Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reason to Run: Big Sur Marathon 2009

This morning I ran the Big Sur Marathon. And when I say morning I use that term very loosely!!
The Big Sur marathon has a start time of 6:45am. Not too bad you say. Well then throw in that you have to bus out to the start and you have to be on the bus no later than 4:15 am!! This is as crazy as my ultra running friends start times for 100 milers!! So I get out to this beautiful spot in the Big Sur park at around 5:15 in the morning. The sun is not even up yet. So nothing to do but pull up a piece of road and sleep for 30-40 minutes. I would have slept longer but my shivering in the pre-dawn cold woke me up ;-)

Now enough whining about the start. The Big Sur marathon is well organized, efficient and flows very nicely as an event. I have a new respect and perspective on this since hosting our first Reason to Run events back in April. They co-host about a million events: walks, 21 miler, marathon, 10 miler, marathon relays, 5k and more. All told 10,000 athletes take part in the weekend. It is big. This event had the best water and food support I have seen at a road marathon. Lots of lots of opportunity for both water and fuel. Gels at many locations. I also liked the Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) support for refills of handhelds.

I hope my pictures give you a small glimpse at why the race is so popular. The course is just that beautiful. And challenging. This was the toughest road marathon I have tackled. It actually was much closer in style to the trail ultras I run: miles of up and down that constantly challenge you mentally and physically. No mile upon mile of flat running here!

The profile:

And there was a little issue with wind giving us an extra bang for the buck today. At the aptly named Hurricane Point, when I picked up a leg at the end of a stride, the wind would blow it over to smash into the other leg!!

I had never planned to race this weekend but rather run hard and have a good time. I ran with a camera for the first time and really tried to push but not punish the body. It was hard to hold back in the first 10 miles. Similar to the Boston marathon and as you can see in the profile, the first couple of miles are a good downhill. Watch those quads! After that natural fatigue set in and we were fine ;-)

Overall, I had a great time, got in some amazing training and posted a 3:35 finishing time. The legs and body feel good, I think I fueled and hydrated well. My nemesis, my gut, did try to hijack the run a few times but running at the sub-race pace kept it under control.

I would go back but I don't know if I would ever try to really pound this one...boy that would hurt! I also tried doing a cheap hotel to keep the trip cost down and it worked out great. $40 with WiFi at the Good Nite Inn in Salinas. I booked using Travelocity.

Now it is time to head out for a recovery run with my best friend Trisha and then to bed to attempt to catch up on some much needed sleep!


Anonymous said...

Glad you kept your gut at bay! Hope your run with Trisha was fun!

Kim Moir said...

Wow, great scenery. Congratulations on your latest race!

Julianne said...

The early morning shuttle to the start line was brutal!!! My hubby and I didn't do very well yesterday but we definitely enjoyed the route/course. So beautiful!! I'll be posting my recap/race report tonight! :-)

Julianne said...

Thanks for making me feel better about my race on Sunday. Just read your comment on my blog. :-)

Oh btw, just realized you're in Tigard! I'm in Lake Oswego and Wilsonville this week for work!! You need to show me some good runs in the area! (I come here quite a bit!)

Amy said...

If you love running you always have a reason to run. Anyway I love you post that is a very nice marathon update.