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Big Sur International Marathon - RunMarathon

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Big Sur, California
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 4h 18m 44s
Overall Rank = 1164/3192
Age Group = M 50 - 54
Age Group Rank = 78/222
Pre-race routine:

An early dinner (5:00 PM) the day before and to bed at 8:30 and to sleep by 10:30 or so... Up at 2:45 AM to get ready and get a cab to the bus. Started with an Odwalla Protein drink -- 380 caleries and 18 grams of soy protein, a bagle and a banana at around 3:00. Took the cab at 3:15 to the bus location and started our treck to Big Sur. The busses loaded at 3:45 and we left at 4:15 for Big Sur... It was warm so no need for sweats, gloves, et.
Event warmup:

We arrived and there was Hot coffee, etc. so I had a couple of cups and we all waited for the event to start. I downed a bottle of HEED before the start to bring my internal carb level up and felt great. It was pretty warm so I stuffed my sweats in the bag and did a little easy streatching and walked out to the road with everyone else. Nice crowd, beautiful setting. I found the fine fellow from BT Donato Cabel and joined him for the start. One more trip to the bushes and we were ready to go...
  • 4h 18m 44s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 53s  min/mile

I wanted a positive split but missed by 1 minute. The hills at the end kept me a bit nervous so I did not increase my pace after the half way point and did not open it up in the last few miles. The heat did not help either. I stopped at every water stop, kept on top of my hammer gells and Thermolyte. I felt great the entire race. Had to take two pee breaks during the first half of the run and needed another within an hour of finishing so no problem there. This was my best run -- a hard course and a PR.

As a special bonus, I met our fellow BT member Donato Cabal (enginerd) at the start and we ran together for a couple of miles. He had just finished a massive bike ride the day before (128 miles) and was looking for an easy 4:00 to 4:30... Well, he was courtious to the old fart (me)he was running with and stayed for several miles of nice conversation. I said "go ahead, I'll catch up" at a pee break and I tried but he slowly dissapeared into the distance. I knew not to chase him and he fished an amazing 3:50!!! with the first three at a slow warm up pace with me. That was after the 128 miles on the bike!!!! Now that is talent!!! With luck, we can run again -- before I watch him dissapear into the distance. Well, there is always next year! GREAT RUN Donato!!!
What would you do differently?:

Train with more hills. I kept my pace even through the entire race but that gain and loss of 3,000 ft over all the hills was a challenge. I will be ready if I come back next year --- and I plan to!!!!
Post race
Warm down:

Warm down was an easy walk around the fair at the end, soup, a banana, a recovery drink (FLUID), water, Odwalla and some fruit. Then I walked the two miles back to my B&B, nice shower, lunch and then drove back to friends in Aptos for a big steak and some serious Cabernet! My head hit the pillow at about 10:30 and at 10:30 and four seconds I was gone....

Life does not get any better than this!!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I did not train the hills enough. The ups needed more strength and I did not like the downs at all. My knees are touchy every once and a while anyway. I do not expect a PR next year, but I do expect an amazing run...

Event comments:

