As the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS pronounced in 1986, "...the Big Sur International Marathon crashed onto the race calendar like a blast of fresh air as about 1,800 runners participated in the maiden 26.2 mile trek from Big Sur to Carmel."
|1987||In our second event, Brad Hawthorne (one of the top three marathoners in the nation in 1987) blistered the course with an astonishing time of 2:16:39 -an average per-mile of 5:14! In an exciting challenge, Hawthorne was pushed for 18 miles by two-time Portland Marathon winner Leonard Hill. This duel, combined with perfect running conditions- no wind and temperatures in the high 40s- contributed to a 19-minute cut in the course record. Frank Shorter, our race consultant, said that Brad would have won both Boston and New Jersey Marathons if he had run the same race there. Rated as a difficult course due to the numerous hills, a 2:16 time in Big Sur is equivalent to a 2:10-2:12 on a flat course. The record still stands.
In 1987 there were about 1,500 runners behind Brad Hawthorne, 17 of whom set course records in their age divisions. Local runner Patty Selbicky of Pacific Grove won the overall Woman's division in 3:02:59. Our core of 700 volunteers in 1986 swelled to almost 1,200 this year.
|1988||The gods smiled and created a window of perfect weather for the 1988 race. It rained on Friday and Saturday before the race, cleared up at midnight to let us set up the aid stations and remained perfect until about two hours after the awards ceremony-then it rained again! In the meantime, the runners had bright sunshine, temperatures ranging from 45-60 degrees and no wind.
1988 also saw our most dramatic contest. Mike Lundblad of Squaw Valley and Mark Schreckengast ran together until almost mile 18 when Mark surged; alas, too much, too soon. At mile 23 he stopped to take water and his pace dropped.
As Lundblad passed him, Schreckengast patted his shoulder and told him to "go for it." He did, all the way to Bali, his destination with his winner's United Airlines tickets and $1,000 first place earnings. Mike's time of 2:33:18 was the second fastest in the history of the race.
Although the female winner, Nelly Wright of Pacific Grove, was never challenged, her victory was still exciting because she set a new course record of 2:55:58. Nelly, who raced in the 1984 Olympic Marathon for her native Bolivia, is a local masters runner.
|1989||Everything clicked in 1989. Our entries increased 42% from 1,647 to 2,354. The weather was perfect (although it started to rain as soon as the race was over). We named our cow mascot, "Tchaicowsky," and 19% of our experienced runners set a PR. This was the year we added a 26 piece classical orchestra at the top of Hurricane Point.
We are thinking of renaming our race "The Brad Hawthone Big Sur Marathon." He set the unbeatable course record of 2:16:39 in 1987, and ran a 2:20:28 in 1989, another time that won't be approached for years. Ann Trason (2:46:58), a top U.S.woman ultramara- thoner, smashed the course record set in 1988. Brad won $2,000; Ann took home $3,000 (including $1,000 bonus for course record) and both received United Airlines tickets.
|1990||With a big boost from RUNNER'S WORLD magazine, the largest running publication in the world, the Big Sur International Marathon "sold out" in 1990. We reached our 3,000 limit. With 1,000 walkers-also a sell- out-and our limit of l,200 volunteers reached weeks before the race began, we now had over 5,000 active participants.
Well, Brad did it again, finishing 10 minutes before the second-place finisher, in 2:25:03. Kimberly Shaffer-Bruyn was a surprise winner over top seeds Debbie Warner and Claudia Shannon, finishing in 2:56:19, five minutes ahead of Claudia and 29th place. The 2,374 finishers were slowed by strong headwinds from mile 6 to mile 22, but there was no rain and temperatures were in the perfect 40-60 degree range.
|1991||We staged the perfect marathon in 1991. Weather was exceptional, start was prompt, food and drink plentiful, music inspiring and scenery spectacular. We had thousands of smiles from happy runners, walkers, sponsors and volunteers. Brad (we don't even use his last name anymore) won again as expected, though he was pushed by Dick LeDoux of Colorado for the first 24 miles. His time of 2:21:09 was good for a modest $4,500 prize money, plus United Airlines tickets. Another Kim took the female honors: Kim Marie Goff of Rhode Island, with a 2:50:56.
