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.
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?