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Articles tagged #Big Sur Marathon
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Big Sur Marathon Foundation Suspends Operations Amidst Pandemic

Plans for all 2021 races have been frozen until further notice

CARMEL, CA –The Big Sur Marathon Foundation (BSMF) announced Thursday that they will suspend all race operations, effective September 30, 2020. Citing the many unknowns concerning the coronavirus pandemic, organizers say the timeline for resuming race planning and registrations is unclear and ever-changing.

“We are devastated about canceling all our in-person events and programs for 2020 and now for 2021,” said Race Director Doug Thurston. “That said, we have refocused our staff’s creative efforts on producing our Big Surreal Virtual Challenge and look forward to hearing how our runners enjoy the experience.”

By placing the 36-year-old nonprofit organization in a  hibernation of sorts, race officials hope to minimize financial and operational damage so the organization can once again organize world-class races when safe to do so. Securing permits  to hold large mass-participation events  like marathons likely won’t happen until vaccines or other coronavirus therapeutics are widely in use. 

As a result, the following events/programs have been cancelled:

The November 2020 Monterey Bay Half Marathon in-person and virtual races. Registration had not yet opened for either event.

The JUST RUN youth fitness program for the 2020-2021 school year.

BSMF has suspended all plans for the following 2021 events/programs:

The April 2021 Big Sur Marathon weekend of races

The June 2021 Run in the Name of Love

The November 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon 

With no current races on the horizon, the BSMF Board also made the difficult decision to reduce their staff to just two employees – Race Director Doug Thurston and Administrative Manager Chris Balog. Five of the organization’s seven full-time employees have been laid off.

The organization says it will continue to monitor updates regarding the pandemic including vaccine development and distribution and remain hopeful that they will be able to safely hold races and other programs in 2022.

For answers to common questions related to these updates, please visit the FAQ page located on the Big Sur Marathon website. BSMF asks fans to continue to monitor their social media pages and websites for updates in the months to come.

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit the community. Under the brand are three individual race weekends: Big Sur International Marathon in April,Run in the Name of Love 5K and 2K in June, and theMonterey Bay Half Marathon, 5K and 3K in November. In addition, the Foundation oversees the award-winning JUST RUN® youth fitness program.

(08/21/2020) Views: 238 ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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Big Sur Marathon and Half have become another victim of COVID-19

Six weeks after postponing race weekend, Big Sur International Marathon organizers canceled this year’s marathon and all related events Wednesday because of the fluid developments of the coronavirus pandemic.

The marathon, which in early March was still on schedule for April 26, was rescheduled in April for Nov. 15. The Monterey Bay Half Marathon, originally scheduled Nov. 15 on its traditional course in Monterey and Pacific Grove for the same day, was moved to Nov. 14.

Now, all of the events, with one exception, will return next year, likely including auxiliary races canceled when the marathon was originally postponed. The Monterey Bay Half Marathon will be held as a virtual event Nov. 14.

Registration for the virtual Monterey Bay Half Marathon will open this summer with details pending.

“The (race) board made the decision based on a variety of factors, including the phased state reopening plan,” said Doug Thurston, executive director and race director. “It’s a concern for the safety of participants, volunteers and the community, and access to needed public safety and medical resources including volunteers and PPE (personal protection equipment).”

Among the country’s most popular marathons, the 35th annual race was expected to include its recent year field participant demographics.

According to Thurston, marathon events have about 425 entrants among 9,000 runners from outside of the United States. About 39 percent of the international participants are from Canada with 40 from other countries.

The data was the impetus for organizers to keep the marathon as originally scheduled. As the pandemic severity advanced, the event was postponed.

“Since we last communicated with you on April 13, California adopted a comprehensive reopening plan,” organizers detailed on the marathon’s website. “In this plan, it now appears that mass gathering events like our weekend of races will not be possible until the final reopening phase when a vaccine or other therapeutics are widely available.”

The marathon had never previously been canceled, but poor air quality from the Camp Fire forced the cancellation of the 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon.

Thurston said the marathon organization has canceled several other events in the past five years, including the 2016 Salinas Valley Half Marathon and four other races, including three this year.

“Our team conducted a very thorough analysis in order to provide our runners with the greatest restitution possible,” organizers explained on the event’s website. “Races around the country and world have offered various entry restitution programs according to each organization’s unique situation.

“Unfortunately, our organization has had to weather five race cancellations in the last four years due to circumstances beyond our control. Providing a higher refund or deferrals to future races are not viable options if we want to ensure our organization has the capacity to put on races once again in better times.”

To originally reschedule the marathon and its corresponding runs and walks, organizers worked with businesses throughout the Monterey Peninsula to determine if the Monterey Conference Center and host hotels would be able to participate.

“We went right down the line,” said Thurston. “It obviously took some time particularly with people out of work or sheltering employees or just not available. But we were able to put in in place.”

Local businesses will now be without marathon-related revenues.

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation, a non-profit organization, typically provides nearly $400,000 in annual grants to more than 100 other Monterey County-based nonprofit organizations.

