Big Sur Marathon Race Report

I ran the Big Sur Marathon on Sunday:

Ed at Big Sur Marathon Ed at Big Sur Marathon Ed at Big Sur Marathon

The race follows Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean from Big Sur to Carmel, California. While the course has some incredible panoramic views of crashing waves, it also has a few hills:

Big Sur Course Profile

The downhill start was interesting. In fact, the start corral is so steep that it’s almost uncomfortable standing there before the gun goes off.

I didn’t wear a watch, but remember hearing 8:08 called out at the first mile. That would be for the gun time. It took me 40 seconds to reach the start line, so my first mile was 7:28, which is a little ridiculous, but fighting gravity seems counter-productive to me.

At 13.1 (the photo on the Bixby Bridge) a guy in a tux was playing a grand piano. That was pretty awesome to see so far out in the middle of nowhere. I was at 1:50 at that point, so on pace for a 3:40, but starting to feel it.

By mile 18, the wheels came off. From there I survival shuffled it in at just under 4 hours.

Big Sur Race Results

Based on the shape I’m in now, running 8:20 miles is a pretty comfortable pace for me, aerobically, but holding it together for 20+ miles becomes a challenge for my legs. Apparently, running more helps your legs adapt to the pounding on the pavement. I may have to try that.

Carly, on the other hand, actually does run on a regular basis, so can crank out the miles at a much faster pace.

Big Sur Race Results

She won the 21 mile race among women and was 4th overall.

Carly at Big Sur Carly at Big Sur Carly at Big Sur

I highly recommend this marathon. No, it’s not easy, and probably not the best choice for someone who’s trying to qualify for Boston or set a PR, but if you want to run through the woods, to the coast, and along the Pacific shore in a well-organized race, this is the place to be.

One thought on “Big Sur Marathon Race Report”

  1. Congrats to you both–especially Carly. That’s a huge accomplishment! While I used to swim open water 25Ks without too much of a bother, I would have a lot of problems running a mile. I envy runners.

    Way to go.

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