Big Sur or Bust!!

“If we were told we could run only one marathon in our lifetime, Big Sur would have to be it.”
Bart Yasso, Runners World
I have to be honest. A year ago I had never heard of Big Sur. A marathon was out of the question. What crazy person runs 26.2 miles. I will only do 13.1. Well fast forward to March 2010, mid-season with Team In Training to a run with my Coach, Lisa. She in a matter of a few miles had convinced me to switch to the full marathon in Seattle with TNT and to commit to doing Big Sur with TNT next Spring (yes, she is very convincing). I didn’t even know if I would like running 26.2 miles but after seeing the Big Sur website with its amazing pics and video I knew I was in. And while 26.2 was tough in June, I wanted to do it again, and do it for a good cause.
I am very lucky to have been chosen as a mentor/captain for the TNT season & Big Sur. For those of you not family with Team in Training & its structure–it basically means I will be a support system for several individuals assigned to me at the beginning of our “season” (Nov.20th) and I will be in charge of the social aspects of what we do as a Team (fundraisers, team breakfasts/dinners, additional runs, etc). I think that is the easiest way to sum it up. Our Coach is Lisa again and I will be working with Ryan, Matt, & Mike as mentors. I’m sure you will hear a lot about each of them in the future so I may as well introduce you now. 🙂
Back to the race. Seriously. This thing looks amazing. The only BUT, is that it is hilly. And I mean hilly. Like, NO JOKE hills. Maybe a 2 mile mountain better describes it. Check out the elevation. But then you see the view and hear about what else is on the course to take your mind off of the hills. Here are some details from Runners World magazine on what we will see:

Along the way you’ll also enjoy:

• Plenty of on-course entertainment including: Taiko drummers at mile 12; a classical serenade from a grand piano at mile 13.1; belly dancers at mile 25; plus classical, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll music provided by local groups.

• At mile eight, a magnificent view of the Point Sur Lighthouse, a turn-of-the-century light station jutting out into the Pacific.

• A spectacular view of Bixby Bridge at mile 12, as you make the challenging two-mile climb up to Hurricane Point and hear the piano music drifting up into the canyons.

• A breathtaking run across the Bixby Bridge, a 714-foot span that is a National Historic Landmark–one you’ll probably recognize from car commercials.

• Fresh strawberries and hugs from local children at mile 21 as you climb the short, steep hills into the Carmel Highlands.

Did I mention the medal? Can’t wait to add it to my bling. So cool.


So many of my TNT friends have already signed up and I believe we will be the only “Team” out there. We are already planning on extending the trip for some RNR after the race. This is going to be so fun. But here is what I will need to decide…no worries, we have till May 1, 2011 to make a decision..but…
I am debating on running the race for time or just taking pictures (I plan on running another full in the fall and would like to focus on a PR then). If you saw my wordless wednesday post that is a small example of what I will see along the course (please check out the video link above because that one pic doesn’t do the whole course justice). What would you do if you were me? Run for time or take a camera? I hate that I am so time focused. No need to always be so competitive, right? Anyone else convinced to sign up yet? Big Sur or Bust!!!

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  • That's a very personal decision. For me, racing usually means I don't pay much attention to the scenery because I'm focused internally. It might be a shame with all that beauty. (Plus, you'll have to take that 2 mile hill into account.)

  • I used to be that way too Elizabeth. But when you're so focused on time you forget what its all about. This past weekend Jessy and I treated Zooma like it was a GTS and we had so much fun and only finished 14 minutes past what we would normally have run. It was so worth it. We has some good laughs and talks along the way. It's not always about running it's about living during the run. Take the next couple of months to enjoy the run and dont worry bout the time. Who really cares. Only you. People are impressed by the shear dedication one has to even think of doing a marathon. So proud of you. But I
    Not convinced yet. Have to go to rehab first. Trish

  • Obviously this decision is really up to you but if it were me, I wouldn't focus on time. It looks like a beautiful course and I definitely would want to soak it all in. Especially since you have a race in the fall that you could focus on time at instead. I'm jealous you get to do Big Sur! Ahhh maybe one day 😉

  • I have learned that I can only handle one marathon a year where I run for time. The rest are just for fun. Take pictures, chit-chat, saunter through the water stops, and walk when you get the urge. Then when you finish, you just round your time downward to the closest hour! (That would be just one significant digit.)

  • New follower here. Big Sur is my DREAM. I'm so very jealous that you got in this year. As soon as I found out about it, I went to register and it was sold out. I wish you the best of luck on your training!
    Anymore room on your TNT team? 😉

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