Due to the Gulf War and the recession, our numbers were down in 1991; 2,445 registered, 2,132 started, and 1,914 finished. RUNNER'S WORLD magazine remained our principal sponsor.
|1992||We liked the '91 race so much we decided to clone it for '92. Almost the same numbers of runners (2,432 registered, 1,931 finished-not bad during a recession, and more than many metropolitan races), perfect weather, and the same over-all winner 2:22:55. We won't tell you his name. The only thing new in'92 was our women's winner, the effervescent Jeannie Umess, who did her patented cartwheel as she crossed the finish line in 2:51:06.
Our friend George Hirsch suggested we add a short race so the friends and relatives of the marathoners could enjoy the morning while waiting for their runners. So we added a 5K, set the limit at 1,000 and sold out-as did the fourth edition of The Walk. We had 6,000 plus active participants, counting the enthusiastic volunteers.
|1993||As the English writer said about a hundred years ago, it was the best of events, it was the worst of events. The weather was glorious; temperatures in the 50's and 60's, and so crystal clear you could see Tokyo from Hurricane Point. Then, tragically, Nancy Lesko, a 32 year old teacher from Seaside, California, died. After extensive investigation, no one knows what caused her death. We created a new division for the Marathon: Best Monterey County Runners, and the trophy was named the "Nancy Lesko Memorial Trophy."
Old what's his name won again, as expected, although it took him 21 miles to catch and pass Horacio Cabrera of Mexico. Brad's 2:20:24 won $4,000, plus United Airlines tickets, Asics shoes and a cellular phone. Ann Trason, the top ultra-runner in the country, zapped her own '89 record by almost five minutes, with a 2:42:27, good for the same money as Brad, plus $1,000 for setting a new course record.
The Walk sold out again, and the KCCN 5K, the PA/USAT&F championship worth $7,000 in prize money, jumped to over 1,600 runners with course records by both Ernie Freer (14:38) and Linda Somers (16:39). Entries in the marathon increased to 2,880, and we had our highest number of finishers ever - 2,316.
|1994||We pride ourselves in being a full service marathon. We want to give our runners the total experience. So, this year, after eight years of sunshine, we provided rain showers, wind and even hail on Hurricane Point, with an occasional rainbow thrown in for effect.
We had our most exciting finish yet, with Chad Bennion from Utah and Sammy Rotich from New Mexico bouncing shoulder to shoulder 20 yards from the finish. Chad had an ounce more kick, winning in 2:24:36-taking home $5,000, United Airlines tickets, Asics shoes, Thorlo socks and lots of other swell prizes. Kim Goff returned from Rhode Island to repeat her 1991 win, in 2:52:01, pocketing the same as Chad, plus an extra $1,000 as a repeater.
There were 2,244 runners finishing after Chad and Sammy, all Hurricane Point Survivors in the strictest sense.
We have found, to our delight, that our KCCN 5K and The Walk have had a major impact on fitness within our community; literally thousands of children and adults have discovered the joys of exercise for the first time. The KCCN 5K was won by Sakhri Azzeddine in 15:02, 24 seconds off the course record but 13 seconds ahead of the course record holder, Ernie Freer. Ceci St.Geme, as expected, took the women's crown with a 16:37, faster than Maria Trujillo and Lynn Nelson. Ceci set the new course record by two seconds. Sakhri and Ceci each won $400 and the US AT&F Pacific Division Championship.
|1995||Our tenth celebration was our greatest challenge. Major flooding six weeks before the race took away the Carmel River Bridge, 200 yards from the finish, leaving us with a temporary single lane, military-type "Bailey" bridge that could not be used by runners and vehicles at the same time. After six weeks of begging, the state allowed us to eliminate the convoys, giving us almost exclusive use of the bridge.
Then it poured rain all day Friday and Saturday. Marathon Flats area was an un-usable quagmire until we found tons of wood chips at 9:00 p.m. Saturday night. The rain stopped for good an hour before the race started, leaving perfect running conditions, but our first foggy course - scenery obliterated! A record 3,218 had signed up to celebrate our tenth year (85% finished), but the rain hurt last minute sign- ups for the KCCN 5K - 1,350 registered, and only 1,400 entered the Walk, 100 short of sell- out. The weather's greatest casualty was our live classical music on the course, including Jonathan Lee on the $120,000 Yamaha concert grand piano. All canceled because of the National Weather Service's prediction of eight (yes, eight) inches of rain on race day.
