Big Sur Marathon | April 26th 2015
7th Marathon | 4th Big Sur Marathon
Weather: 50s-60s, Strong Headwind
Time: 3:25:59 | Average Pace: 7:51
First Half: 1:46:09 | Second Half: 1:39:50
Previous Course PR: 3:30:31
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
From The Mountains of California by John Muir
Big Sur is such a treat. I am in love with this place, and this race holds a special place in my heart with it being my first marathon back in 2012. I’ve done it every year since as well as tackling the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge each year starting in 2013.
Coming off of Boston I was still pretty elated. With Big Sur's course profile and it being 6 days after Boston, I wasn’t expecting another PR or anything but I’m competitive and still wanted to see what I could do on the course. I had another strong race, with a negative split, and a personal best on the course. Here’s to a solid week of racing. It’s an incredible opportunity to take on this epic stretch of Highway 1 to celebrate the sport and incredible coastline that is Big Sur.
Big Sur blows me away every time, this year a bit more literally because it was incredibly windy. Other years have had wind, mainly on Hurricane Point, but this year it was more than ever, and started as soon as we hit the open stretch out of the woods in the beginning. Thankfully it seemed to dissipate a bit in the second half. Wind is crazy, and kind of the coolest thing out there. Where does it come from, and how does it even work, and it’s so powerful! The elements are definitely awesome. On the other hand, running against a gnarly headwind is not my favorite thing in the world. In a way you get used to it though, and as John Muir said, "the winds will blow their own freshness into you." When you’re running in Big Sur it’s hard to not have the most stellar time. Seriously though, you may be battling every element Mother Nature wants to throw at you that day, but you just look around and none of that matters because you are in this incredible place and become part of each element while covering those 26.2 miles. I guess that goes for every race and run really, it’s a connection to the earth and elements unlike any other.
When I’m running in Big Sur I am fueled by the sights. I remember from my first marathon, there was a moment as we exited the forest and the sun was just rising, painting the hills, fields, and ocean in the most incredible golden hue. I could hardly contain myself. I felt like shouting out my excitement and sharing it with the world, while at the same time sitting peacefully by myself in that field, letting the ocean air dance across my face. I felt like giving the earth a huge hug and high-five. I felt like running. Luckily I had three or so more hours to do so and share that with the land. Each time I return to the Big Sur Marathon those feelings permeate the run and propel me forward.
From the dense trees to the ragged cliffs and blue ocean, to the happy California cows cheering us on, to the grand piano on the Bixby Bridge, this race is so special and I am still in awe and grateful that I am able to experience one of my favorite places through one of my favorite means of travel.
Images are from the photo series of my first marathon in Big Sur, see the full collection here.