Race Review: Big Sur


The Big Sur Marathon is a bucket list event for many runners and marathon enthusiasts. This is a point to point run along the pacific west coast from Big Sur to Carmel in California. Last summer, I entered the famous lottery with three of my girlfriends.  We were lucky enough to get entries and committed to training together and planned a girls weekend getaway. We trained through the winter with CARA to stay motivated.

This past weekend was truly magical, having the opportunity of participating in this famous marathon with a group of incredible women who filled my heart with joy was a great reminder of why I keep showing up to these events. Running a marathon with your best friends is an experience like no other – it’s a beautiful combination of motivation, inspiration, and camaraderie.

From the Expo to the finish line, the organizers and sponsors provided runners with a memorable experience. The Health and Fitness Expo was a fun-filled event that included happy hour with a commemorative glass wine that runners could take home as a souvenir. The finisher gear was impressive, and the sponsors made the event even more exciting.

Race day logistics were well-planned, with buses to the start at 3:45 am. The start time of 6:45 am allowed runners to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged coastline. The corrals were well-organized from A to E, ensuring that runners were in their correct starting positions. They also have pace groups for those looking for specific finishing goals.

In addition to the marathon, The Big Sur Marathon offered five distances, including a 5k, 11 miler, 21 miles, and relay teams of six. The course was challenging, with the most challenging hill from mile 10-12. However, the pianist at mile 13 and the Bixby Creek Bridge with breathtaking views made it worth the effort. Runners were treated to strawberries at mile 23 and a photo op with donkeys at mile 24.

The organizers provided music, coffee, water, nutrition, and first aid to ensure that runners had an enjoyable and safe experience at the start, along the 26.2 miles and the finish line. The awesome medal made out of clay was a unique and impressive addition to the finisher gear.

In my opinion, the Big Sur Marathon is a well-organized event that is worth participating in. The stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding landscape, along with the challenging course, made it an unforgettable experience. The organizers and sponsors provided runners with an enjoyable and memorable event that deserves recognition. And if that is not enough and you are up for the challenge, you can also sign up for the Boston to Big Sur, two marathons, two coast, two weeks apart. I believe,  there were a few hundred people who completed this challenge.

Congratulations to all finishers! And thank you to my inspiring training partners and the CARA group for all your support this training season.

Keep on running

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Erika has been an endurance athlete for over 20 years. She fell in love with running in her 20’s in graduate school, working full time and being a single mother. Running became time for reflection. She has run over 30 marathons and countless triathlons; qualified for 70.3 World championships. To qualify for Kona is her next goal! She loves being a mom to a wonderful young lady and a fur puppy (cocker spaniel). Travel and exploring new places to train around the world is a passion. She is a licensed clinical counselor who specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression and trauma. She spent 15 years in academia and has recently taken a role as a clinical director to focus on her clinical work. Erika believes in the therapeutic benefits of endurance training for people who struggle with mental health illness and stress. She is patiently waiting until we can all travel and race safely again, until then she recommends staying active, healthy. and consistent.


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