This year, organizers reported that with the loss of more than $2 million in entry fees and other income sources due to event cancellations, it will be unable to provide support to the organizations.

Race organizers also announced all of the 2020 Big Sur Marathon, Relay, 21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, and 5K are eligible to receive a 60 percent refund of their entry fee or opt to donate their entry fee to our nonprofit organization.

WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway has also amended its yearly calendar several times because of the coronavirus. Its current 2020 calendar is scheduled to begin with the Monterey Pre-Reunion, Aug. 8-9.

“We are assessing the feasibility of being able to hold the Monterey Motorsports Reunion this August,” said Barry Toepke, Director of Marketing and Communications. “We are in close touch with many of our participants who have been accepted to gauge how they feel coming to Monterey.

“Our highest priority is for the safety and well-being of the participants, their crews and families, as well as guests and our community, and have strict protocols ready to be enacted. A final decision will be made very shortly after objectively assessing the landscape with County of Monterey officials.”

The Sea Otter Classic, also held at Laguna Seca Raceway and surrounding areas, was postponed from its usual April dates to a four-day event schedule and expo still scheduled beginning Sept. 30

(06/03/2020) Views: 281 ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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I was suppose to be running the Big Sur Marathon today

Today was the day I was supposed to run the Big Sur International Marathon. With all major races cancelled or postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic I am reading about all my fellow runners moving forward with their own virtual races. I did about 10 miles this weekend, but got too bored on my treadmill to go a full marathon. Looking forward to when we can race for real again.

(04/26/2020) Views: 212 ⚡AMP
by Winton Jew
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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The date for this year’s Big Sur Marathon has been confirmed after being postponed due to COVID-19

A month after it was postponed because of the coronavirus, organizers of the Big Sur International Marathon announced Monday the 35th edition will be part of a revamped version of an area traditional running weekend in November.

The marathon, originally scheduled April 26 but postponed because of coronavirus concerns, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 from Big Sur to Carmel. The Monterey Bay Half Marathon, originally scheduled Nov. 15 on its traditional course in Monterey and Pacific Grove, has been moved to Saturday, Nov. 14.

“We don’t really have any goals as far as participation,” said Race Director Doug Thurston. “We hope as many of the April 2020 entrants will come back on Nov. 15.

“We will be prepared for them. But I think just having an event this year with all of the craziness in the world, I think that will be considered a win.”

In addition to the marathon and half-marathon changes, marathon organizers said other distance races originally planned for April 26 have also been switched to Monterey Bay Half Marathon weekend. All April race distances, except the 5K and 3K, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 in their original locations on Highway 1.

Registrants who entered the April 5K will automatically be registered for a new 5K to be integrated within the Half Marathon on Nov. 14. The By-the-Bay 3K will not be held this year.

“First, we want to thank you for your patience and support over these past few weeks as our board, staff, and volunteers worked to navigate this new reality,” said event management via its website announcement.

While other Peninsula events postponed or canceled events this year, Big Sur organizers were hopeful of maintaining original dates. A decision was made in mid-March to postpone.

To reschedule, organizers worked with businesses throughout the Monterey Peninsula to determine if, for example, the Monterey Conference Conference and host hotels, would be able to participate.

(04/13/2020) Views: 342 ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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Organizers of the 35th Annual Big Sur International Marathon postponed Due to Growing Coronavirus Threat

Organizers of the 35th Annual Big Sur International Marathon, originally set for Sunday, April 26th, have announced that the race will be postponed until later this year. Over the past several weeks, the Big Sur Marathon Foundation has been monitoring updates from county, state, federal, and international public safety and health agencies regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With state and local efforts to control the virus expanding quickly, the Foundation’s governance board, medical director, and race officials decided that postponing the race is the best way to help ensure the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and residents.

Race officials are currently coordinating with local agencies, partners, and other impacted entities to secure a reschedule date for the 2020 Big Sur Marathon, Relay, 21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, and 5K. They aim to reschedule for late summer or early fall and plan to update participants as soon as a date is secured. The By-the-Bay 3K, which draws roughly 4,500 schoolchildren from Monterey County Schools each year, will not be rescheduled for 2020.

“Like our participants, we were disappointed to have to move the race to a later date, but we strongly feel it is the responsible thing to do,” said Doug Thurston, Race Director and Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation. “This situation is moving so quickly locally, nationally, and world-wide and we all have to work together to try to stop the spread of this virus.”

Registered runners in the 2020 Big Sur Marathon weekend of events will be given the chance to run their race on the rescheduled date or choose from other options, the details of which are in process. Thurston said all options will be made public as soon as possible.

“We understand a postponement might not work for some of our participants and we are working hard to determine alternate options for those runners,” Thurston said. “We appreciate the patience, understanding, and concern of all those affected during this stressful time.”

The mission of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation is to “create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit [the Monterey County] community.” This year, the marathon and other race weekend distances were scheduled to receive a sold-out, 13,000-plus participant field from all 50 U.S. states and 40 countries. To hold the Big Sur Marathon next month would be in direct opposition to the organization’s mission of promoting health. The swiftly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic caused race officials also to consider the event’s potential impact on local health care and public safety resources.

