Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- With the logistics of getting thousands of runners to one spot on Highway 1, be ready for an early, early morning to get to the start, and to be in a fairly crowded area pre-race
- Two sayings that describe the race: Beautiful yet Brutal and Hills and Headwinds
- With the first few miles being downhill and without too crowded of a start, it’s easy to go out too fast
- With no spectator access, it’s a fairly quiet course compared to most road marathons, though the race does organize bands along the way
- Be ready for windy conditions in different spots with running on the coast
- Runners are likely to catch walkers from earlier races, so be ready to dodge them and run around; try to not get frustrated
- Best thing you can do is to not stress too much about pace on the uphill, especially the big hill from miles 10-12
- The hills last all the way until the end, so be ready for tired quads from the hills throughout the race.
- Slighted slanted road, so do your best to find the flattest spot you can
- Shaded from Redwood trees until about mile 5, after which it’s much more exposed to wind and sun
- With ending at a lower elevation than you start, it’s going to be warmer in Carmel than Big Sur by the end of the race
- While it’s a challenging race because of the hills, the scenery is worth it and the hills at least break up the miles mentally
Type: Point to Point from Big Sur to Carmel along Highway 1
Start/Finish Info: No driving to the start or dropping off. Must use free bus shuttles. There is bus transportation from several locations in the Monterey Peninsula to the start, leaving from 3:30-4:30am to get runners to Big Sur in time. Be sure to review shuttle information.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2182/2528
Hills – Rollers throughout the entire course with one big gain and endless 25-50 foot gains, and a handful of ~100 foot gains. Biggest hill is ~500 feet of gain from miles 10-12
Locations of water and stations: (11 total) Miles 2.6, 4.8, 7.8, 10.4, 12.2,14.7, 16.7, 18.9, 21.3, 23, and 24.6
Electrolyte offered: Gatorade Endurance at all Aid Stations, fruit at all aid stations starting at mile 10.4, and GU at miles 12.2 and 18.9
Access Locations: None, only the finish. Highway 1 is closed for the runners, so it’s impossible for them to be at the start or anywhere along the course.
John Gregson’s 2022 Race Report