Big Sur Marathon Race Report – Seth Lapic

Race: Big Sur Marathon

Runner: Seth Lapic

Race Date: 04/30/2023

Location: Big Sur, California

Results: 3:32:16

Strava Activity Link:

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

The views, the surrounding area, the challenge

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

Having to board busses at 3:30am then wait around a few hours after getting to the start with nowhere to warm up due to the crowding. Catching up to the 21 miler and 11 miler runners who were walking, possibly in a line, and having to navigate around them.

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

Strict time cutoff.

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

For a first marathon, it was certainly challenging. The hills were challenging but I was proud I powered through.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

You have to catch the busses early. There isn’t any room to warm up once you get to the start. I brought a hoodie to toss away at the start line but I wish I would have brought sweat pants as well as we were sitting on the ground in the cold for a few hours. Bathroom lines got very long, even 1+ hour prior to start time.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Wind had gusts up to 40mph. I lost a race bib magnet (I usually run with 3) with the wind gusts and had to hold onto my bib for fear of losing another one. Found someone with extra pins a few miles later. I’ll likely run with 4 magnets in the future and in high winds I’ll stick with race pins.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Knowing where the hills are located. There’s a few other race distances including 11 miler and 21 miler so you may catch up to those runners and have to navigate around them.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

One of the most beautiful you’ll ever find.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

The official website says the elevation gain is over 2,100 feet. The wind made that even harder.

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

Well run. They’ve been running it for over 35 years.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Results lists over 5,000 for the marathon.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Have to enter a lottery. We booked a house for our group within hours of the lottery results coming out but some of the homes we were looking at got rented out from under us during those few hours.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Seemed sufficient

Weather and typical race conditions

  • Clear skies but was very foggy with no views of the ocean the day prior. Wind was outrageous.
  • Temperature was high 40s to low/mid 50s.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

  • I carried an 11oz bottle in my running belt with electrolytes and didn’t make it halfway through it.
  • There were 12 aid stations which had water and Nuun. Many runners had full hydration vests which seemed like overkill as it wasn’t warm and there were plenty of aid stations.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

No where for spectators until the end.

How’s the Swag?

Hand made medal.

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

Seeing as it’s my first marathon, it gets all the stars.