“When we conduct one of our races, we partner with several local health-care and public safety resources. We need to ensure that these resources are available for our community,” said Thurston.

The Big Sur International Marathon is produced by the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the health of the Monterey County community. The organization carries out its mission by providing grants to local groups who volunteer at Foundation races throughout the year and other charitable programs including the year-round JUST RUN youth fitness program.

The 2020 Big Sur Marathon is the third Foundation event to be affected by situations outside the organization’s control. The Salinas Valley Half Marathon in 2016 and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon in 2018 were canceled due to poor air quality from nearby wildfires.

(03/14/2020) Views: 195 ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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HydraPak will bring its premium reusable hydration to Support Cupless Racing at Big Sur Marathon

With over a decade of uninterrupted designation as a zero-waste event organization, the Big Sur Marathon Foundation (BSMF) is excited to announce a partnership with HydraPak as their official reusable hydration gear partner. HydraPak will bring its premium reusable hydration product line and sustainability mission to participants and visitors of the 35th Annual Big Sur International Marathon this April. 

Crafted in Northern California, HydraPak designs and produces flexible performance hydration systems aimed at reducing single-use waste and supporting athletes and adventure-seekers in the pursuit of personal goals.

BSMF prioritizes the development of ecologically and environmentally-sustainable practices and is always looking for new ways to conserve resources. The marathon’s budding partnership with HydraPak is the first step in the organization’s quest to eliminate all single-use cups on course at BSMF events. 

Participants in the 2020 Big Sur Marathon and related race weekend events will be invited to opt-in to a cupless experience during their race. The Big Sur Marathon Foundation and HydraPak are aiming for a 33% opt-in rate for participants across all race weekend events, eliminating tens of thousands of single-use cups on course.

The first 4,000 participants to take the cupless pledge will receive a complimentary Big Sur Marathon branded SpeedCup™, courtesy of HydraPak. It is hoped these participants will use this cup during their race, and after crossing the finish line in the recovery zone and finish village. With 11 aid stations on course, each marathon participant who takes the cupless pledge will potentially reduce their individual disposable footprint by 22-33 cups. Custom branded hydration offerings will also be available for sale online and at the Health & Fitness Expo, held the two days before the marathon.

Starting this year, the Big Sur 12K, the only distance to run through the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, will be a cupless race.  All participants will receive a HydraPak SpeedCup™ to use at the refill-only fluid station inside the park, saving over 1,500 disposable cups from being distributed on course and avoiding any cup waste in the sensitive area.

"Finding ways to reduce our footprint is always top of mind," said Doug Thurston, race director and executive director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation. "We’ve made several important shifts to more sustainable practices and the decision to bring HydraPak on board to help us reduce single-use cups on course is a natural progression. We are very pleased to partner with HydraPak on this program.”

HydraPak’s collapsible and reusable SpeedCup was designed specifically for runners, and offers an alternative to single-use cups at race events. Made of ultra-light TPU, a 100% BPA and PVC-free material, the SpeedCup’s flexible design allows runners to collapse the cup and stuff it in their pocket or use the integrated finger loop, making for easy transport from start to finish.

“We’re eager to add value to the sustainability efforts of the BSMF by adopting the use of reusable hydration solutions with their road race events,” said Morgan Makowski, Director of Marketing at HydraPak. “Not only are we reducing waste with reusable cups, but we’re helping educate runners and other event hosts about different environmental impacts.”

The Big Sur International Marathon will celebrate its 35th presentation on April 26th, 2020, with 15,000 total entrants expected in seven different races. The full marathon and all other Sunday race distances are sold out with limited spots still available in the innovative Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge and Saturday’s 3K event in Pacific Grove. 

(01/09/2020) Views: 980 ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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Vicoty Chepngeno was the first across the finish line at the 16th annual Monterey Bay Half Marathon holding off the elite men who started nine minutes and five seconds behind her

Chepngeno, a Kenyan living and training in Grand Prairie, TX, covered the 13.1-mile course in 1:08:03, smashing the women’s course record by over a minute and half. As the race began Sunday morning, the 25-year-old made a clear break from her competitors and maintained a healthy lead throughout the race, clicking off 5:10 miles. Futsum Zienasellassie, 26, of Flagstaff, AZ took the top spot for the men in 1:02:33, logging the second-fastest men’s finish in the race’s history.

Still, he and the other male competitors were unable to catch Chepngeno as she neared the finish line. As the first runner across the line, Chepngeno collected an additional $3,000 on top of the $4,000 award for being the first female.

“I’m so happy to be here, and I love the people of Monterey,” said Chepngeno. When asked if she’d return next year to defend her title, Chepngeno replied, “Absolutely, I can’t wait to be back out on the beautiful course next year.”