This was our most international marathon: first place Juan Gonzalez (2:20:48) and third place, Horacio Cabrera (2:23:04) from Mexico bracketed Hugh Jones (2:22:27) from England. Kim Goff (2:48:14) took her third title, barely edging Jeannie Umess-Wokasch (2:48:25), our '92 winner.
The KCCN 5K course record holder, Ernie Freer, returned to first place (14:58) with expected female winner Maria Trujillo taking the female first with a time of 17:29.
Mike Dove repeated as top Monterey County runner (2:50:00), and Liisa Nichols of Pacific Grove took the female honors (3:30:37).
Larry Wilson ($1,500) and three other Grizzled Vets ($1,000) each, joined a total of 26 runners who voluntarily, without solicitation, donated $5,756.00 to the Big Sur Marathon events! Amazing! We named our new cold-weather training division "Mozartic," 32% of our runners were female (probably a national record); 29% of our runners chose Big Sur for their first marathon adventure; and happily, RUNNER'S WORLD, Asics and Gatorade signed up as sponsors for the next five years.
The new race director, Joe Sweeney, enjoyed another sell-out year in all events, good weather - though warmer than usual - and an award winning TV show. Like all years, there were problems: the first and third place male winners, both Russians, were disqualified for accidentally cutting the course short. They were replaced by Hector Lopez (2:24:58) and Paul Rosser (2:31:59). Another Russian won the woman's division: Svetlana Vasilyeva (2:41:34), and set the female course record.
|1997||This race was our hardest ever. The headwinds started early, at mile 5 (Molera State Park) and only the switchbacks of the 2-mile climb to Hurricane Point offered relief from the winds for the arduous ascent. Srba Nikolic was the men's winner with a remarkable time of 2:27:51-given the conditions. Kim Goff won her 4th Big Sur Marathon with a winning time of 2:57:12, triumphing for the first time over archrival Roxi Erickson. We had over 3,300 registered marathoners, a new record, and, including the three Walks, 5K, and Relay, 8,500 partici- pants were involved in our various events. We also set a new record in donating over $80,000 to charity.
The Big Sur International Marathon, in its thirteenth year, is the largest rural marathon in the world, and has been consistently named one of the top 20 marathons by RUNNER'S WORLD magazine.
"The Big Sur Marathon is done with total class and a whimsical style ... leaving you with an extraordinary impression. It's absolutely just perfect." George Hirsch, Publisher RUNNER'S WORLD magazine.
|1998||This was the year of El Nino. Washouts, evacuations, Chinook helicopters, caravans, walkovers, and inconceivable circumstances for the residents of Big Sur. Still, the race went on. The out and back course was well received, with picture perfect weather on Race Day.
Srba Nikolic repeated as the men's winner with a time of 2:21:36. Janina Saxer from Zurich was the women's winner, posting our third fastest women's time of 2:46:24.
We added Carmel Rancho Shopping Center as a major sponsor, and again were able to give in excess of $90,000 to local charities.
Greg Wenneborg, our second place finisher (2:22:24) wrote, "It's not too often that I'm so impressed by a race that I'm motivated to write. Occasionally a race gains enough notoriety to become an event. Your race surpasses all of that. It's a celebration of running."
The El Nino marathon was our most difficult challenge to date, and one of the greatest Big Sur Marathon experiences. What legends are made of!
|1999||1999 marked the final year of the 20th century and the weather catastrophes of the preceding year were kept at bay. The Marathon sold out by March and nearly 9,000 participants enjoyed the Marathon, the Relay, the Power Walk, the Walk and the 5K. We went “on line” in keeping with the times, allowing runners the option of paperless entry.
The weather was perfect with temperatures in the mid 50’s, a high cloud cover and, best of all, no wind! Arsenio Ortiz of Ozone Park, NY, was the overall winner in a time of 2:19:16, the second fastest time ever run at Big Sur. The women’s winner was Suzanne Morris of Encinitas, Ca. who ran a 2:52:24.
|2000||The year 2000 and our 15th presentation was another sellout, this time by early January. Despite unseasonably warm conditions, Michigan resident Eteban Vanegas captured his first ever BSIM crown in a time of 2:27:06. Esteban pulled away from his competition at mile 20 and never looked back. The women’s race was much closer, with Russian Natalia Solominskaia winning in a time of 2:46:53, only seconds ahead of countrywoman Elvira Kolpakova.
