Big Sur International Marathon

47555 California 1
Big Sur, CA 93920

Running > Marathon

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Running > Marathon

Event Description

START: The marathon begins at 6:45 AM at the Big Sur Station in Big Sur. 

The course is from Big Sur to Carmel on scenic Highway 1, the nation's first nationally-designated Scenic Highway. The course is USATF certified and is an official Boston qualifier. The course reopens to traffic at 1:00 PM, an approximate 6-hour course limit, just over a 13:45 pace per mile. Sorry, no animals, pacers, skates, skateboards, bikes, baby joggers or children/infants in backpacks allowed on the course. No bandits. No exceptions. Due to the nature of the course, wheelchairs are not allowed. If you need special accommodations, call 831.625.6226.

Start elevation: 356'
Finish elevation: 10'
Total elevation gain: +2,182'
Total elevation loss: -2,528'

There will be water (in cups or you can fill your own bottle at the BYOB Refill Stations) and Gatorade at all aid stations. There will be fruit at later stations. GU will be available at stations 5 (mile 12.2) and 9 (mile 18.9). Aid station locations are as follows:

#1: Mile 2.6
#2: Mile 4.8
#3: Mile 7.8
#4: Mile 10.4
#5: Mile 12.2
#6: Mile 14.7
#7: Mile 16.7
#8: Mile 18.9
#9: Mile 21.3
#10: Mile 23
#11: Mile 24.6

There will also be water in cups at the start and finish.

Bib chip timing is provided by South Valley Endurance. There will be split mats near miles 5, 9.8, 13.15, 15.6, 17, 21.2 and 24.

ELITE RUNNERS The Big Sur International Marathon does not offer prize money. Interested elite athletes may contact Race Director Doug Thurston at to see what, if any, provisions may be available.

To be eligible for overall and divisional awards, one must show a time for all split timing mats located on the course. These will be near miles 5, 9.8, 13.15, 15.6, 17, 21.2 and 24.

Awards (based on GUN, not chip time) go to the top five male and female finishers and the top three masters (age 40 and over) male and female. Divisional (age group) awards are based on CHIP time and are presented five deep in five year incremental age divisions, both male and female, after 16-19. Double-dipping is permitted.

Special division awards are also given to both male and females three deep in the following categories (based on CHIP time):

Monterey County Runner
Active Military
You are not automatically assigned to a special division. You must check a specific box during registration to be eligible for awards in that division. You may only pick one special division.

Awards will be given five deep to both male and female participants in the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge based on the fastest combined 2017 Boston and Big Sur times.

The awards ceremony will begin at 11:30 AM in the finish area (time subject to change).

COURSE RECORDS: Male: Brad Hawthorne, 1987, 2:16:39
Female: Svetlana Vasilyeva, 1996, 2:41:34
ENTRY LIMITS AND QUALIFICATIONS: Limited to 4,500 total qualified entrants (must be 16 years or older, in good health and well trained. BSIM is a challenging course with 6-hour cut-off time (13:45 per-mile pace). ONLY THOSE PARTICIPANTS WHO ARE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE RACE IN 6 HOURS (chip time) WILL RECEIVE A BIG SUR INTERNATIONAL MARATHON FINISHERS' MEDALLION, AN ONLINE FINISHERS' CERTIFICATE AND BE LISTED IN THE VIRTUAL OFFICIAL RESULTS BOOK. No exceptions!
We do not allow the use of iPods, headphones, ear buds or other MP3 or headphone devices in any of our events. We believe using an audio device will compromise your safety and that of others by hindering your ability to hear verbal instructions or commands from race officials including course marshals on bicycles or to hear vehicles in the lane next to you or emergency vehicles on the course. You are sharing a narrow lane with runners of different speeds completing different race distances. In addition, there is live traffic in the land-side lane of Highway 1 during the race. You must be aware of your surroundings at all times

Because the safety of all of our participants and volunteers is our first priority, we ask that you leave your headsets at home and instead let the incredible scenery, music we provide on the course, and your fellow runners serve as your motivation and inspiration.

TRANSPORTATION: All participants are transported from one of several Monterey Peninsula locations to the start at Big Sur Station. Free bus transportation to the start is for official runners only. Each participant must show race bib number and bus ticket upon loading. Bus loading begins at 3:30 a.m. Why do the buses leave so early? It takes one hour for a bus to travel SAFELY to Big Sur along a narrow winding road in the dark. after unloading, it takes one hour for a bus to travel back to Carmel. All buses must be back to Carmel prior to 7:00 AM am so the Marathon finish and 5K/9-Miler start area can be constructed on the roadway. Therefore, allowing for possible delays, the final buses must leave for the start by 4:30 am. Because not all buses can leave at the last minute, bus departures are staggered between 3:30 and 4:30 am. The bottom line is that moving thousands of runners from multiple locations to several start destinations along a narrow, winding road in the dark TAKES TIME!

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