Panuel Mkungo of Coon Rapids, MN took second for the men in 1:02:37, and Patrick Smyth of Sante Fe, NM took third in 1:02:39. Second female was Australian Milly Clark in 1:11:49, followed by 2017 women’s champion Monicah Ngige in 1:11:59.

The top eight runners in the men’s and women’s divisions competed for a total purse of $25,000 plus another $5,000 in total bonus money for the first three runners of either gender to finish.

Runners were met with ideal conditions with overcast skies and temperatures from the low-50s to 60s during the race. Roughly 6,700 participants set out along the 13.1-mile scenic course that includes historic downtown Monterey, Cannery Row, and the Pacific Grove shoreline and Asilomar State Beach to finish back in downtown Monterey near Fisherman’s Wharf.

“It was a spectacular day with many runners setting personal bests,” said Doug Thurston, Race Director. “We were so glad to welcome back thousands of runners from our canceled race last year and many new runners to our race along the beautiful Monterey Bay.”

The 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon was canceled the day before when shifting winds brought smoky and unhealthy air into the area from the Camp Fire.

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit the community. Under the brand are three individual race weekends: Big Sur International Marathon in April, Run in the Name of Love 5K and 2K in June, and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon, 5K and 3K in November.

(11/11/2019) Views: 690 ⚡AMP
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Monterey Bay Half Marathon

Monterey Bay Half Marathon

The Monterey Bay Half Marathon on Monterey Bay contributes to the Ronald McDonald House, Breast Cancer Fund and Big Sur Marathon's JUST RUN Youth Fitness Program. ...

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After last year’s cancellation, the big news heading into the weekend of the Monterey Bay Half Marathon is that the race is on for Sunday

“We’re just really excited to have the race this year after last year’s unfortunate cancellation,” said Doug Thurston, executive director and race director for the Big Sur Marathon Foundation. “We’re not affected at all by any of the wildfires in California.”

Officials canceled the race last year the evening before the event when shifting winds brought high levels of smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County into the area causing unhealthy air quality on the Monterey Peninsula. The 3K and 5K races were held the day prior in moderate air quality.

“We’ve got great weather forecasts and we’re looking forward to a record number of participants,” Thurston said. “All events will be sold out, so it will be the largest race weekend in the 17-year history of our half marathon.”

The half marathon itself has reached its limit of 9,000 participants in past years, though more than 4,000 entrants to last year’s canceled race deferred their registration fees to this year’s race causing the capacity to be reached several months ago. Thurston said the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K, with a capacity of 2,000 entrants, sold out as well.

The weekend’s festivities begin with the Health and Fitness Expo opening up noon Friday at the Monterey Conference Center, giving entrants a chance to pick up their bib and race packet as well as providing information, services and the sales of merchandise. The races begin Saturday with the By-the-Bay 3K at 8 a.m. and the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K, both starting at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove, at 8:30 a.m.

The Monterey Bay Half Marathon starts Sunday at 6:50 a.m. on Del Monte Avenue at El Estero before traversing the Monterey Peninsula’s coastline to Asilomar State Beach, where runners will turn around and head back.

The race is different from many others in that it has 15 waves of starters, which Thurston said spreads the field out to make for smoother running through some of the more narrow sections of the course. The waves are set based on predicted times when entering the races.

“It allows people to run with people of similar ability for more consistent pacing throughout the race,” he said, adding that the out-and-back nature of the course allows for everyone to watch as the elite racers catch up and pass the others.

The top finisher among the men and among the women will each win a $4,000 top prize. The elite women will get a nine-minute, five-second head start against the elite men. The top finisher overall will then get an additional $3,000 “Equalizer Challenge” bonus.

Thurston said race organizers appreciate the support of the community, including those who come out to cheer. In Pacific Grove, school groups and others line the course to watch and cheer on the competitors.

“The enthusiastic support of friends and family and the community can really help people get through the later miles of the race,” he said

(11/08/2019) Views: 419 ⚡AMP
by Tom Wright
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Monterey Bay Half Marathon

Monterey Bay Half Marathon

The Monterey Bay Half Marathon on Monterey Bay contributes to the Ronald McDonald House, Breast Cancer Fund and Big Sur Marathon's JUST RUN Youth Fitness Program. ...

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The worlds 10 most scenic marathons that are worthy of your bucket list

These are the 10 most scenic marathoners you need to put on your bucket list 

1) Midnight Sun Marathon, Norway.  Head to Tromso, Norway to try an Arctic Marathon where the sun doesn’t set…literally! Norwegians experience the “Midnight Sun” from May 20 to June 22, which allows runners to run a marathon during the night. A big portion of the race happens along the coast, so runners enjoy picturesque views of the Norwegian sea as well as the snow-capped peaks. 

2) BMW Berlin Marathon, Germany. This marathon that starts and ends at the Brandenburg Gate takes runners in a large loop around the city. This is the perfect marathon to experience a slice of history as marathoners will pass the iconic Reichstag, Berlin Cathedral, Tiergarten and Potsdamer Platz, to name a few.

