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Random Drawings FAQ

Below are some common questions and answers about the non-guaranteed random drawings for entries to the April 29, 2018 Big Sur International Marathon:

Q:  Who is eligible to enter the drawing(s)? 

A:  Anyone who is at least 16 years of age by April 29, 2018 and is capable of running a full marathon under six hours (a pace of 13:45 per mile) may register for the entry random drawing(s). Please note that we take our time limit very seriously as this is part of our permit to use Highway 1. If you are unsure if you can maintain this pace on a challenging, hilly and windy course, please think carefully if you should enter the drawing for an entry.  Anyone not able to maintain this pace on race day will be removed from the course and not eligible for a finish medallion or official time.

Q:  I've never run a marathon and I have no idea if I can finish under six hours.  What should I do?

A:  Big Sur is a challenging marathon course with numerous hills and is often run into a headwind.  Many experienced marathoners say our course can be 10 to 20 minutes slower than a flatter course.  Between registration and race day, you have about eight months to train.  Before entering the drawings, you should be confident in your potential to maintain at least a 13:45 mpm pace (8:33 per km) based on your performances in half marathons or other races, current training pace and volume, etc.  Note that many runners stop to take pictures along the route as well, affecting their finish time. Visit www.runnersworld.com/training for training advice, programs and articles. 

Q:  How many drawings can I enter?   

A:  You can enter as many categories as you are eligible for.  Everyone is eligible to enter up to three drawings and Monterey County residents are eligible for up to four. For example, if you live in Monterey County, have finished the marathon before, and have been asked to enter with some friends, you can enter the Groups Drawing, the Locals Drawing, the Loyalty Drawing and - if not selected in any of those three - the Last Chance Drawing held in mid-August.

Q:  If I enter several drawings, does it increase my chances of getting picked in any one of them? 

A:  Good question!  In a way it does as the names of winners from each drawing are automatically removed from any other drawings they may have entered. This way, only names who have not already been selected are left in each drawing.  As more people are selected and removed from subsequent drawings, your odds of being selected in a remaining drawing increase.

A:  For example, 50 of those selected in the Loyalty drawing also entered the Locals drawing. Those 50 winning names would then be taken out of the Locals drawing pool, increasing the odds for those still left. This will continue with the Locals drawing and finally, the First-Timer drawing

Q:  What if it is difficult to register on July 15 because of internet traffic, site crashes, etc.?  I plan to enter right at 9 AM PDT. 

A:  There is no need to register for each drawing category as soon as registration opens. When you register during the registration period for each drawing category does not affect your chances of being selected so there is no need to register as soon as each drawing opens. We encourage you to register anytime during the registration period.

Q:  How will I know I have been selected in a drawing and what will I do next to actually enter the Marathon? 

A:  As each drawing is conducted, those selected will be notified by an email to the address they provided when registering. A list of winners will also be posted at www.bsim.org under the Registration tab on the dates indicated for results announcements. This confirmation will explain the registration process and what to expect next. After each drawing is completed, those selected will be sent a unique registration link that can be used only by that individual. Winners will then need to click on this link to register with full payment within an estimated 5-to-7 days (the exact registration deadline will be included in the registration invite). Failure to complete the registration during this time period forfeits your entry opportunity.

Q:  If I am selected but cannot do the race, can I let someone else enter in my place? 

A:  No. Only the individual who wins the entry opportunity can register for the race.

Q:  How were the number of selectees in each drawing determined? 

A:  We will select approximately 3,200 entries total from the five random drawings. The numbers drawn in each category are based on the recent history of percentage of actual entrants who were running Big Sur for the first time, those who have run it before, and the number of marathoners from Monterey County. Our event is capacity limited to 4,500 total marathon entrants including those in the Runner's World VIP program, Boston 2 Big Sur, Marathon Tours, charity entries, sponsors, elites, etc. 

Q:  I've run the 21-Miler (11-Miler, 9-Miler, etc.) before.  Should I enter the Loyalty Drawing or the First-Timer Drawing? 

A: The First-Timer category is for those who have never finished the 26.2-mile Big Sur marathon, so that would be the category for you.

Q:  I ran the first leg of the relay last year but kept going and finished the entire marathon.  Which drawing should I enter, Loyalty or First-Timer? 

A:  In this case, since you were officially a member of a relay team and not an individual marathoner, you should enter the First-Timer Drawing.  A Loyalty runner is anyone who has an official marathon finish time in at least one of the previous 31 Big Sur Marathons.

Q:  I want to enter the Group Drawing with three of my friends.  Do we all have to enter the drawing?  Can't a group "captain" enter and represent all of us?

A:  Yes, a designated group leader will be the only one to enter the Groups & Couples drawing and establish a group name. If that group is chosen, the team leader will email us the names and emails of everyone in the group who will then be sent a registration link.

Q: I have several groups of friends who want to run the marathon together.  Can I enter in more than one group as a member?

A:  No.  You many enter each drawing category only one time.  Duplicate names in the same category will be removed before selection.

Q:  What proof do I need that I am eligible for the Locals Drawing? 

A:  If requested, proof of residency in Monterey County includes a utility bill in your name, government ID, etc.

Q:  In the Loyalty division, is there any preference to the number of times I've run the event? 

A:  Yes, the odds of being selected in this category do increase with the number of BSIM's you have finished.  The number of official finishers is subject to verification.  Please be accurate and honest.

Q:  I hope to get into the 2018 Boston Marathon and also enter the Boston 2 Big Sur (B2B) division.  What if I don't get into Boston and Big Sur is filled up?

A:  Most runners who plan to do B2B should wait until we open B2B registration following the close of Boston Marathon registration (likely to be October 2, 2017).  B2B registration will be conducted as first-come, first-served. If you are selected in an earlier Big Sur drawing and later do get into B2B, we will cancel and refund your original marathon drawing entry. If you don't get into Big Sur in the July or August drawings and you do not get into Boston in September, we can add you to the Big Sur Marathon wait list by request.

For updates on Boston Marathon registration, entry fees, qualifying standards, etc., please visit their website at www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon.aspx.

Q:  I really don't want to go through the drawing process.  What are my other options? 

A:  There are several first-come, first-served options.  They are:

  • Runner's World VIP.  Runner's World offers 300 entries coupled with a VIP package for $434.99.  Registration opens July 5 at 9 AM PDT.  Read more about the VIP program HERE.
  • JUST RUN Charity entries.  There will be 400 slots available beginning on July 15 at 9 AM PDT.  The entry fee to be announced by July 1. Half of the entry fee is considered a charitable donation benefiting JUST RUN, the marathon's youth fitness program.
  • Marathon Tours travel packages.  Beginning July 15 you can purchase a package that includes a marathon entry, hotel, airfare and other amenities.  For more information visit www.marathontours.com.
  • Fundraise for one of our official Charity Partners.  A list of these charities and links to their sites will be available soon at                  
  • www.bsim.org/Special_Interest/Charity.htm.

Thanks for your interest and good luck with whichever option you choose!

The Big Sur Marathon Board and Staff
info@bsim.org
831.625.6226