having some fast times, being able to get a fast mile in, being able to get a fast 5K in, some half marathons in,” he said last week. “Falling into a routine like that, there’s a level of comfort going into races. It certainly helps me prepare. There’s not a whole lot of surprises on race day.”
Van Metre is one of four elites in the men’s field. He joins Nathan Yanko of San Francisco, Rob Wiley of Gurnee, Ill., and Chris Mocko, the defending overall champion from San Francisco and a former cross country and track athlete at Stanford University, who last year finished in a time of 2:27:02 on his 25th birthday, winning his weight in wine from the sponsoring Silverado Trail Wineries Association. The time was a personal record for Mocko.
The Napa Valley Marathon has a sold-out field of 2,500 runners and has been chosen as the Road Runners Club of America’s Western Regional Marathon Championship.
The race is held on one of the most scenic road courses in the country, heading south on the Silverado Trail through St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville and Napa. The race serves as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
Van Metre doesn’t consider the course — which is generally flat — overly technical or difficult. But he does not plan on going out too aggressively, either.
“I started training pretty hard this past year,” said Van Metre, 29, who ran track at Moreau Catholic High School-Hayward. He graduated from San Jose State with a degree in business management and got his masters in business administration from Santa Clara University.
“Obviously as a competitive runner, I like to compete. I like to think I have a shot to win. But there’s going to be some good talent out there. A lot of it goes into the preparation. Just getting your mind set in the morning, knowing that it’s going to be a little bit longer than your typical run and you’ve got to push yourself a little bit harder.
For more information about the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, visit www.napavalleymarathon.org.


29 Oct 2018