3) ​Marathon du Medoc (France).  This is a wine and food festival disguised as a marathon! The course will take you through the vineyards of the Médoc in Gironde. Held in the Southwest of France near Bordeaux; food stands and wine tasting stalls dot the entire course of this event. Nibbles offered include pastas, oysters, cheese, steaks, fruits, and the region's famous wines to wash down everything. This fun marathon usually turns into a carnival of spirited, costumed runners as participants are encouraged to dress, according to the year’s theme. 

4) The Hong Kong Marathon (Hong Kong).  This is easily the biggest participation sporting event in Hong Kong with over 70,000 runners from 90 countries participating in it. Marathoners enjoy some of the best urban landscape. This iconic race unfolds against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s breath-taking skyline and harbour. The full marathon and half marathon, both start at Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui racing up into New Territories, and heading back down to a spectacular finish in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island. The Hong Kong Marathon has been awarded Gold Label status since the 2016 and with total prize money of US$300,000, it is one of Asia's most prominent marathons.

5) Big Five Marathon (Limpopo, South Africa).  This is undoubtedly the wildest marathon in the world! Conducted within the private Entabeni Game Reserve in South Africa, this marathon runs through the African savannahs. True to the marathon’s name, you have a chance of bumping into lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and cape buffaloes in addition to the other animals like giraffes, antelopes, etc., along the way. The safety of the runners is not compromised as park rangers watch over the Big Five Marathon to ensure that participants can gaze safely at zebras, leopards, and antelopes as they run.

6) Great Wall Marathon (China).  This marathon isn’t for the faint hearted, but it’s the race of a lifetime. Strictly speaking, the marathon route overlaps the Great Wall of China for a small section of the race, but this relatively short section on the Wall is a challenging 5,164 steps. Participants get to run through old villages and see sweeping hillside views, with hundreds of enthusiastic locals cheering for them. 

7) Skarkasse 3-Laender Marathon (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).  This unique marathon offers runners an opportunity to run through three countries - Germany, Austria and Switzerland in one single race! This 26.2-mile journey starts on the island of Lindau, Germany, before taking runners through several Austrian towns, and then crossing the Swiss border and finishing in Bregenz. The flat terrain, half of which courses along the shores of Lake Constance, features a mix of cobblestone, gravel and asphalt. 

8) Big Sur Marathon (California, USA).  For the past two years, the Big Sur Marathon sells out in record time! Traversing through one of the world’s most scenic courses, meandering through the coastline along the azure blue waters of the Pacific ocean and redwoods, the Big Sur International Marathon held in California ranks high on the list of challenging marathons due to its alpine terrain and strong headwinds. Known for its incomparable natural beauty and dramatic coastal scenery, this race has a strict 6-hour time limit to complete it.

9) Patagonian International Marathon (Patagonia, Chile).  This marathon will take you through the jaw-dropping landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park, a route which makes way through turquoise waters, towering peaks and pristine glaciers. This is also the most eco-friendly race in the world. Instead of medals, participants have a tree planted in their name. The organisers also encourage you to carry your own water bottles to avoid cup waste. So, go ahead and fulfil your dream of running in one of the most pristine places on the planet!

10) Australian Outback Marathon (Australian).  Big open skies, cool rock formations, soft red earth under your feet, this marathon was made for adventure seekers and nature lovers. This marathon will give runners a glimpse of the famous Uluru and Kata Tjuta rock formations and sacred sites of the aboriginals of the area. 

(09/07/2019) Views: 2,583 ⚡AMP
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Midnight Sun Marathon

Midnight Sun Marathon

The Midnight Sun Marathon first started in 1989 and has runners from most of the world, attracted by its special feature of running in the midnight sun. The race starts and finishes at the city center. The runners are facing the Tromso Bridge after 2 km; an uphill from 6 to 43 meters over sea level. After running about 20...

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2020 Big Sur International Marathon Random Drawings offer runners multiple opportunities to secure an entry into this iconic race

Registration to enter a series of random drawings for the April 26, 2020 Big Sur International Marathon, will begin on Monday, July 15th.

The Big Sur International Marathon has sold out for years and is a “bucket list” race for runners from around the globe. To increase accessibility to this popular event, the Big Sur Marathon Foundation offers various drawings and entry categories to earn a spot in the late-April race.

The Groups and Couples drawing will be held first, followed by Loyalty, Locals, First-Timers, and finally, the Last Chance drawing. Prospective participants wishing to bypass the random drawings can enter through one of four first-come, first-served categories: Big Sur VIP presented by HOKA ONE ONE®, Marathon Tours, Boston 2 Big Sur, and JUST RUN Charity Entries.

“This is the fifth year for us to use a random drawing for the majority of Marathon entries,” said Doug Thurston, Executive Director and Race Director for the Big Sur Marathon Foundation. “Our system provides multiple opportunities and has helped thousands of new and returning runners enjoy our race.”

The schedule to register for the various categories is as follows:

GROUPS & COUPLES: Registration takes place 7/15 – 7/23 with results announced on 7/25. This category is for groups of two to 15 people who want to participate only if everyone in the group is chosen.

