Top 10 Marathons To-Do List: Big Sur

Marathon #1 on Cindi’s To-Do List* is Big Sur International Marathon.

I was THIS close to signing up for Big Sur this year instead of Little Rock.  But it was more expensive than I wanted to do this year and I didn’t like the timing as much (it’s May 1st this year).  But I seriously looked into it and considered it.  Big Sur is definitely on my current Top 10 To-Do List.

I know what you are thinking.  But, Cindi, after your disaster at Little Rock you swore off hills and said you’d never run a hilly marathon.  Isn’t Big Sur hilly?

Yes, it’s super hilly.  Killer hills.  Like 2 mile long up hill sections.

But when someone like Bart Yasso comments “If we were told that we could run only one marathon in our lifetime, Big Sur would have to be it”, you have to seriously pause and look hard at it.  And when you look at the website and read all the comments on, you start to realize just how incredible this marathon looks.  So the pain from the hills seems like it would be worth it. It looks so incredibly beautiful.  It looks like an experience, not just a marathon.

I will definitely run this one in the next couple of years.  But, given the hilliness of it, I TRULY will just run it for a fun, low-pressure marathon experience.  (Does that exist?!?).  I want to really be in a position where STOPPING during a marathon to take a picture and enjoy the scenery doesn’t freak me out.  I want to run it when I’m not concerned about pace or results.   Which means I have to get this crazy BQ thing out of my system first.  Or maybe do it as part of the Boston to Big Sur challenge?!

Anyone run Big Sur?  Or have it on your marathon radar?

* These aren’t in any particular order.  They are just 10 marathons that are on my to-do-in-the-not-to-distant-future list.

16 thoughts on “Top 10 Marathons To-Do List: Big Sur

  1. Big Sur is on my list too AFTER I scratch this annoying 10-year-long Boston BQ itch! I want to enjoy it, take pics, and not worry about PRing (hell, I could walk up the hills…who cares?!).

    1. You and me both! It’d be fun if we both end up getting a fast enough time to actually be able to register for Boston and run it next year. You totally have it in you this time around!

      1. Hahaha, talk to Matt about that one. I’d move back in a heart beat. I made the mistake of taking him up there in the middle of the winter when we were first married!

  2. A local runner, Susan, will be running it this year. I’ll link to her post once she’s done and has a RR up

    It looks unbelievable!

  3. lora

    My “coach” (he’s not coaching me anymore) is running it this year. Wants to try to win it, actually. It’s probably good you didn’t sign up this year — they had to reroute the course because of a section being washed out or something. It’s going to be a very different course apparently!

  4. I sort of ran it when I took a trip through Big Sur last April. They had us stop for awhile for one-lane traffic control because they were still cleaning up from the fires in the area; I got out of the car and realized, “oh, wow, this is where they run the marathon” and I couldn’t help but run maybe a quarter mile out and back to my car.

    It’s an awesome to visit, and running the race I imagine is equally as awesome. I’d make it a race/vacation for certain

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  7. I ran Big Sur about ten days ago. It is totally worth doing, but you’re absolutely right, it is a race you do for the experience as opposed to running a good time … I would definitely recommend it. The race organizers are a class act.

    The out-and-back we did due to the landslide didn’t include the climb up Hurricane Point, but it was still plenty hilly. I don’t train in an especially hilly area (I live in Cleveland, Ohio) and I didn’t think the hills were horrible. They were just long and relentless — there are pretty much no flat areas, you’re always running up or down hill. What was more of an issue for me was how warm it was. All of my long runs were done below 50 degrees (other than treadmill runs), and it was 52 at the start and warmed up fast.

    I hope to go back and run Big Sur again in a couple of years.

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