The combined Big Sur events set a new record of attendees, with 9,665 runners and walkers participating in our five events. 2000 was the second year of our free Training Clinic that proved to be an enormous success. 110 “Big-Survivors” trained for and finished the marathon. Of this group, 75 were first time marathoners and 10 had never even run before.
|2001||If there was ever a year when literally nothing went wrong, 2001 was it! Well, maybe the wind was blowing a tad too hard, but that wind is an integral part of this course.
We sold out by November with over 80% of entrants registering online. Our total field for all five events grew to 10, 064 runners and walkers. Runners arrived from all 50 states and from 19 different countries. 1999’s winner, Arsenio Ortiz, returned to defend his title and easily won the race in a time of 2:25:36. Equally strong was the women’s race with Russian Janna Malkova not only winning in 2:46:41 (4th fastest women’s time ever) but also placing 6th overall.
In 2001 we introduced a Hurricane Point Survivor’s shirt which was a hot seller and a must have for those who have conquered the Point. We also came out with a Training Guide which was not only used at our training Clinic but also purchased by runners out of state who could not attend the clinic. In 2001 the BSIM also welcomed a new Diamond level sponsor, AT&T Broadband, whose generous support allowed us to improve our finish area which we renamed “AT&T Broadband Marathon Village.”
|2002||The Monterey County Herald called it “Perfect day, Perfect marathon.” The anticipated rain never fell and, indeed, weather conditions were as good as they get. Mild temperatures and a gentle breeze from the south pushed Kenyan Jonathan Ndambuki of Incline Village, NV to a near record finish of 2:18:05, the second fastest time in the 17-year Big Sur history. The women’s race was won by Julieanne White of Vista, CA, a former triathlete and Masters runner, in a time of 2:51:10.
The Marathon and Power Walk sold out within seven weeks, followed by the Relay and the Walk. We held a Marathon and Power Walk Silent Auction for 100 additional bib numbers, raising close to $13,000 in charitable contributions. Total participants in all our events once more topped 10,000. After California, the highest number of runners came from Washington, followed by Texas, Colorado and Florida. The greatest number of international participants came from Canada, followed by Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom. We welcomed a new sponsor this year, Blackstone Winery, who became the presenting sponsor for the Relay.
As Mark Cameron of Pacific Grove put it, “This course gets more and more beautiful each year. This weather was absolutely perfect. No wind, no worries.”
|The Eighteenth presentation of the Big Sur Marathon proved to be magical…the weather more than cooperated with perfect temps and no wind, and the elite field was one of the strongest ever, with both of last year's winners repeating. Jonathan Ndambuki once again challenged Brad Hawthorne's course record of 2:16:39, but his winning time of 2:19:59 fell short by just over three minutes. Unlike last year when Ndambuki dominated the field from the onset, in 2003 he opted to hang with the lead pack for much longer. "I stayed with them, and we were pushing each other," he said of the early part of the race. The other front runners included second place finisher Chokri Dhaouadi (2:24:38), Kryztof Baldyga (2:26:46) and Hector Lopez (2:27:11).
The women's race was won again by 2003's champion, 41-year old JulieAnne White. She was the BSIM's frist back-to-back female winner in eight years. Her time of 2:47:11 bettered her time of 2:51:10 from the year before. JulieAnne was well ahead of her competitors, who included second place female Kari DeStefano (3:01:49), Christy Castelanelli (3:05:32) and local runner Celise Rogers (3:12:38) who was running her first marathon.
