If the Big Sur International Marathon is not on your bucket list, then add it now. It’s kinda weird that I don’t have a bucket list (especially since I have a list for virtually everything else in my life). If you don’t have a bucket list, then start one now by putting “Run the Big Sur Marathon” at the top of the page!
My Big Sur Marathon weekend started Saturday with a fabulous family fun run in Monterey. It was there that I formulated my plan to run with camera in hand and no watch. I also decided that I wanted to run at least part of the course with my Mom’s cousin Claire.
This race report is divided into three chronological sections: first the photographic part (read the captions), then the running part, and finally the finish.
The First Half: So Many Photo Ops
The Second Half: Cruising to the Finish
I crossed the half-marathon timing mat at about 2:40 – a pace of 12:12 minutes/mile. I was thinking it might be time for me to cruise on without Claire… lovely as it was, I didn’t want to be out on the course for more than 5 hours. I put my camera away while I waited a minute or two for a quick porta-potty stop. I said goodbye to Claire and off I went. I couldn’t have planned the day better if I had tried! The second half is not nearly as scenic as the first, although there were a few times where I was tempted to pull out my camera again… sheep, cows, and a quaint barn.
It was a bit surreal running a huge negative split. I ran the second half in about 1:55, somewhere in the neighborhood of a 9 minute/mile pace. The second half has no big climbs, but plenty of rollers that can really wear on a tired marathoner. I felt like a stinker (at best) or a cheat (at worst) passing all these hard-working, but tired, runners with my legs fresh as daisies.
I entertained myself by observing all the different running outfits, and I had already noticed a whole lot of Lululemon appareal out on the course. At some point I decided that I would count all the Lululemon insignias that I passed, but then there suddenly seemed to be none at all. I was only able to find 5 or 6 before I gave up the count.
At another point the police escorted a traffic caravan in the lane opposite us. The vehicles contained either enthusiastic supporters or annoyed and delayed motorists. It was fun to smile and wave at them all – to see if I could get a smile out of some of those grumps!
The last mile I could really feel the air temperature increasing. The weather had been unusally lovely for the event, with only a mild-to-moderate head wind and clear sky for at least the most scenic parts of the course. I felt for those still on the course with the temps increasing for their final cumbersome miles.
I passed a couple of guys as we neared the finish chute. There was a gal in front of me as we entered the chute, and I gave her an encouraging word, “Bring it home! I’m certainly not going to pass you in the chute!” I throttled back so she could finish first, and she gave me a sincere thanks afterwards.
At the Finish
Congratualtions! You have completed a marathon of a race report! Spectacular vistas, great company, and good luck with the weather definitely put Sunday’s run in my top 5 favorite running days to date.