Big Sur International Marathon

Big Sur International Marathon

Big Sur International Marathon

( 33 reviews )
96% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Carmel,
    United States
  • April
  • 10 miles, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay, Other
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Megan Vickery

Spokane Valley, Nevada, United States
31 16
"Big Sur- The Most Brutiful Marathon "
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Megan Vickery's thoughts:

The expo was great, the buzz was palpable in person.
The process of boarding and being shuttled to the start was incredibly well organized and very smooth. Upon being dropped off at the Big Sur Lodge there was hot coffee, which at 3:30am is a godsend because it was cold!!! The organizers did a good job of prepping us that we should wear layers, but even so, a recommendation would be space heaters because I lost a lot of energy and had tight muscle from shivering for 2 hours before the start.
All of that shivering turned to excitement as we lined up in our corrals as the sun was rising. It was neat to overhear the legacy runners chat about the course and their experience, I soaked it all up! Around 6:45am my corral started on a steady downhill for the first couple miles through beautiful redwoods. The course then opened to the first sight of the Pacific Ocean as we began a steady climb, some perplexed cows were, what I’d like to think, cheering us on.
I had read so many reviews from past runners, which helped me pace myself on this new course. I kept gas in the tank as I knew the infamous Hurricane Point climb was approaching from miles 10-12. This hill is no joke, however I kept the mindset of one foot in front of the other to keep pushing through and refrain from walking. The views of the Pacific Ocean were absolutely stunning, this also helped keep my mind off of the climb. The drummers were a huge help to push through the last bit!
After Hurricane Point we began a decline towards Bixby Bridge, however the slant in the road along Hwy 1 definitely made it more challenging to take advantage of the downhills. My ankles were definitely starting to feel the strain, but again, it was mind over matter. Mile 15 is when I really started to feel the lack of training hit, however the scenery and knowing I was fortunate to be able to run this marathon helped me push through.
The rest of the course was a combination of flat and rolling hills with beautiful scenery throughout. The aid stations were well stocked and the volunteers were all incredibly friendly. I loved the touch of having locally grown strawberries at the last aid station, I definitely took advantage of the sugar boost to push through. Thankfully I had been forewarned about the hill at mile 25, so I was prepared to make a final climb before the finish. Coming down the last half mile took every ounce of energy in my body, but when I crossed that finish line I felt like part of a special group of runners. My finish time was 4:45:12, which while not “fast” to many, was fast for me. The hand painted medal now rests on my desk as a reminder to be brave and never say no to opportunities.
I’ve never had luck at running lotteries and felt for everyone that wanted to run but were not selected. My finish was as much for me as it was for them! I am not over exaggerating when I say every single person I talked to, or read comments from, said the exact same thing- Big Sur was the most challenging and beautiful marathon they’ve ran. The word “brutiful” was used many times, which sums it up perfectly!
Overall I feel incredibly blessed to have been granted the opportunity to run the iconic Big Sur Marathon. It actually ignited my excitement to push myself and find another marathon to run. I mean, if I can come within 72 seconds of my marathon PR on this super challenging course with minimal training, why not do another? I’d highly recommend the Big Sur Marathon to any runner looking to challenge themselves and enjoy unparalleled beauty. Definitely add this race to your bucket list!

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