In 2003 the BSIM added a new event…a 9-Mile Walk featuring a loop course along Highway One and through Pt. Lobos State Park. This new walk proved popular, allowing participants the opportunity to "sleep in" on race day and avoiding being bussed to a remote start. All events sold out for our 2003 events prior to December, with the Power Walk selling out in two weeks.
|The Nineteenth running of the Big Sur International Marathon combined perfection with tragedy. This bittersweet day offered perfect running conditions, our first time use of the ChampionChip®, and a record numbers of participants. The day was marred, however, by the death of 47-year old Matt Kogut of Philadelphia who suffered a cardiac arrest at the 17 mile aid station. He was running with his friend, Jim McIntyre, who witnessed the immediate medical response and was present in the Command Tent when we notified Matt's wife of his death. We thank Jim for his praise of our medical team and our human response to this tragedy. Although we never met Matt, for weeks after the Marathon we felt his loss. He was a marathoner, one of us. All of you who run or walk the Big Sur course, for a brief period of hours, are in our care. We care deeply and our hearts go out to Matt's wife and children.
On April 25, as we dealt with the tragedy, over 9,000 of you participated in our six events. The comments in your report cards let us know it was a great day. The Marathon was won by a last minute entrant, Ibrahim Limo of Cary, North Carolina in a time of 2:26:19. Our female winner was Suzy West of Putney, Vermont who crossed the finish line in 3:10:06. We had 2,863 Marathon finishers, 458 Power Walk finishers and 279 Relay teams. There were close to 1,000 participants in the News 46 open 5K and nearly 1,700 took part in the Monterey County Schools' Competition. There were over 2,000 entrants in our 9-Mile and 10.6-Mile Walks.
We hope you'll join us in 2005 for our twentieth presentation. You can register online at www.bsim.org beginning September 1. Also, consider joining us for the 2nd presentation of the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay to be held October 17, 2004. You may register for this scenic event at www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org.
|Our 20th running proved to be special, with perfect running conditions, a strong elite field, and record numbers. Almost 12,500 runners and walkers registered for one of our six events as well as an all time high number of children in our 5K Schools' Competition. In honor of the 20th presentation, many of our Board members opted to run the Marathon, including our Chairman of the Board, Hugo Ferlito, who completed the course in 4:50:50. We added more course entertainment in 2005 as well as an online "Exit Poll" which replaced our mail in paper "Report Cards"
Jonathan Ndambuki returned to Big Sur for his third win in the past four years. His time of 2:23:35 was only 4 seconds faster than John Munene's second place finish. Indeed, the two of them were neck and neck for much of the run, with a push by Ndambuki in the last mile giving him the title. Third place honors went to 48 year old Alan Ruben with a time of 2:39:56
Newcomer Mary Akor of San Diego, CA tied for the fifth fastest women's time with her winning time of 2:46:53. She was followed by Mary Coordt in 2:53:44 and Jennifer Flint in 3:02:18. Special division winners included Reuben Zylstra for Clydesdale (3:01:33) and Anna Wright for Bonnydale (4:04:52). Active Military went to Brian Ruhm (2:55:02) and Amy Nesbitt (3:19:59). Raymond Ross (2:46:12) and Suzy West (3:16:58) won the Mozartic category. The top Monterey County finisher's were Andrew McClelland (2:45:57) and Carmella Heinze (3:24:48).
|From the redwoods of the Big Sur basin at the Marathon Start to the record number of kids participating in the 5K Schools' Competition at the Finish, our 21st Presentation welcomed 12,587 registrants in seven different events. Once more, the winning combination of a stunningly beautiful course, enthusiastic volunteer support and impeccable race organization made the 2006 events an overwhelming success.
This year's marathon welcomed several returning champions, making for a deep elite field. 3 time champ Jonathan Ndambuki was joined by 2004 winner Ibrahim Limo along with several other serious contenders. Despite near perfect conditions of overcast skies, no wind and temps in the low 50's, the day took a toll on Ndambuki who dropped out of the race. Limo faltered as well, and the race was won by first timer Charles Nyakundi in a time of 2:21:43. Benson Osoro finished second in 2:23:13 followed by Christopher Zieman in 2:26:30.
In the women's race, Mary Coordt, last year's 2nd place finisher, battled it out with first timer Tammy Slusser, eventually pulling ahead in the finishing miles and winning the women's event in a time of 2:59:20. Slusser took second in 3:01:12 and senior runner Christine Kennedy rounded out the top three places with her time of 3:05:13.
