> The 33rd Presentation > Special Interest > What's New?

What's New?

 What's New for 2015

The Big Sur Marathon sold out in a record 59 minutes last year.  While we were honored by this strong demand, it was clear that a single first-come, first-served registration period could be unfair to those who were unable to be online at the right time.  For the 30th annual Big Sur International Marathon on April 26, 2015, we are offering a new plan.  To learn more, click HERE. 

Relay teams will now consist of four team members instead of five. The first three relay legs will remain at 4.8, 5, and 7.2 miles and the final legs will be 9.2 miles.  Additionally, the number of team spots drops slightly to 200.  These changes help improve participant and volunteer safety by reducing the number of runners and buses on or waiting alongside the course.
The 3K course will still start at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove but will now be an out-and-back course on Ocean View Boulevard.  The entire course is run next to the Monterey Bay. 

 What Was New for 2014

Those interested in competing in the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge can now register on July 15, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. PDT.  They will also need to register separately for Boston.  For more information on the challenge and registration procedures, click HERE.
Registration Protector is offered by Active.com in partnership with Allianz Global Assistance.  Sometimes illness, family emergencies or even car trouble might prevent you from attending the race.  Event Registration Protector can help you recoup the money you spent on your registrations fees.  Learn more HERE.

What Was New for 2013

Wear Your Number has teamed with ASICS and the Big Sur Marathon and is offering runners the opportunity to have their bib number printed on a custom ASICS technical fabric shirt.  Learn more HERE. 
Our runners have been requesting this for years and we have now partnered with Troia Foods to provide this great recovery fluid in the food tent at the finish. 
The Runner's World Challenge is partnering with the Big Sur Marathon for the third consecutive year.  This all inclusive package provides training and advice by the RW editors and VIP treatment over the course of race weekend.  To learn more, click HERE
Doug Thurston, a veteran in the race management business, has been named Executive Director/Race Director of the Big Sur International Marathon. Thurston has relocated to the Monterey Peninsula from San Diego, where he was Vice President of Course Operations and Community Development for the Competitor Group, organizers of the Rock'n'Roll Marathon Series. >>>read more 
The shirts for our 10.6 and 9-Milers will be an ASICS technical fabric shirt in gender specific sizing.

What Was New for 2012

While Highway One is open between Big Sur and Carmel, the one lane 100 foot area at the slide site has necessitated an earlier start for event buses by 15 minutes (except for the 10.6-Milers). Also, the 21-Miler will start at 6:45 rather than 6:30 so that the first convoy can clear the slide area prior to the first runners arriving there.
For 2012 we will be replacing the traditional organic cotton shirts with a technical fabric shirt for our 10.6 and 9-Miler participants.
Reach your Big Sur goals by teaming up with Clif Bar's experienced pace leaders! Supporting runners from the novice to the veteran, joining a pace team is FREE and you'll receive a free training kit with Clif products & tips. Goal times include finishes of 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30. To learn more and to register, click HERE.

What Was New for 2011


The Big Sur International Marathon has been chosen to host the 2011 Runner's World Challenge. This exclusive program will provide you the guidance and training you need to run your best on this top rated and scenic course. The RW Challenge offers an exclusive opportunity to be coached by Bart Yasso, RW's Chief Runnng Officer, to run the marathon with the editors of Runner's World, and enjoy VIP treatment throughout the course of race weekend.  For more information and to register, click HERE.


The Big Sur Int'l Marathon and related events have traditionally been held the last Sunday in April. Because the Easter holiday falls on that date in 2011, we moved our events ahead one week to May 1.  In 2012, we will return to our traditional schedule.

The Big Sur International Marathon is proud to announce our achievement of Gold Certification by the Council for Responsible Sport. Thank you to all our participants, vendors, volunteers and staff for helping make this happen. To learn more about our greening and sustainability efforts, click HERE. Council for Responsible Sport Gold Certification

What Was New for 2010

Reach your Big Sur goals by teaming up with Clif Bar's experienced pace leaders! Supporting runners from the novice to the veteran, joining a pace team is FREE and you'll receive a free training kit with Clif products & tips.  Goal times include finishes of 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30. To learn more and to register, click HERE.
POST-RACE PARTY...Come celebrate your run!  SOLD OUT!

In 2010, stick around after the marathon and join us for a post event celebration Sunday evening in the Grand Ballroom of the Monterey Marriott. Tickets will be sold in conjunction with registration and at the Health & Fitness Expo for $20 if still available).  Or you can call 831.625.6226 and order by phone.  Limited to 800 people.  Hours will be from 4:30 to 7:30 PM and your ticket includes food, one free drink, and entertainment.  Boston 2 Big Sur finishers will receive their special medallions in a short ceremony honoring their accomplishment.  This is also a great opportunity to meet the board and staff of the Big Sur organization along with Bart Yasso, Dean Karnazes and Jeff Galloway who will be there celebrating along with you.

