Big Sur 10.6 Mile Race Review

We did it! We ran the Big Sur 10.6 Mile Race – here’s the details!

Back in January driving up to Big Sur seemed like a good idea. But life’s recent events made me a little reluctant to go out of town again. I know, my problems are bullshit. Well, I’m glad we made the drive because Ben accomplished his first double digit run ever and I had a good time Smile

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My Garmin didn’t turn on for 2 miles. Plus I spent the first 2+ jogging with Ben so I’m not doing a race recap. Here’s my Big Sur 10.6 miler race review.

The Expo: I don’t know why I didn’t realize this was a “big” race until the expo. It was very well organized – especially considering there were 5 different events on Sunday! There is a Full Marathon, 21 Miler, 10.6 Miler, 9 Miler and 5K! IMG_0129 (533x800)IMG_0133 (800x533)

The expo was decent. Not great, but not bad. Plus I got free Ghirardelli chocolate so that’s a plus.

The Start: Everyone was bused to the start. You could NOT drive or be dropped off because it was on a two lane road that basically shuts down for the race.

The buses were very efficient, on time and easy to find/use.20120429_055403 (800x600)

We had to catch the bus at 6am, but the start wasn’t until 7:30am. This meant hanging around Rocky Point. We got in the long porta potty line. 20120429_063315 (600x800)

Then, we listened to the live band playing…

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and enjoyed some hot coffee and pastries. Um, this is like 5 star service!!! 20120429_065754 (800x600)20120429_070254 (800x600)

I made sure Ben knew this is NOT normal for races. This is fancy.

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The race started a few minutes before 7:30am (which I kinda loved, but I know others might not). There were not official waves but they held people back so it wouldn’t get too crowded.

It was very efficient. My only complaint was there were A LOT of walkers. I want to estimate half of the people were only walking, not running.

Ben asked me to stay with him the first mile and my Garmin refused to find a satellite so I ended up staying with him for 2 miles plus. The good thing about being surrounded by walkers was it kept us at a very very slow pace.

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We heard this advice at the Endurance Live event and made it his mantra, “If you think you’re going too slow, slow down.”20120429_073307 (800x600)

The Course: Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. 20120429_063923 (800x600)

This race is called “the most beautiful marathon in the world” and it’s true.

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But it’s also hilly. And the hill at mile 9 (mile 25 for the Full) was crazy steep and long.

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The volunteer support was awesome. There was water and gatorade o’plenty.

But because you can’t really drive it, there is not a lot of crowd support. Since it was so gorgeous it felt like Heaven, I’d like to think God was the crowd support Winking smile

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The Finish: Super organized. Food was bagged and you just grabbed one. Then you could choose a cookie, bagel or muffin. They had a banana, strawberries, raisins, grapes and a pineapple juice.

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They also had beer and hot soup after the food tent.

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The Medal: It’s a ceramic medal on a cord. I love that it’s different and has a little more personality than usual!

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We didn’t check gear, but it looked super organized. There were a lot of military volunteers and everything seemed to run smoothly.

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Then, it was very easy to grab the bus and get back to where we parked.

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Ben: Did great! He ran 10.6 miles in 2:33!!! Even though I gave him a training program he didn’t stick to it because he recently joined an MMA gym and has been going 2-3x a week. It’s definitely not enough cardio to prepare him so I was really worried.

He ran mile 5 before he started walking. And he stopped to pee 2x.

When I asked him his time he added, “Just make sure you emphasize the fact that I’m NOT dead. That’s a pretty big accomplishment.”

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Overall: I think this is VERY expensive for a 10 mile race – it was over $100! But, I felt it was really well organized and a beautiful race. I would run it again as an “experience race” with my mom or something to show her the beauty, but I don’t think I would drive up here to try and actually race such a hilly course.

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The Victory Lap: Was at Black Bear Diner (just like after the IMS Half Marathon). IMG_0327

I had already had some muffin and Popcorners so I wasn’t super hungry at this point. Another eh salad. Should have went with the 9-grain pancakes.


Luckily, Ben got crazy an omelet and biscuits and gravy so I stole half of those hash browns.


The Real Victory Lap:

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Question: What did you do this weekend? Fill me in!


  1. says

    Fun stuff! I was there for the full, my second time doing it. I’m kind of in love with big sur, though you’re right that all the events are “experience” events and not ones you go out to race. But I think that’s part of the charm – no bitchy, stressed-out, pissy runners angry over having to weave because it might be one less second shaved off of a PR. :) It has a certain charm, minus those damn hills! Glad you had a good time!