Special division winners included William Goodrich for Clydesdale (3:22:59) and Katy Davis for Bonnydale (3:37:21). Active Military went to Zachary Wilson (3:09:51) and repeat winner Amy Nesbitt (3:30:58). Joseph Bator (3:09:57) and Tammy Slusser (3:01:12) won the Mozartic category. The top Monterey County finishers were Jesus Campos (2:39:28) and Amanda Vielbaum (3:16:13).
In 2007 our organizers made the decision to do away with elite prize money and become the "People's Marathon". Big Sur is not about big names and fast times...but rather the spectacular scenery and enjoying the marathon experience of a lifetime. For the first time in years, there wasn't a pack of Kenyans vying for top prize money but instead, elites of the homegrown variety. Jeff Gardina, age 24, of Santa Cruz, CA, won the men's race in a time of 2:25:49. His time was almost six minutes faster than second place finisher, Leonel Avalos who crossed the line in 2:31:31. The first place male masters finisher was Jaime Ortiz of Los Gatos, CA. The first place Monterey County runner was Oswaldo Lopez of Seaside, CA in 2:43:14.
Sunday's race was all about first-timers and some unpredictable weather. A warm start segued into five miles of perfect calm under the majestic redwoods lining Highway 1 in Big Sur. Once runners left the safety of the trees, strong headwinds kicked in, sometimes gusting up to 30 mph. It was a toss-up...the wind turned on some much needed air conditioning, but also provided a challenge to those running against it. But, Big Sur is all about challenges and toughness.
And just as runners didn't choose Big Sur as an easy course, the contenders weren't in it for the money. In a first Big Sur appearance, 33-year-old Andy Martin of Bend, OR, defeated 2007's winner, Jeff Gardina, in a time of 2:29:50. His resume includes four Ironman triathlons and a win at last year's Seattle Marathon. It was a three man race the first 12 miles, with Martin, Gardina and Jesus Campos of King City running neck and neck. Hurricane Point lived up to it's reputation and broke the trio apart. Gardina fell off the pace, Campos surged ahead and Martin held steady. With 10 miles left to go, Martin passed Campos who finished second in 2:30:21.
The women's title went to another first-timer, 28 year-old Kris Lawson, with her time of 3:00:53. A winner of the 2005 Park City Marathon and the 2006 Mayor's Marathon in Alaska, the Colorado native only began running in 2001 as a means of staying in shape. She said, "I wasn't expecting to win at all. I just wanted to contend. It's a tough course, but I enjoyed it. The scenery is just so beautiful." She took the lead from the start and was never challenged but second place finisher Annie Fisher of New York (3:18:47)
2008 also saw the Monterey County Schools' Competition moved to a Saturday event, the JUST RUN!® Just Kids 3K held in downtown Monterey. The new venue was an instant success with nearly 2,000 children, their families and friends taking part in the fun run that promotes fitness and healthy lifestyles as well as serving as a means of raising money for Monterey County schools.
2009 re-introduced some strong headwinds after several years of relative calm. The winner's title went to 22-year-old Ryan Hafer of Colorado Springs who was competing in only his second marathon. He was never really challenged during the race and his time of 2:32:17 put him considerably ahead of 2nd place finisher Eric Blwles of Los Angeles, CA with a 2:39:34.Third place honors went to went to Edward Crowley of Arizona in 2:40:14.
On the women's side, Elk Grove resident Mary Coordt captured her second Big Sur title in four years, winning the race with a time of 2:56:06. Like Hafer, she covered most of the course unchallenged, particularly in the final miles. Coordt had also won the Napa Valley Marathon in early March. The runner up was Julia Mallon of Miami, whose Big Sur debut netted her a 3:04:18 finish. Rounding out third place waas Nancy Buselmeir of Minnesota with a 3:07:00.
During the 2009 race runners had to option to join up with the Clif Bar Pace Teams who guided runners to finishes ranging from 3:40 to 5:30. Jeff Galloway also led a pack of 100 or so runners using his "one one" walking/running techique.
Our 25th presentation was about as good as it gets. 2010 saw the introduction of our new larger than life Mile Markers, individually produced by Salinas muralist John Cerney. We also rolled out the inaugural Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge which netted around 360 entrants and produced 324 finishers. We held our first post-race party for 900 runners and walkers on race day evening and during the month of April celebrated 25 years of art and memorabilia at the Monterey Conference Center. Most importantly, Mother Nature graced race day with blue skies, sunshine and just a hind of soothing ocean breezes.