This is the best race experience I have ever had... bar none. Yes, the airforce marathon was better orgaized... Yes, Tucson was easier... Yes, the lost Dutchman is more intimate... BUT, when you get on that pacific highway and run in that beauty... there is nothing that can touch it! These folks do a great job and I will do it again if my knees hold out another year! This is the best overall experience I have ever had!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-12-12 12:00 AM
04:18:44 | 26.2 miles | 09m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 78/222
Overall: 1164/3192
Performance: Good
With the warm temperature and sun that was comming I knew it would be hard to manage my heart rate well. I like to run at a 145 HR average but with these hills and the prospect of 65 - 70 degrees by the end, I knew to be careful with hydration, salt, etc. With the wind off the ocean it could easily turn into a cramp fest. I was fine but there were A LOT of folks on the side of the road with cramps through the race... For all the hills and heat, it was still a PR! Thanks Bill at Camelback coaching!!!
Course: I have only done 10 half or full marathons so I am no great expert but this is the most amazing run I have ever done by a long shot!!! The is Beauty, Beauty and then more Beauty... The course starts if the Pfeiffer State park 26 miles south of Carmel. The stars were still spanning the sky as we gathered for coffee, pottie breaks and conversation before the race. The sun began to break the eastern ridge of the coastal mountains and we new the start was upon us. It is a very civil start. We all just walked up to highway 1 and the announcer asked us to space out by speed. We did... the gun went off and we were off. The first miles were a steady down hill through the pine forests as the morning bagan. It took several miles to make our way north and towards the coast to see the pacific open up in front of us. We continued on a steady but slightly down course until about mile 5, then we had a slight up until mile 9. It was not a tough grade and the hill and the end was met by a solid downhill to the beach before hurricane point. That was something!!!! At mile 10, we started a two mile, straight climb of over 500 feet to the top of hericane point. A winding upward treck with amazing views and a trail of runners on the side with cramps that lasted the whole two miles. I had gone out a little faster than normal race plan to take this slow and that was a really good idea. I backed off to a 10:45 and just took the hill. The wind was amazing! When I hit the top, it blew my hat off. But the view from the top was worth a stop with a camara. Next year I will take one! The next mile and a half was right back down again and if you were prone to quad issues, that would be the testing ground. We hit the half way point on the famous Bixby bridge that is in all the photos. It was a fitting end to a very challenge hill! As we started into the second half, the long rise and fall we started with changed to a series of small hills and declines. From start to finish, the race dropped about 200 feet. The rise and fall during the race was over 3,000 feet -- each way! That is a lot of up and a lot of down! The views were one "knock your socks off" moment after another. With the highway closed, there were almost no fans. So, all you heard was the wind, the surf and the patter of running shoes. That is a day worth relishing. There was one final steep section just after mile 25 that gave us a small challenge but it was met by a pleasent decline to the finish. We were met with a great food tent, soup, Odwalla drinks, beer, water, etc. at the finish. It was well done! This was a tough, hilly course and worth every second it took to cover it! It has now past "The Lost Dutchman" and Tucson for my favorite races...
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-04-28 11:10 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Tucson, AZ
Subject: Big Sur International Marathon

2008-04-29 6:25 AM
in reply to: #1368372

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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon

Congrats on the PR!  Amazing race Emerson.  I guess the beauty of the location makes up for some of those NASTY hills. Really great job!

2008-04-29 7:57 AM
in reply to: #1368372

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Extreme Veteran
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon

Great job, Emerson!  Congratulations!

My family drove the Pacific Coast Hwy from Carmel to somewhere just northwest of LA a number of years ago - you're right - it is absolutely gorgeous (and absolutely hilly!).  Glad you got to enjoy such an awesome view while you ran!

2008-04-29 8:27 AM
in reply to: #1368372

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San Francisco
Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon

Emerson, it was really great to meet you.  i tried to look for you at the finish, but it was a bit of a mad house.  You are a great runner (Congrats on your PR on a tough course.  I hope I'm running like you are when I'm your age) and I'm so impressed with everything you've achieved with your survival, your weight loss, etc.  You have such a positive outlook and a friendly demeanor and I really enjoyed hanging out with you.  I hope we can race together again sometime.

P.S. That steak and cabernet sounded like perfect recovery food to me.  Yum!

Edited by enginerd 2008-04-29 8:29 AM
2008-04-29 11:23 AM
in reply to: #1368372

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Mishicot, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon
Fantastic job Emerson!!!  What a race to be proud of... the pictures are so beautiful.  I think there might be only one other marathon that could be that pretty and that is the Maui Marathon... runs along the coast too.  Congrats again!!
2008-04-29 5:34 PM
in reply to: #1368372

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon

Congrats on the PR Emerson! It sounds like a wonderful race. The photos are just beautiful. And a chance to run next to the ocean! We can't get that in Tucson.

Looking forward to hear how it goes next year!

2008-04-29 5:37 PM
in reply to: #1368372

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Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon
I need to do this race sometime. Great race and great race report!
2008-04-29 5:41 PM
in reply to: #1368372

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon


Wow, a PR on a really tough course! I'm glad you had such a good experience and it turned out to be a beautiful marathon for you. I am envious and am aiming to be able to finish fast ( = within the time limit) like you did by next year!

2008-04-29 6:06 PM
in reply to: #1368372

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Santa Cruz, California
Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon

CONGRATS ON A GREAT RACE EMERSON! Sorry that I could not make it as planned! looks as though you did fabulous and had a great race! I am with Donato and think you ended it with a favorite type of wine and steak! YUM! CONGRATS! make sure to plan a trip out west again soon...and we can hang out!


2008-04-29 6:45 PM
in reply to: #1370656

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Subject: RE: Big Sur International Marathon

Congratulations Emerson!!!

Wow, a PR on what looks like a really tough course. (That mountain looks really BIG!) GREAT JOB!

Fantastic photos, too. Beautiful views.
2008-05-06 1:59 PM
in reply to: #1368372

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