LOYALTY: Registration open from 7/26 – 8/5; results announced 8/6. For those who have finished one or more 26.2-mile Big Sur Marathons.

LOCALS: Registration open from 7/29 – 8/7; results announced 8/8. For both veteran and first-time marathoners whose primary residence is in Monterey County, CA (939XX zip code).

FIRST TIMERS: Registration open from 7/31 – 8/11; results announced 8/12. For those who have never finished the 26.2-mile Big Sur Marathon.

LAST CHANCE: Registration open from 8/12 – 8/20; results announced 8/21. For anyone not selected or who didn’t participate in earlier drawings.

There is no fee to enter any of the drawings.

(07/09/2019) Views: 771 ⚡AMP
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This is a tough marathon with a beautiful course. For sure a bucket-list race. 7/10 9:56 pm


Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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The Run The World Global 52-week Challenge has finished. The team logged 122,123 miles or 335.5 daily. Michael Wardian was first American and Kenyan's Eliud Esinyen ran the most miles averaging 15.7 miles daily logging 5,738

Run The World Global Challenge is a world-wide celebration of running.  The program was started by Bob Anderson one year ago, July 4, 2018.  Since that time 281 runners around the world ran or walked and then logged 122,123 miles.  This equals 335.5 miles daily or 2,348 miles weekly for 52 weeks which equals 4.9 times around the world. 

"One of the key reasons we started this program," says creator Bob Anderson, My Best Runs and Runner's World magazine founder, "was to motivate people, bring together runners from all over and to run miles all over the world." 

That all happen. Runners from 20 countries participated, miles were run in 75 countries and it certainly motivated many runners to run more miles than they were running before. 

53-year-old James Kalani had not run much over the last few years and then he entered the RTW Challenge.  After getting in good shape over several months, he started pushing it for Challenge #5 which started March 31. Over the last 94 days he ran and logged 1536 miles.  That's 114 miles weekly.  It was not just covering miles, many were quality. On June 16 he ran 30.6 miles at an average pace of 6:41 per mile.

Before the RTW Challenge creator Bob Anderson was running on average 20 miles weekly.  "I got so motivated by this challenge," says Bob.  "I looked forward to running not just one time daily but often I would run two or three times.  I took a photo everyday and posted it in our Runner's Feed.  I also read every post and commented on each for the whole year.  I have been running since 1962 and have run nearly 1,000 races.  I am an addicted runner but I needed something new and this was it."

In the end Bob averaged 5 miles daily or 35 miles weekly for a total of 1830 miles for the year.  With the added miles he also improved his racing performance.  He ran 7:54 pace for 10k and placed third 70 plus at the London 10,000 in May.  A race with nearly 20,000 runners.

The RTW Challenge team did some amazing things during the year.  69-year-old Brent Weigner lives in Cheyenne Wyoming but many of his 2036 miles were run outside of the United States.  In fact Brent ran miles in 30 different countries. 

The most miles were run and logged in the United States.  The top five countries were: United States (64,899 miles), Kenya (24,066 miles), Palau (8,242 miles), India (7,423 miles) and South Africa (6,765).  The amazing story here is that the little country of Palau has less that 22,000 inhabitants and placed third.  Their team leader Aaron Salvador logged 1,584 miles himself and encouraged his team to run and log. 

The team leader for South Africa, Liz Dumon, is the key reason why her country placed fourth.  She herself ran and logged 1000 miles.  Liz encouraged people to sign up.  In fact our youngest members were twins she recruited along with mom and grandma. The 7-year-old twins Jonathan (logged 118 miles) and his sister Michelle (logged 100 miles) had loads of fun and posted regularly in the Runners Feed.  Their dogs joined in on the fun too. (Third photo of twins with Grandma)

Their 56-year-old grandma (Johanna Fourie) logged 672 miles and placed 10th for females.  Right behind her was mom (Erika Fourie) with 625 miles. 

Who said age is just a number? The top three overall females were 65 plus.  Placing first was 68-year-old Kat Powell (USA).  She logged 1271 miles.  Not far back was 69-year-old Linda Robinson (USA) with 1145 miles followed by 65-year-old Carmella DiPippa (PW) with 1040 miles.  Sixth female was 71-year-old Karen Galati (USA) who logged 835 miles.

On the men's side there were so many stars.  35-year-old Kenyan Eliud Esinyen averaged 15.7 miles daily or 110 miles weekly (second photo).  Many times he ran three times daily.  On April 21 he ran a marathon on a tough course at high altitude clocking 2:22:46 which is 5:27/mile pace.  On January 27 he ran a 10k clocking 31:05.  Eliud ran and logged the most with 5,738 miles. 

Kenya's team leader Willie Korir (27) placed second overall with 5195 miles.  He also posted images regularly in the Runners Feed along with comments.  He also wrote several stories for My Best Runs Running News Daily column including finding inside information about the king of the marathon, Eluid Kipchoge.

