big sur marathon race reportRace: Big Sur International Marathon

Runner: Roey P

Date: 4/29/2018

Location: Big Sur, California

Results: 3:38:24

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1539613924

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Scenery-This is one of the most beautiful road races available. You start off in the Redwoods, and quickly head out on Highway 1 which runs along the beautiful California Coast.
  2. The Crowd- While there aren’t too many opportunities for friends and family to cheer you on along the way, the Race Organization makes up for it by hiring all sorts of bands. In addition to the famous piano player at mile 13.1, there is a drum band, as well as rock musicians, banjo players, country singers, etc.
  3. The course- This course is challenging. It has a lot of rolling hills that don’t even make it onto the official race diagram. However, it helps break up the course, and the miles seem to fly by.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The early start. Even though this race has an official start time of 6:45, they bus every one to the start and need to clear the road way. That means you need to be on a bus no later than 4:15. Calculate backwards how long it takes you to get up and get ready, and you’re in for an early rise.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Nothing too weird.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I was ready for, and handled most of the hills well. I was relaxed, and chatty with the other runners. My pacing was pretty consistent throughout.

Lessons Learned – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner or yourself on the next time around

  • Practice rolling hills. They are no joke. Also, the week and a half leading up to this race, I went to bed around 8:30 and woke at 4 to try to get used to the early start.
  • Stop and look around. This course is absolutely stunning. It has so much beauty to offer, and its not to be missed.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Rolling hills, and slanted road. We drove the course the Saturday prior to the race, so I knew what I was up against. There is a 2 mile climb, and then continuous rolling hills. Knowing sort of where they were helped me mentally.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Smooth as silk. This cant be an easy race to put on, logistically, but it was seamless.

Logistics – Anything special regarding getting to/from the race, hotels around the course, registration…?

There are only about 4500 total runners for the full. There is a few different lotteries that you can apply for. Knowing that this was a “bucket list” run for me, I shelled out some big bucks to forego the lottery, and get automatic entry. There are some partner hotels that are near the expo.

Weather and typical race conditions

50-60 Partly cloudy seems typical. We had cloudy, with 2 little bursts of rain.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Only at the end. Otherwise there is nowhere for friends or family to watch from.

How’s the swag?

Great! Clay finisher medal, nice long sleeve tech shirt. Cool expo, with lots of additional gear to purchase.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

5 Stars. If you know of a prettier race, please let me know. This one was amazing!

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