Thursday, April 30, 2015

Race Report: Big Sur Marathon 2015

Last weekend we had an adventure - we dropped the boys off with my parents in Marin, and then headed South (CA) for the Big Sur Marathon.  This was my 5th marathon; previous marathons were Bend, San Diego Rock 'n Roll, Boston, and Big Sur 2013.  Big Sur is hands down my favorite of any course (marathon or not, trail or road).  It's humbling, awe-inspiring, and really flipping hard!

First, the results - I ran 3:24:54 and placed 5th in my age group and 149th overall (out of 4,238).  I also qualified for Boston which was an awesome bonus.
Building up to the race I was completely freaked out.  I didn't get enough training in (being mommy, working, and trying to fit in hikes and other adventure just aren't conducive to lots of long runs).  Luckily my co-worker and his girlfriend were running too, so I had friends at the start.  The day began at 3am getting ready and then getting on a bus from Carmel to Big Sur at 3:45.  The bus ride was an hour during which I got to hear stories from other runners on their intense training build-up.  At 4:45 we were dropped off in Big Sur and told to "avoid the woods" as there was poison oak along the side of the road.  I sat on a curb between portapotty posts and just decompressed.

The course was/is TOUGH!  I'm OK with hills, in fact I prefer hills to flat, but this race was super windy.  
From miles 5-8 I wasn't sure I could push through the wind as it was so hard.  Around mile 10 I was finally in the zone, and somehow I just don't remember miles 16-17 at all.  My favorite highlights from the course were:
  • The ocean crashing up against the cliffs off the road 
  • The birds flying above (although sometimes I was certain vultures were coming for me) 
  • The grand piano player ON highway 1
  • The drummers on the big long hill
  • The people
  • The everything!  
 My favorite race gear digs from the race were definitely my Newton Momentum trail shoes (although I'm super bummed these are now discontinued), my Oiselle tank, and my kids' advice ("just throw your arms back to go faster").

I hope to get into the Big Sur Marathon again!