Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big Sur Marathon Report

From Jan, who squeezed in a sub-4 hour marathon on a really hilly course (hubbie Rick ran a ~3:45):

Big Sur lived up to its reputation as a beautiful marathon. Runner's World magazine said "if you are only going to do one marathon in a lifetime, do Big Sur". So, we flew there on Saturday, and Sunday morning found us shivering in the redwoods at 6:45 am waiting at the starting line. Someone sang the national anthem, a flock of white doves was released, and off we went.

We ran the first 5 miles in the redwoods, and then the rest along the ragged coast-- the waves crashing down below, gulls flying, spring flowers and grasses waving in the wind. Oh yes, did I mention the wind? It was (and usually is) a headwind for the entire run, peaking around Hurricane Point where it was blowing heavily. And it is a HILLY marathon. Up and down. Not a fast marathon. However, there was a great variety of music about every 3 miles-- from the middle school bands to the reggae singers and their plastic pot plants (at least I thought they were plastic), to the grand piano at Bixby bridge. Over 3,000 runners are in the marathon.

There are other, shorter, races that day also along the highway, so as you near the finish line you converge with everyone else. I was hanging on by my teeth by mile 22 and watching others go whipping by me, wondering if they were in a shorter run. It keeps you humble.

Rick reports he felt like Ryan Hall for the first 8 miles, and then like Ryan's grandma for the last eight.

We flew home Monday, with hopes of returning next year for Big Sur's 25th anniversary.

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