Monday, April 30, 2007

Big Sur International marathon

On April 29, 2007, I ran the Big Sur marathon. It was my first marathon where I strictly ran a marathon without also doing another type of exercise, ie. swim or bike. I signed up for the race on a whim because I heard it was a really beautiful course and gave me a good reason to properly train for something.

Roughly 3200 runners awoke in the middle of the night, 3 a.m. for me, to catch an hour-long bus ride to the start of the race. Big Sur is a point to point marathon where a stretch of highway 1 along the California coast gets closed off. Since everybody has to be bused to the starting point, there ends up being a 2 hour wait where people try to keep warm (it was somewhere in the 40's), eat some food and prepare for the race.

After speaking with some officials at the registration area and other runners, I was told to expect to run about 20-30 minutes slower than my usual marathon time since the hills can be quite unforgiving (there's a 2 mile incline at mile 10) and also even on the "flat" portions, the road seems to be tilted so you're not running very comfortably.

When we started out, It was quite foggy and I thought that maybe the sun would shine thru at some point. NOPE, it was foggy and quite windy the whole time. I guess that made for pretty good running conditions but for me it also meant I was cold for 26.2 miles. I have trouble warming up, especially my hands, so I didn't sweat very much. Since I didn't sweat very much but kept taking in fluids, I ended up having to use the restroom 3 times. That might be too much information but just thought I'd share.

Well, in the end I finished the run in 3 hours 25 minutes 13 seconds. At every mile marker there was somebody saying the current run time, mile pace, and projected finish time so with about 6 miles to go I knew that if I kept up my pace, I'd finish in 3:30. I was the 201st finisher out of about 3200 people. It felt great even though I didn't get to see much scenery. Here is a slideshow in the local paper:

If you also want to read the article about the race:

My friend Gabriel, who drove me down and ran the 5 km race, and I drove the course the day before and took some shots. The 5 km was Gabriel's first ever race and he placed 4th in his age division. My friends Jed, Peta, and their son Kai were also there to support me and enjoy a little weekend vacation. The pictures below are of the course, the Monterey aquarium, and my friends. Thanks to everybody who supported me and donated. The donation site will be active until June so feel free to check it out. There is a link on the right side of my blog.

Jed, Peta, and Kai


Happy Birthday Peta