  2. says

    Looks beautiful. My cooperating teacher when I student taught ran it and had a poster in his classroom. Ever since I have wanted to do it. Congrats to Ben-great time! I went for a 10 mile trail run today.

  3. says

    Congrats to you guys. Love Big Sur! Such a beautiful area. I ran up a mountain. I ran the Mount Lemmon Half marathon. Half marathon #15 in my quest to complete 30 half marathons before turning thirty (which happens in about a year).

  4. says

    Congratulations to both of you! Big Sur is only about 2 hours from me…I might try to do the 10 miler next year. This weekend I did 4 miles walk/jog to help train for my 1st 5k! :)

  5. lorin says

    Have you seen Montana De is so pretty! It’s south of Big Sur, but it looks a lot like that. You should run San Luis Obispo marathon next year!

  6. says

    Congrats Ben! And you too Monica! The route is absolutely amazing!!!!

    No races for me this weekend – regular training runs of 16km and 10.6km but I pampered myself with a wonderful massage yesterday. I say all’s good.

  7. says

    That looks like a really fun race! That’s pretty brutal, though, to have a huge hill at the end of a full! I ran my first double digit long run Friday, also! 10.12ish miles! It was my last long run before my first half marathon. I’m running the Diva’s Half Marathon a week from today in San Francisco. I’m super excited!

  8. says

    Yeah! Congrats to Ben on not dying! LOL

    This weekend was work both days. Not happy about that, but it happens occasionally.

    Last night I did try a new Pan-Pacific Bistro in town. It was amazing! Will go there again for sure! Then visited a friends new house. Tonight I got a massage. It was heavenly! Need to do that more often.

  9. says

    That course looks amazing! Congrats to you & Ben on the race :)! Yesterday I ran a 5k, with killer shin splints I’ve had for a month. The race went well and I am happy with my time. I didn’t eat early enough though and my oatmeal made an appearance at the finish line, can’t wait to see the race pictures! Haha

  10. Carly says

    Ben looks awesome! (I don’t mean that in a creepy way). Running suits him. You guys are the sweetest couple, looks like a great weekend.

  11. says

    I love the medal but $100 is definitely steep for a 10 miler (although I did just pay $85 for a half marathon) so who am I to judge? Ha :-)

  12. says

    Congratulations to you both! It looks like a beautiful, picturesque run and money well spent because it will fill your running-memory bank up!

    I ran 24k last night….my longest EVER run last night with the best running guru-buddy and friend I could wish for!!!! Fourth Half Marathon coming up in May…..can’t wait!

  13. Maren says

    GREAT JOB BEN!!!! That is so awesome!

    I went to Minneapolis and visited some friends and family! It was a nice weekend, but man am I tired today!

  14. says

    Well there was no racing for me, but I did dance for hours on end two days in a row. Had to get all of my dancing energy out before my oral surgery today after which I won’t get to do much of anything for far too long.

  15. TiffanyS says

    I ran my second ever 10K, and beat my time from January by 3 minutes. Whoohoo! The sidewind and sleet pellets were less than desireable conditions, but at least it didn’t outright downpour. The company, beer, and fish tacos afterwards were awesome! That course does look amazing, but I do not love hills either.

  16. says

    that’s it. I’m flying to California and doing this race. 2013? 😉 Congrats to Ben on not dying! Major running points for that achievement. 😉

  17. says

    Good Job Ben!! I love that your husband is running. I am on a mission to get my husband to start running with me! That races looks fabulous and that was definitely”fancy” race food. We just ate at the Black Bear Diner for the first time this weekend and I am wishing I would have ordered the Bearclaw but I had a salad instead :(

  18. kara says

    Hello. Longtime lurker here, but a fan of your blog. The craziest thing: I was sitting in my bus at about Mile 17 of the Big Sur Marathon, the handoff point for Leg 4 of the relay, when who do I see run by my window? You and Ben! (Celebrity sighting!) Glad you guys had a good race.

  19. says

    I live near Big Sur and was thinking of signing up for the 10.6 or 9 miler since registration starts in a week or so. For 2013: 9 miler you provide your own transportation, it starts at 7:30am (10.6 is at 7am this year), and $5 cheaper than 10.6. Decisions, decisions! My housemate did the full marathon this year without much training (I was worried because 30min runs 2x/week didn’t seem adequate, but I had never run a full event, so what did I know…), but she finished around 6 hrs. I guess if you run enough marathons you can just pull it off??? She was exhausted afterward between the course for the marathon (hilly, slanted roads, windy at Hurricane Point) and being bussed around 4am for a 6am start time. But she has a cool ceramic medal and she did it!

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