I’m in! I’m in! I’m in!

So I’m going to have to eat my words for a minute here. Ever since I got into running and had a couple of half marathons under my belt, I would constantly get asked when I was going to run a full marathon and my answer was always, “Never!” I had zero desire to run that kind of distance and put in all the hours of training it required. But then one day in my local Moms Run This Town Facebook group, one of our leaders posted a link to the Big Sur International Marathon (which she had previously run) and said that if it wasn’t on your running bucket list, it should be. That piqued my interest so I started looking into it. I read several articles about the marathon and watched several videos on YouTube as well. And do you know what happened? I changed my tune right around. The location, the scenery, the entertainment…everything. I was hooked. I wanted in.  Nevermund the fact that this is one of the more difficult marathons. Or that it sells out within minutes. I didn’t care. I had to get in.

Big Sur is not a spectator marathon.  In fact, there are no spectators at all.

Our course does not feature spectators 10 deep, dozens of stages with amplified rock bands, video screens, or scores of cheer groups. Some runners say they see more cows than people. What we do feature is incomparable scenery, thousands of dedicated volunteers, more than a dozen community music groups, school bands, etc., Taiko Drummers to help you get up the largest hill on the course, and, of course, a classical pianist.


25th Annual

big sur2



Not to mention strawberries at mile 23 and of course, these beautiful hand made medals.



Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World Magazine said this about the Big Sur International Marathon, “If we were told we could only run one marathon in our lifetime, Big Sur would have to be it.”  It has been voted best destination marathon in numerous publications, as well as well as most scenic amongst other awards an accolades.  You see why I wanted to do this as my first marathon?  Go big or go home?  Apparently that’s how I like to do things.

But because of the popularity of this race, the organizers changed the registration process this year. Rather than a one time first come, first serve shot at getting in, they were holding four separate open registration dates and allowing 625 entrants in each one plus a lottery for an additional 500 entries. I have been counting down the days. Yesterday was the first day of open registration. I was glued to my computer and actually got really anxious as the minutes ticked by. When I logged into active.com it told me that over 5,000 people were watching this event. I thought there was no way in hell I was going to get in, but I was damn well going to try.

At exactly 10am, I started the registration process, typing as fast as I could with my hands shaking, my palms sweating and my heart racing. I didn’t even read any of it. I just filled out the bare minimum of what was required, put in my credit card info and hit submit. Then…nothing. Did I get in? No email confirmation. Should I try again? Did I screw something up? And then there it was.


O-M-G. I am in. YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldn’t believe it! Later that day I was looking online and a lot of people that tried registering right at 10am did not get in. The spots sold out in less than 5 minutes. I’m sure am one lucky girl. I can’t believe my first marathon is going to be Big Sur. What an epic way to go.

Have you ever run a full marathon?  What was your first?






28 thoughts on “I’m in! I’m in! I’m in!

  1. When I saw you post this on FB I was beaming with happiness for you. I remember asking you if you were going to run a full and you said no way, and I am sure I said something along the lines of never say never! 😉 You are going to rock it, I have heard great things about Big Sur, I cannot wait for you to start your training! You are awesome Julia and this is going to be one hell of an adventure for you! xo

    • Thank you so much Sara! I’m a little terrified, because of course I didn’t pick some flat “easier” marathon. Oh no…I had to go all out and pick a bucket list one. But, I want my first to be amazing, even if it is hard. I’m so excited for this journey!

      • I’m sorry, apparently I’ve offended everyone today. I did not mean to say that any marathon is easy. Far from it. I don’t think any marathon is easy, especially a first marathon. But there were less challenging courses that I looked into that just didn’t have the appeal that this one did, so despite this one being a very ambitious goal for me, I picked it anyway. I did not mean to discount your achievements in any way, I was simply speaking for myself and the other marathons I was looking into.

      • Not at all. I’m not discrediting any other marathon. That’s not what I meant. I was just saying that I probably would have been better off picking a marathon that’s not as challenging for my first one, but I was sucked in by the beauty of this one.

  2. Ahhhh I’m running my first half in Maui this September and was thinking I may want to do a full sometime in the future (maybe just one depending on how it goes hahaah) and was looking into Big Sur because of some AMAZING videos I’ve seen of that course from previous runners. CONGRATS! 🙂 it’s a tough one, but looks breathtaking–the medals are one of a kind as well ;).Can’t wait to read on your experience!

    • Oh wow, Maui would be incredible! Good luck, how amazing! I am so excited for this one. I feel like I don’t deserve it since I’ve never run a full before, but whatever. I will enjoy every brutal minute of it, lol!

      • I figured if I was going to make myself run 13.1 miles it better be a one-of-a-kind location and have an amazing view 😉 I guess Big Sur would be the next step up haha. You totally deserve it! Just be sure to work in those hills / never-ending inclines during training! 😉

  3. Big Sur is definitely on my bucket list!! It’s gorgeous and one of the most challenging, but totally worth the experience!
    My first marathon will be the NYC marathon next year. I won a spot thru the lottery on my first attempt (not expecting to do so), but I’m pregnant, so I had to defer to 2015. That will be another awesome first marathon experience.

  4. Awesome! I have yet to do a half but it’s on my to-do running list. I’m wondering if I’ll change my tune about a full after I finally reach that goal, like you did! Have fun – looks so beautiful!!

  5. big sur is on my bucket list for marathons but i think it’s gonna have to be 2016 for me. my husband would kill me if i added a marathon across the country to the list 🙂 so excited — it’s gonna be a great first marathon (just be careful when you use the words marathon & easy in the same sentence ;)) can’t wait to read about your training!

    • Yes, I’m really lucky Big Sur is relatively close to me! And, yeah, just for the record, I said “easier” not “easy”. I don’t think ANY marathon is ever going to be easy, but some courses might be more challenging than other based on the conditions.

  6. OMG, congrats! This is on my bucket list for sure. If I hadn’t registered for Paris in April, I would have been ALL over this one!

  7. You are so lucky and if we weren’t moving I would totally do it with you even though I always agreed with you about not having a desire to every run a marathon. Lol

  8. Just wanna say I don’t think you said ANYTHING offensive using the word easier. I’ve run 26.2 several times as well as beyond 26.2 a few times. Although no run that distance is “easy” not all are created equal. Actually I ran a 20 mile race that was much harder than my next 31 mile race. Just wanted to throw that out there. Good luck even though I know you don’t need it!

  9. Pingback: And That’s a Wrap! |

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