BOSTON 2 BIG SUR CHALLENGE...2 marathons...2 coasts...6 days

B2B Logo 2013

Only the fittest (or craziest!) ever attempt back-to-back marathons...much less 3,000 miles apart.  In 2010 the Big Sur International Marathon will be honoring those runners willing to accept the challenge in celebration of Big Sur's 25th presentation.

(Updated information and changes are in RED)

Please note! Registering for Boston 2 Big Sur does not mean that you are automatically registered for Boston.  You must register for Boston through their website, either because you have a qualifying race or through their charity program.

The challenge will be be open to 400 participants on a first come, first served basis during registration which opens on September 1, 2009.  We normally open registration at midnight for our events, but for 2010 registration will open at 7:00 AM Pacific time The entry fee will be $175.00 and those who sign-up will receive:

  • a Boston 2 Big Sur ASICS jacket (will be distributed in the B2B finish tent)
  • a Boston 2 Big Sur ASICS training shirt (will be mailed early October) in gender specific sizing, either a long or short sleeve option
  • a custom participant bib and finisher's medallion
  • access to a special B2B finish tent in Big Sur's Marathon Village
  • an entry to the Big Sur post race party to be held Sunday evening where the B2B medallions will be distributed and finishers honored

Challenge rules include:

  • If you sign up for the challenge, you must either qualify to run Boston in 2010 (unless already qualified) or register through Boston's charity program (click HERE for more info on this) We will contact all participants early in 2010 to make sure everyone is, in fact, entered for Boston.  If you are unable to register for Boston, we will reissue you a regular Big Sur bib number and your B2B slot will be come available to someone else.
  • When you come to pick up your Big Sur packet you must also present proof of having finished Boston in 2010 (print out your finish information from Boston's online results).  If you cannot show proof of finishing you will be issued a regular Big Sur bib and will not be eligible for the jacket or access to the B2B finish tent.
  • If you register for B2B, but are unable to qualify for Boston, and do not choose to run Big Sur, we will roll over your registration to 2011.  Other types of cancellations will be looked at on a case by case basis.

We will continue to update information prior to the opening of Big Sur registration on September 1.  Questions? or for more information, email sally@bsim.org or call 831.625.6226


The Marathon organization is presenting a unique opportunity for 27 donors to "own" a Big Sur mile along the famous stretch of Highway One on race day.  For the 25th presentation, 26 seven-foot tall mile markers (plus one at mile 13.1) are being hand crafted by Salinas muralist John Cerney.  They will provide a humorous, motivating and inspirational backdrop along the marathon course.  Models for these markers will include local runners, Big Sur board members and other supporters of our events.

A "Big Sur mile" can be purchased for a one-time tax deductible donation of $1,000 for a period of five years.  The donor's name as an individual or business will be shown on the mile marker of their choice.

A donation form with more information can be downloaded by clicking HERE.  Call 831.625.6226 or email sally@bsim.org with any questions and to inquire about the availability of a particular mile.

Mile Markers are Sold Out

  Hitting the Wall at mile 20
Hitting the wall at mile 20

What Was New in 2009


BYOB stands for "Bring Your Own Bottle" and represents an effort on the part of race organizers to reduce the usage of paper cups at aid stations.  If you wish to participate you can carry one or more bottles that can be refilled at BYOB stations along the course.  BYOB fill-up tables can be found at:

Aid station #2 (approximate) mile 5.7
Aid station #4 (approximate) mile 10.4
Aid station #7 (approximate) mile 15.4
Aid Station #10 (approximate) mile 20.2
Aid Station #12 (approximate) mile 23

As you approach the aid station you will pass tables with water cups first, followed by cups of Gatorade.  Following this volunteers with BYOB pitchers will refill your bottle with either water or Gatorade - the same drinks served to the runners/walkers grabbing cups.  The water served is filtered, not just tap water.

The refill process will be fast and efficient if you already have the lid removed so that the volunteer can fill your bottle (you hold onto the bottle and lid during the refill).  Begin to walk as you are screwing the lid back on before merging in with the race traffic.

Visit the Info Booth at the Expo if you have further questions or concerns about BYOB. Thank you in advance for participating in the program, good luck, and have fun!


There will be three northbound and three southbound CHP escorted convoys on the east side lane of Highway One throughout the duration of the race.  To view the complete convoy schedule, click HERE.


Coming from out of the area and looking for a way to save on gas? Sign up for Pickup Pal, an online carpool service connecting drivers and passengers.  Click HERE to input your information to be matched with others from your area. It’s a great way to meet fellow runners while saving money and the environment at the same time!


Reach your Big Sur goals by teaming up with Clif Bar's experienced pace leaders! Supporting runners from the novice to the veteran, joining a pace team is FREE and you'll receive a free training kit with Clif products & tips.  Goal times include finishes of 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30. To learn more and to register, click HERE.

Clif Pace Teams


Please not that we will NOT be using ChampionChips as our 2009 timing devices!  In keeping with technological advances in event timing, Race Central (our race timing company) is now using the ChronoTrack system. The traditional ChampionChip will be replaced by a D-Tag.  Advantages to the runner include...

