Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm Lisa a mom to two girls and a wife to a US Navy Submariner. I have a passion for running, nutrition and all things fitness. For me running or training hard at the gym equals 24 hours of complete joy in a day. If this blog inspires and helps motivate you, then I hope you continue reading.

Follow by Email

My Blog List

02 May 2012

Big Sur Marathon 2012 Race Recap

The day began with a 2:30AM wake up call. Well technically 2:23AM because my dad woke me up and he didn't want me to miss the bus. You'd think I'd be tired at 2:30AM but I was anxious and ready to go. I signed up for this event 9 months ago and all my hard work was about to pay off.

At 3:30AM I hopped on the bus with full of sleepy yet organized runners. It took an hour to get from Monterey to Big Sur. It takes that long because it's dark at that time of morning and there are a lot of buses making their way there on a two lane highway in the dark. We were driving along side cliffs, good thing I couldn't see a thing! The bus drivers were going pretty slow so kudos to them! I was on one of the first buses to arrive at the start area. I grabbed a spot and waited for my friend to get off her bus. I brought my own food because I did not want to wait in long food lines. After waiting two hours for the start of the race, my friend I made our way to the start line. We started with the third wave of runners. It took us about 10 minutes to pass the start line.

I ran the entire course with my friend. This was her very first marathon, our only goal was to complete it under 6 hours and we did!! YAY! The hills were tough. It seemed like the entire course was rolling hills! Then in some spots of the race we had to battle crazy head winds gusting up to 40MPH!! The winds made it impossible to run.

The reason why I choose to run this race is because I heard from people and the reviews in Runners World, that this marathon is one of the races you have to run at least once in your lifetime. After having just run it, I would agree Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places to run a race in the world. It is along the California coastline between Big Sur and Carmel. However, hands down, one of the hardest races you will ever run – in the world. With an elevation gain of 500 feet in 2 miles and gale force winds (all before the halfway point in the race), the Big Sur International Marathon warms you up quickly to hill running.

We survived though and completed Big Sur marathon just in time. This course is tough but is do able for any runner!

The only thing I was bummed about is it was  foggy along certain parts of the coast line making it hard to see any of your surroundings. We headed into fog going up hurricane point, the 500 foot/2 mile incline. Even by the time we made our way down to the famous Bixby Bridge, you could barely see the bridge or ocean. Parts of the course were super-clear, while others were not.

The last 10 miles or so of the race were clear blue skies. I went from freezing cold to burning up! I have a sun burn on the back of my neck! I recovered pretty quickly after the marathon. My legs aren't sore but my toe nails are tender. Hopefully they don't fall off, again...

Spending xxxx amount of money on plane tickets, hotel, and for food wasn't cheap but running this marathon with one of my best friends and having all of my immediate family members to watch me finish, is price less :) My parents, sisters, their husbands, all my nieces and nephews, my husband and our own kids had an AWESOME mini vacation :) My husbands in the Navy, so it's not often he can get away from work and do these kinds of things with us. I'm glad he was there to watch me cross the finish line at my second marathon. I didn't want this weekend to end. 

And we are off...

Running along the country side...

Too bad this base is closed. I'd make my husband can get stationed here!! LOL...

See the fog in the distance...

Approaching Hurricane Point, the 2 mile climb in the middle of the marathon.

It's a long one!! It goes beyond the curve. 

The Taiko drummers before the climb! 

Towards the top of Hurricane Point, it became foggy and cold out!

The famous Bixby Bridge.

This is where highway 1 collapsed into the ocean last year.

Love it!! 

Entertainment at mile 22. There was entertainment along the whole course but I only took a few pictures.

Mile 25.

All the mile markers were neat to see.

The finish line, lined with flags.

My first marathon was in Japan where I lived for three years. I had to take a picture of Japan's flag :)

Some of my family waiting for me at the finish. I think my dad was getting free beer that's suppose to be for runners ONLY!! 

The race directors gave high fives to all the finishers. 

Big Sur Marathon Finisher 2012


  1. Congrats!! I've heard so many great things about Big Sur!! It looks lovely and like such a fun race!! Great job on the 2 mile incline!! Talk about a monster hill! :)

  2. Congratulations!! Looks really really pretty! I need to do this one soon but the climbs look a little intimidating!!

  3. Congratulations on the marathon!

  4. Congratulations! The course looks amazing, fog and all! I'm really glad to hear you had such an enjoyable time. :)

  5. Oh my gosh, the scenery is gorgeous!! This race is officially on my list now!


  6. awesome! The pictures are amazing!

  7. Yay! Another Sur survivor! It was a very surreal day and the weather was all over the place! Glad you had a great run and I really appreciate you pictures!