Disclaimer: I received a Marathon Relay entry as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Hey all of you out there in the digital space. I’m sorry the blog has fallen a little flat, sometimes I’m on a creative streak and can bust out posts like crazy and other times I gotta squeeze it out. But a few months back, I was excited to find out that I was able to participate in the Big Sur International Marathon, in a relay spot with my friend and fellow BibRave Pro Kelly!
Now, just clicking on the hyper link to the marathon is going to show you some beautiful sights, and believe me when I tell you, the pictures do them no justice, if you can believe it! I was blown away! But let me backtrack a bit.
Since I happened to be on spring break from work, I was able to make a week long racecation out of this race, and booked flights to San Francisco with my husband for Monday. (Yes San Fran is about 1.5-2 hours outside of the race but I havent been on this coast before so I wanted to explore!) We spent the week dining out, walking about and being super touristy until Friday night when Kelly flew in.
The following morning we started our drive into Monterey (The expo, our next hotel, and the race sponsored Pasta Dinner are all located there). Upon checking in we made our way to the expo, where we were able to meet up with other Pros who were running the race as well! After being virtual so long it was crazy cool getting to meet other pros in person!
Oh, and I feel like I should mention this is my first BibRave event in person! COVID ran rampant right after I joined so all of my campaigns and races have been virtual thus far!
The expo was pretty packed, so the claustrophobia was definitely in effect, but they had a great selection of race merch, as well as hydration/fueling brands. As I mentioned earlier there was a Pasta Dinner as well. Now, if youre like me and pasta is your thing, definitely partake in this dinner pre race. $40 a person and its an all you can eat pasta buffet with salad, dessert, and beer/wine, it was a win all around (both for Kelly and I who are pasta before race-ers and Jude who is also a pasta guy).
Following the dinner we made our way back to the hotel, where we all got ready for bed, our 2:15 morning alarm mocking us as we closed our eyes while the sun was still out. I will say, still being on EST in my brain helped since the alarm didn’t feel crazy early! I had trouble sleeping, Hurricane Point, 2 miles 500ft climb, kept pounding in the back of my head.
But Mike, why 2:15, the race doesn’t start til 6:30! Oh that’s because the race was gracious enough to provide shuttles to the beginning of the race, which is a great deal from the hotel (the finish line being much closer, and the shuttle being 4 minutes from the hotel). Kelly Boarded the first bus to the start (she was running the first leg) and we ran Into fellow pro Sylvia, who spotted my orange gear as I parked my car!
My bus to the second leg was 25 minutes later. The ride wasn’t too bad, and kind of gave me a sense of when/where I wouldn’t have service on the race course. We learned that this year there were new relay points but that wasn’t relayed to the bus driver, since he tried dropping us at the 21 miler location 😵
Once we got squared away in the right location, myself and the other leg 2 runners chatted and tried tracking the race as best we could with limited service. It was cold for sure, the bus provided warmth but as runners began reaching the 8.4 mile mark, we were piling out of the bus to cheer on! I saw a few of my friends run by, and then in the distance I saw Kelly!
Once we took a selfie and assessed fatigue, I was off! Instantly remembered I was supposed to give her car keys so I sprinted back 1/4 mile to give them to her before starting again. Before I knew it I was at hurricane point (~2 miles after I started) my best comparison would be the on ramps at Disney races, but with much better views.
I swear I took more photos during the race than I did the entire week I was in San Francisco’s my time would have likely been 10 minutes quicker had I not stopped for so many pictures haha
I managed to catch up to Jess (one of the founders of BibRave) and we got to run and chat for a few miles with a friend of hers! My legs were reaching a walking point after a few miles so I fell behind a bit to make sure I was listening to my body instead of wanting a running buddy. (And yes, I did do a shot of tequila on course when it was offered, thanks for asking)
I truly had such an amazing time, and I’ll tell you, that ‘last two mile camaraderie’ is exactly what I missed about racing. Everyone is your biggest cheerleader as you finish up, and we NEEDED it, since the last mile and half was UPHILL!
As I neared the end Kelly had texted me about a Starbucks order, and an iced coffee was all the motivation I needed to propel across the finish line! After crossing the finish line, Kelly and I got our medals and were overwhelmed by the energy buzzing in the finisher village!
This was such an amazing experience, I’ve never been on a more beautiful course before. And being able to complete this with my best friend made it all the more wonderful! Check the race out and make sure to enter next years lottery to try and get yourself a place! Happy Running! -Mike