    A disposable tag
    Accurate timing
    No fees for lost or unreturned chips
    Less pre- and post-race hassles
    A lighter, less intrusive tag that is easier to attach to your shoe
    No pre-race chip scan needed and there is no post race turn in

For more information on the ChronoTrack D-Tag, click HERE.

IPODs 2009

In accordance with the guidelines set by USATF and the Road Runner's Club of America, we are strongly recommending that you do not use Ipods or other audio devices during the events.  Choosing to use an audio device will NOT result in disqualification, but you will compromise your safety and that of others by wearing a headset. If wearing an Ipod or other audio device results in you being unable to hear verbal instructions or commands, or approaching vehicles or course marshals on bicycles, you may be asked to relinquish the device and face disqualification.  We ask that you take responsibility and use good judgement if you opt to wear an audio device.  Because the right lane of Highway 1 is open to vehicular convoys the safety of our participants is our first priority.

We truly hope you'll opt to leave your headsets at home and instead let the incredible scenery and music we provide on the course serve as your motivation and inspiration.

What Was New in 2008

Bart Yasso's new book at the Expo

Dubbed the "Mayor of Running," Bart Yasso is one of the best-known figures in the sport, but few people know why he started running competitively, how it changed his life, or how his brush with a crippling illness nearly ended his career a decade ago. With insight and humor, My Life on the Run chronicles the heatstroke and frostbite, heartache and triumphs he's experienced while competing in more than 1,000 competitive races during his 30 years of running , 20 years with Runner's World magazine.

Recounting his adventures in exotic locales like Antarctica, Africa, and Chitwan National Park in Nepal (where he was chased by an angry rhino), Yasso recommends the best exotic marathons for runners who want to grab their passports to test themselves on foreign terrain. With the wit and wisdom of a seasoned insider, he tells runners what they need to know to navigate the logistics of running in an unfamiliar country.

Bart will be speaking at the free Expo Clinic on Saturday, April 28 and will have his book, My Life on the Run, for sale at the Runner's World booth on the main Expo floor.

Yasso on the Run

The Walks have a new name!
For the past several years the 10.6- and the 9-Mile Walks have been non-competitive, non-timed fitness events.  Accordingly, participants have had the choice of either walking or running the events. In 2006 we changed the "21-Mile Power Walk" to simply the "21-Miler".  Although still non-competitive, we added chip timing to this event.  For 2008 the 10.6-Mile Walk will become the "10.6-Miler" and the 9-Mile Walk will be the "9-Miler."  Both of these non-competitive fitness events will be CHIP TIMED and participants still have the option to either walk, run or do a combination of both!  To accommodate the chip timing, the entry fee of the 10.6-Miler and the 9-Miler will increase by $5.00.
Ipod policy updated
Due to reactions from our runners, we have softened our policy on the use of Ipods and other headsets during our race.  In accordance to the recommendations of USATF and the Road Runner's Club of America, we are requesting that you do not use this type of equipment during the event.  Disobeying this rule will not result in disqualification, but you will compromise your safety and that of others by wearing a headset.  If you insist on wearing a headset we ask that you stay to the far left side of the runners lane due to approaching vehicles in the right lane.  We truly hope you'll opt to leave your headsets at home and instead let the incredible scenery and music we provide on the course serve as your motivation and inspiration.
Changes to the Relay

The relay has always been a timing nightmare due to last minute team changes.  Accordingly, we've eliminated the "non-competitive" division and all relay teams, regardless of number of members, will be eligible for awards.  A Mixed team (Open, Masters or Corporate) will only require either one male or female, not two, as in prior years. A Masters team will still require all members to be age 40 or over.
Another change is that a timing chip will replace the snap bracelet that is passed from runner to runner as they hand off at the end of their leg. Only one chip will be assigned to each team. This chip can be worn around the ankle rather than affixed to a shoe to allow ease of removal. 

2008 Event Shirts
We apologize for running out of shirts at last year's event.  Because we know a certain percentage of registered runners will not participate in the event, we don't actually order shirts for each person registered.  With gender specific sizing, it is a guessing game as to how many shirts to order and in what sizes.  To eliminate the problem, we are going back to unisex sizing.  The shirts will still be Asics technical fabric shirts and will come in sizes XXS through XL.  We will have a sizing chart available on the website, but the rule of thumb is that these shirts run large, so order down.
The Open 5K and new Kids' Race Series

The Big Sur Marathon is introducing JUST RUN!® Just Kids 3K to be held Saturday, November 10th and again on Saturday, April 26th, in the Custom House Plaza area near the Expo.  These events are open to children ages 5 and older and their families and friends. They will be followed by fun and informative health and fitness related activities in the Plaza.  For more information visit www.justrun.org.
The open 5K will continue to be held on Marathon Sunday at Rio Road and Highway One.  The minimum age for participation will be raised from age 5 to age 8.