23 year old Daniel Tapia of Castroville, CA was the men's winner with a time of 2:26:09. It was not only his first Big Sur, but his first ever marathon and he was our first ever male Monterey County winner. He was followed by Michael Wardian of Arlington, VA whose 2:27:39 followed a 2:25:45 at the Boston Marathon six days prior. Third place male finisher was Christopher Mocko of Palo Alto, CA in a time of 2:33:05.
In the women's field, 28 year old Veronica Clemens of New York, NY made her Big Sur debut with a winning time of 2:55:18. Clemens made her move at Hurricane Point when she broke away from Stacey Chaston of Colorado Springs and never looked back. Second place finisher Melinda Schwartz made it a New York double with her finish time of 3:08:11. Third place honors went to former Carmel resident Erin Crum now out of Boise, ID in her 3:09:22 time.
In 2010 the JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K switched over to a new course based in Pacific Grove and was a huge success with over 2,500 children and their families and friends running to raise money for the schools.
Aptly dubbed "Beware the Slides of March," our perfect race weekend scenario was derailed when a landslide destroyed a 100 foot section of Highway One mid-March. After numerous meetings with Caltrans, it was decided that this would become an out and back course, with the turnaround at the start of Rocky Creek Bridge, just shy of the slide area at mile 13.75 of the point-to-point course.
Despite an immediate negative reaction to this news (particularly on our Facebook page!), the post-event evaluation proved 100% positive. The logistics of this new course were daunting and we added a section of the marathon course through Pt. Lobos State Park. The marathon started in three waves, and included the 21-Miler participants as well. Remarkably, all went off without a hitch. Runners found the course to be both challenging and just as scenic. Added perks included getting to see all bands, including Michael Martinez on the piano, twice, seeing the lead runners heading back to the finish, and enjoying a spectacular tour of Pt. Lobos.
2011 winners were Jesus Campos (King City, CA) in 2:31:54 and Beth Woodward (Orrville, OH) in 3:05:05. Jesus has run BSIM many years and this was a long overdue win for him. Beth was a Boston 2 Big Sur challenger, making her BSIM win all the more impressive.
In 2011 the Runner's World Challenge debuted at Big Sur, offering personalized training and advice from the editors of Runner's World along with VIP treatment during race weekend.
A combination of fog and heavy winds forced runners to brave the elements en route from Big Sur to Carmel. Eventual sunshine greeted most prior to the finish but this was truly a year that Hurricane Point lived up to its reputation. 2012 was the second year that we welcomed back the Runner’s World Challenge and the third year of the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge.
Adam Roach, a recent transplant to Pacific Grove, CA, won the men's marathon with a time of 2:32.25. He beat out San Francisco's Christian Mocko (2:34:11) and last year's Big Sur champion Jesus Campos (2:37:08). In the women's marathon, Romanian Nuta Olaru, a current resident of Longmont, CO, won by nearly 20 minutes, finishing in 2:50:08. She was followed by Amy Lane (Lakewood, CO) in 3:09:42 and Cassandra Allred (Menlo Park, CA) in 3:11:43.
The 28th presentation of the Big Sur International Marathon was held 13 days after the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon. While an air of sadness and disbelief was evident, many said that running Big Sur was a healing experience that helped them move forward. The Big Sur organization handed out thousands of tribute pins at the Expo and offered a tribute banner where runners could share their thoughts. Many made generous donations to The One Fund Boston. At the start of the marathon, Ron Kramer, representing the Boston Marathon, acted as the official starter. His poignant comments at the start and his presence at the finish, strengthened our connection with that historic event.
Local runner and 2012 winner Adam Roach of Monterey, CA, won the marathon in a time of 2:27:46, just over five minutes faster than his 2012 time. The female winner was also a 2012 repeat. Nuta Olaru’s (Longmont, CO) time of 2:50:02 was 6 seconds faster than her 2012 time. In the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge, Hermann Achmuller of Brixen, Italy, was the male winner with a combined Boston/Big Sur time of 5:02:46, along with the female winner, Michelle Clarke of Toronto, Canada, with a 6:03:09.