The first American and third overall was 45-year-old Michael Wardian with 3618 miles (frist photo). This ultra star pulled off many amazing feats during the year.  Most recently on June 29 he ran 89.9 miles around Washington DC.  On May 4th he ran 62.14 miles at 7:14/mile average pace in Sacramento.  He ran the Big Sur Marathon in 2:35:18 making the podium.  He had run the Boston Marathon earlier a little faster clocking 2:33:23.

In March he travelled to Israel and posted the fastest known time on the 631-mile Natoinal Israel Trail.  He covered this distance in 10 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes.  Earlier he not only ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days (winning them all) he tacked on three more marathons when he got home.  That's ten marathons in ten days.  He is the complete runner with a wide range.  On Feb 10th he ran a 5k in 17:01. 

"Michael is one amazing versatile runner and we were happy when he decided to join our team," says Bob Anderson.

Second American and fifth overall was 75-year-old Frank Bozanich who logged 3523 miles. Frank has run many ultra races over the years and have won many.  Lots of these miles were not real fast compared to what he has done before.  But on July 30th last year he ran 20 miles in Reno in two hours and 43 minutes.  That is an 8:09/mile pace. 

Finishing in seventh place was 72-year-old Paul Shimon who logged 2835.  Like so many of our team, Paul had to deal with a lot of bad weather in Kansas during the winter.  But he layered up and got in the miles.

Michael T Anderson (61)  placed eighth overall logging 2,798 with lots of fast times along the way.   He has run over 130,000 miles in his lifetime so far.  On June 8th he ran 19:13 for 5k in Atlanta where he lives.  On April 28 he clocked 39:25 for 10k.

"The fastest runner on our team was Joel Maina Mwangi," says Bob Anderson.  This 34-year-old Kenyan placed 13th overall with 1,953 miles logged.  On March 10 he ran a 30:14 10k in Torino Italy.   He ran six half marathons under 1:05.  His fastest was run in Aosta, Italy where he clocked 1:02:50 on September 30. 

"There are as many amazing stories," says Bob Anderson. "I am glad our event is helping motivate runners all over the world.  I am looking forward for year two." 

What's next?  Run The World Global Challenge #6 will be a 10-week program.  There is no entry fee.  You just need to have a free My Best Runs (the sponsor of this program) account and sign up for Run The World. 

(07/03/2019) Views: 1,594 ⚡AMP
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Run The World Global Challenges

Run The World Global Challenges

Run The World Global Challenge is a world wide celebration of running. RTWChallenge 8 started Jan 1, 2020 and will go the entire year with monthly winners. Here is he link for the official results of Run The World 52-Week Challenge. Congrats to all our participants. RTW Challenge #7 is a 16 week program starting September 11, 2019 and ending...

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Jordan Tropf was not well known by others at the Big Sur Marathon but he took the lead from the start and pulled away to the finish

The Big Sur International Marathon had more than 4,000 runners tackle the 26.2-mile course along the Pacific Ocean on Sunday.  

Jordan Tropf was the winner clocking 2:25:21.

This is the first year in a long time that a new face has won the marathon.

D'Ann Arthur, 31, of Redondo Beach won the women's overall division clocking 2:45:41. Arthur is in residency for orthopedic surgery in Southern California.

Tropf is a Navy doctor from Silver Springs, Maryland, who said that he set a personal record on Sunday. He was the race leader from start to finish. 

Defending male champion and local favorite, Adam Roach, 33, of Pacific Grove, placed second.  Michael Wardian placed fourth and was first master.  

Adam and Michael have dominated the annual race the past few years, having won the last seven races between them. But Wardian told Roach before the sun came up Sunday to be aware of Jordan Tropf, who won the Baltimore Marathon in 2017.

“I didn’t know he was even in the race until Michael mentioned him on the ride out,” said Roach, a Pacific Grove resident.

Tropf wasn’t on the list of elite runners entered in the race, although he is ranked among the nation’s top 200 marthoners having run 2 hours, 27 minutes and 23 seconds at the Boston Marathon on April 15 and 2:26.45 in the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

But Roach wasn’t sure which runner Tropf was until a few miles into race. By then, the Navy doctor had become a blur ahead of him, running off with the men’s division in 2:25:22.

“I had set a goal to get under 2:30,” said the 27-year-old Tropf, who is in the Naval Academy. “I just went out and ran my race and didn’t worry about anyone else.”

D’Ann Arthur of Redondo Beach didn’t let a night out for a wedding slow her down, as she went out and won the women’s race in 2:48.40 — nearly 13 minutes faster than last year’s winning time.

Tropf set a blistering pace that caught Roach — a five-time champion at Big Sur – off guard. He led from the start and gradually extended his lead throughout the 26-mile, 385-yard majestic course.

Running a 5:32 mile pace, Tropf’s time was nearly four minutes faster than Roach’s winning time last year and over five minutes faster than Wardian’s winning time in 2017.

(04/29/2019) Views: 972 ⚡AMP
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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The Big Sur Marathon Foundation has announced it will be making a donation of $110,550 to Northern California Fire Relief

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation has announced it will be making a donation of $110,550 to the North Valley Community Foundation following the cancellation of the 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon. The 16th Annual Monterey Bay Half Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, November 11th, was canceled due to smoke from the Camp Fire, located in Butte County northeast of the Monterey and Pacific Grove race course.

