Race Review: Big Sur International Marathon

As of April 30, 2017, my second marathon is in the books! It has been a long month of recovery after Big Sur but now I am happily back to reviewing, blogging and best of all – running.

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Location:
The entire area of Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur is amazing, you can’t go wrong with where you stay. We used VRBO to rent a house in Monterey near Fisherman’s Wharf and the shuttle pick up. Everything was extremely easy! If you’re visiting the area, make sure you leave time for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, downtown Carmel, the 17-mile Drive in Pebble Beach and Point Lobos. There is A LOT more to see but those would be my top recommendations.

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Expo:
Fantastic! It was a little cramped with so many people – I would recommend people to go at less crowded times so you have a chance to look around. The expo had a lot of cool stuff but was still small enough that it was not completely overwhelming. (P.S. I met Bart Yasso!)

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Swag:
Definitely some of my favorite swag!!!! At the expo, runners receive their race shirt and race program. Then the race mails a copy of the local newspaper following the race – the local paper lists all of the finishers and their times! Lastly, I can’t forget to mention the medals. The medals are each hand-crafted and are truly one of a kind.

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Race Day Logistics:
Woke up at 3:00 AM to walk to the shuttle. Although it was early, it was cool to be with all the other runners and to make new friends! The bus ride takes about an hour to the start line, where you then wait with all of the other runners for until the start time. It sounds miserable but it was definitely a sight to see. There is food, coffee and water – I recommend getting in line fast and quickly finding a seat on the ground. As more buses make their way to the start, the ground fills up as runners find a place to sit.

The Race:
Difficult – assume that it is going to be more difficult than everyone says. Beautiful – at the time, I didn’t appreciate the beauty of the race because I felt like I was dying. Looking back, it is easily the most beautiful course that I have ever run. Great support – from the famous grand piano to the Taiko drums to the fresh strawberries, everything was amazing. When I finished the race, I said that I would never do it again… but I would totally do it all again. Plus I still got a PR, so there’s that. 🙂

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