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What a great course!  One of the things I love about running is getting outside and enjoying Mother Nature.  The Big Sur Half Marathon is truly a course that features Mother Nature in all of her glory.  It’s pretty amazing.

When I signed up for this race, I figured my husband and I could make a weekend out of it in Monterey.  Why not, right?  Race-cation fun!

We left the Bay Area on Friday night and got into Monterey a little bit after 7pm.  We met up with my sister-in-law and had dinner at Hula’s.  It was SO good!  Loved the mai tai’s and for dessert they had a “pot brownie” which was a brownie in a ceramic pot topped with whip cream.  Delicious and a pun, my two favorite things.

Pot Brownie

Pot Brownie

On Saturday, we headed out to the expo.  It was super organized and easy to grab our bibs and shirts.  I really liked the shirt.  It was a pretty purple and my husband’s was a dark blue.  Both long sleeved and I actually wore it for the race!  It was super comfy and matched my outfit.  Which is, really, the most important.  I bought a race tank as well as a pint glass, because one can never have too many pint glasses right?  Right!

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After, we did a little tourist journey and ended up at Carmel beach where we saw some dolphins swimming around.  It was awesome!


After dinner we laid out our race stuff and set our phone alarm for 5:00am.  Happy Sunday!


Ready to Run!

Ready to Run!

Once up and ready to go, we jogged over to the start.  I actually had a 15 mile training run scheduled anyway, so I did 2 miles prior to the race to make it count as my training run…two birds, one stone.



After my easy 2 mile warm up run

After my easy 2 mile warm up run


Got some photos at the start and got into my corral, which was corral F.  After a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem was sang, corral A (which my hubby was in) was off and it seemed like they let the following corrals out every 2 minutes or so, and I roughly calculated that my corral left about 10 minutes later.

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Once we were off, I realized how chilly it was!  I thought I was warm from my 2 mile warm up run, but there was some chilly willy wind happening.

The first four miles was through downtown and the neighborhoods.  I think my favorite part of this was after we were on Cannery Row, there was some guys holding giant jelly fish and octopus.  So fun!  I also loved one of the signs “You’re running better than the government!”  and two boys holding their sign “Hurry up mom, we haven’t eaten yet!”  LOL

Once mile 5 came along we were running along the coast, and boy was it beautiful!  I absolutely loved running along the ocean.  The waves were awesome and the clouds were keeping the course cool.

Before I forget to mention this, the course entertainment during this race was AMAZING!  I’m almost 100% positive this race had more bands than a Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon.  Almost every mile they had a keyboardist, or a bagpiper or a blues band or taiko drummers.  It was so great, seriously, I can’t even remember a race with so much entertainment.  You can tell the community supports the race as they all come out to cheer and it really made a difference.

Right before I hit mile 6, I saw hubby running back towards the finish line, I waved, he blew me a kiss, it was all very romantic.  LOL.

After I saw him, I hunkered down and kept on running.  I hit a little bit of a bump around  mile 8 and slowed a bit.  I felt like the turnaround took FOREVER to get to, but I finally made it.  I was trucking along, but there were a few rolling hills that felt like Mount Everest, so I did a little bit of walking around mile 10.  Finally around mile 11, I thought to myself, okay, you’re almost done, just get ‘er done!

When I hit mile 13, I saw Rob standing off to the side and gave him my happy face as I ran by.  I hit the finish line and was done in 2:10:23…my second fastest time!  YAHOO!

ALMOST DONE!!  So happy  :-)

ALMOST DONE!! So happy 🙂

I got my medal, which is super cute and stopped to take a photo at the finisher podium, they had a few lines, but then the official photographer said we couldn’t take a picture with our cell phone….LAME.  They should at least have one without a photographer so you can take one with your phone if you want.  Silliness.

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After that, I tried to get out of the finished area, but the food line was RIDICULOUS!  The food boxes weren’t pre-made, so we had to wait in a very slow moving line while they were individually filled.  Maybe next year they can have the boxes put together to have them ready for pick-up and the line can move a bit faster.

I met back up with hubby and we hoofed it back to the hotel to shower and check out.  We met up with a friend, who also ran, and had some breakfast and then drove back home.  We did make a pit stop on the way home in Capitola and had some beers, because we need to rehydrate, right?

I would highly recommend this race to anyone interested and I really hope we can do this one again next year!

One more half marathon left this year and then it’s Goofy time!!  YAY!

QOTD: Did you do Big Sur Half? Or have you done a race that was mostly on the coast before?? Which one?