On Wednesday, November 14th, the 7,600 paid entrants in last year’s Monterey Bay Half Marathon were notified of their eligibility to choose one of five deferral or donation options. As of January 1, 2019, roughly 80 percent of these entrants had made their deferral or donation selection. Just over two-thirds of respondents chose to defer their registration to the 2019 Monterey Bay Half Marathon while 25 percent chose to donate $75 of their entry fee to Northern California Fire Relief. The deferral and donation options and the percentage of runners who chose each option are as follows:

67% - Defer my 2018 Half Marathon entry to the November 10, 2019 Monterey Bay Half Marathon

25% - Donate $75 of my entry fee to a non-profit agency supporting Northern California Fire Relief

5% - Defer my 2018 Half Marathon entry to the November 15, 2020 Monterey Bay Half Marathon

2% - Donate $75 of my entry fee to Monterey County charities funded by the Big Sur Marathon Foundation

1% - Defer my 2018 Half Marathon entry to the November 14, 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon

“We appreciate the strong response from runners wanting to return to the Monterey Bay area this November and also those who want to help the many folks who were affected by this devastating fire,” said Doug Thurston, Executive Director and Race Director for the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, organizers of the event.

(01/12/2019) Views: 947 ⚡AMP
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Monterey Bay Half Marathon

Monterey Bay Half Marathon

The Monterey Bay Half Marathon on Monterey Bay contributes to the Ronald McDonald House, Breast Cancer Fund and Big Sur Marathon's JUST RUN Youth Fitness Program. ...

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The Salinas Valley Half Marathon has been discontinued by the Big Sur Marathon after almost a decade

Big Sur Marathon Foundation officials have announced that the Salinas Valley Half Marathon is being discontinued after almost a decade.

"The race had a dedicated group of area runners and we regret no longer being able to offer them the chance to enjoy the scenic course and the wine-themed finish festival," Doug Thurston, race director and executive director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, said in a statement Thursday. "But despite our best efforts, the event failed to attract participation across the state and region to be able to support other non-profits in the community.”

After eight years of the half marathon, the 2018 event included a shorter 5K run to build more support for the race. But that event didn't draw enough support to make the event financially viable.

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation took over organizing duties from the Salinas Valley Half Marathon foundation in 2016 to increase participation given the popularity of other Big Sur Marathon Foundation events.

Despite the increased incentives, including participants receiving an additional medal for doing multiple Big Sur Marathon Foundation events in one calendar year, participation in the Salinas Valley Half Marathon continued to drop.

“Only 772 (people) entered the last race (in 2018), down more than 50 percent from eight years ago,” Thurston said. 

(01/03/2019) Views: 671 ⚡AMP
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Here are the options for those who entered the Monterey Bay Half Marathon which was cancelled

Race officials announced Wednesday that entrants in the canceled 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon can instead run in one of the next three editions of the race or donate $75 of their entry fee to charity. Officials canceled the Monterey Bay Half Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, the evening before the event when shifting winds brought high levels of smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County into the area causing unhealthy air quality on the Monterey Peninsula. Entrants have until the end of the year to decide if they want to compete in the coming editions of the Monterey Bay Half Marathon on Nov. 10, 2019, Nov. 15, 2020, or Nov. 14, 2021, donate $75 of their entry fee to a nonprofit agency supporting Northern California fire relief or donate $75 of their entry fee to Monterey County charities funded by the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, which manages the race. Doug Thurston, the Monterey Bay Half Marathon race director, said the overall entry fee varied between $90 and $125 depending on when entrants paid the fee. He explained the entry fees have already been spent. “The cost of the race exceeds the entry fees, with the balance being made up by sponsorships, donations, merchandise sales, etc.,” he said. “It’s not like we have all the entry fees sitting in an account somewhere, they’ve already been spent on the production of the event.” The donations will be made out of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation reserve funds. Thurston said thousands of entrants still came out to the finish-line area at Custom House Plaza to get their shirts, medals, programs, food and drinks in what ended up being a party-like atmosphere. (11/15/2018) Views: 813 ⚡AMP
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Maybe the most beautiful and most challenging Marathon in the world, Big Sur

Sunday April 29 is the Big Sur Marathon on the Monterey Bay in Northern California. The course is 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world - and, for runners, the most challenging. The athletes who participate in the Big Sur International Marathon may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the way to the finish line. Named "Best Marathon in North America" by The Ultimate Guide to Marathons, the Big Sur International Marathon continues to sell out earlier and earlier each year and, as a major destination marathon, draws entrants from all over the world. On their way from Big Sur to Carmel's Rio Road, runners wind through majestic redwoods and past Pacific Ocean views. If you have not entered put it on your bucket list for next year. It does sell out very quickly however. Check their website for details. (04/18/2018) Views: 1,155 ⚡AMP
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