Tag Archives: Big Sur Marathon

TOP 10 at BIG SUR!

29 Apr

As most of you know I ran the Big Sur International Marathon on Sunday! The plan was to run, have fun, enjoy the views, and take pictures. The secret goal all along was to come in Sub 5 hour! Kara somehow talked me into doing this marathon last July.  Race weekend was finally here!

We got to Monterrey Saturday afternoon. Got checked in and hit up the expo!
We saw some Nuunies and chatted with them! I met up with one of my readers, Jonathan, and talked strategy about the race. 🙂

We checked out Fishermen’s Wharf and had a great “early” dinner. The day was gorgeous!

We had crepes for dessert! It was delicious and did not disappoint!

It was surreal to be at the start line at 5:15am in the dark with all the other crazies that were doing this event! As we made our way to Wave B: Kara and I both looked at each other and said: We are going to RUN a marathon today. 26.2 miles. This cannot be real!
I decided to do a little different re-cap this time around. Since we were running for “fun!” Here you have the:


10. The weather. The weather was perfect. I know it is not perfect every year but it is usually pretty good. Good time of the year!

9. The finish line. It is not really anything special but you can hear the announcer and you know you are getting close. It is something special after you have conquered this ultimately tough course!
We had time so we stopped for one last picture!

We were done! We had just run 26.2 miles! How did that happen?

8. Embrace the hill! The elevation chart does not do the course justice. You are constantly going up and down! At least you know when you go up you get to go down! The climb up Hurricane Point really is not that bad. Just long and steady. It is the ups and downs of the second half of the race that are HARD! Tip: Train on hills of all sizes. Do hill repeats. Practice the ups and downs of the later part of your long runs. Running down hill in training is just as important as running uphill because your quads are toast by the time you get to mile 20. It only gets harder the last 10k!
Going down at about mile 9! But you can see the climb up Hurricane Point in the distance.

Lowest point on the course! Getting ready to go climb up to Hurricane Point!
At the top of Hurricane point looking down at the decent and the Bixby Bridge.

7. The medal. The coveted ceramic medallion. It is just as cool in real life. Miles 24-finish were all about: Lets just finish this. The medal is waiting for us! Can’t wait! We are almost done! How have we been running for 4+ hours!!

6. The mile markers. The mile markers were all so creative! Make sure when you run this race you read all of them! Here are some of my faves:

5. The strawberries. Everyone said there were strawberries at mile 23. I had forgotten about them until we saw the mile 23 sign. There was an aid station. BUT NO strawberries. Instead of getting sad we had our water, Gatorade, and just kept truckin’ along. We started to go up yet another hill when we saw some strawberry balloons along the sidewalk. We were getting closer to Heaven to the strawberries. Everyone was right when they said they were delightful. They were more at 23.5 which was a nice “surprise” at the top of the hill! Tip: eat as many as you can. I had 3 and wish I had grabbed about 10 more.


4. The entertainment. Tip: Do not wear headphones. Listen to all the sounds of the ocean, talk to other runners, enjoy the music on course. It is funny how some parts were real quiet and somehow it was ok.
The cow at mile 7ish. All of a sudden there was this cow all by himself moooooooo-ing. It was the cutest thing ever. We didn’t know if he was just cheering or telling all the runners to get the hell out of there or he just needed help getting off of the hill he was on! 🙂 It was too cute!

The Taiko Drummers–at mile 9.8 to give us motivation to get up our 2 mile climb up to Hurricane Point.

Martin Martinez–at mile 13.2. We knew the song he was playing but couldn’t put our finger on it! He was a very popular guy!!

3. You get to RUN over the Bixby Bridge!


We were half way home!


2. NO pressure to PR. Since it is such a hard course it would be difficult to PR on. Take pictures and enjoy every minute of the race. Tip: run it with a friend! It is well worth it!! Tip: Run watchless. No need to worry about your splits!
Even at mile 25. The sun started to come out. There was still 2 more hills to go. It was hot. But you have each other to keep it going!

1. THE VIEWS!! You cannot even imagine how gorgeous these views are unless you have been there! It absolutely takes your breath away! Tip: Take a camera! We weren’t looking for a PR so we had time to stop. We weren’t stopped for very long because we could enjoy the views while we were running.

Our first look at the ocean!

The Point-Sir Lighthouse

Somewhere between miles 15-20
Sometimes you had to look behind you for a view!

This was absolutely my favorite marathon!! If you ever have a chance to do run it!! Just do it!! We signed up in July and it was sold out in an hour. You have to be ready for it!!

My ONLY complaint: The banked highway. The entire way. It is noticeable also. Especially in the last miles when you can feel everything!

If you stay in Monterrey/Carmel after the race you should check out: Refuge It is a relaxation spa. You go through a hydrothermal cycle. Hot(Shauna or Steam) to cold water plunge to relaxation to warm/hot pool to relaxation and repeat 3-5 times. There was a coupon for 2 for 1 in our virtual goodie bag. Probably our best idea we had all weekend!!

Who wants to do Big Sur now? Anyone already have it on their bucket list?