race report: 2010 big sur marathon

marathon #7 complete!  it was by far the most challenging course i have ran, and was definitely not my fastest time, but it was an amazing experience.  it’s going to be a long one, but here is the report!

pre-race thoughts

i decided to run the big sur marathon pretty soon after my BQ at CIM.  after a year full of self-imposed time goal pressure, i was ready for a break mentally.  at that time i was still exhausted from that race and didn’t even want to think about pushing it that hard again for a while.  since boston was already full, i figured big sur would be a great race to do, since it’s supposed to be on the of the most scenic in the country, as well as being a very tough course where i wouldn’t really even consider going out for a PR.

as i got back into training i kicked myself a couple times for signing up for this race so soon after CIM.  i had the craving to race another marathon and run fast, and there were a couple temper tantrums this training cycle wishing i wouldn’t have signed up for this race.  why didn’t i just sign up for a fast course so i could try to PR?  each time i collected myself and looked back on 2010 and knew this was the right race for me to be running.  it was going to be my victory lap, my no pressure race, where i could really try to enjoy it for what it was.


as training went on i set some time goals for myself for this race.  i had heard you should add 20 minutes onto your “normal time” for this course because of the difficulty, then i had also heard 10 and 30 minutes, so who really knew.  i have a nemesis time of 3:57, so i decided i wanted to beat that.  if not, sub 4 would definitely make me happy, and if i could go faster than 3:50 i would be thrilled. 

most of all i wanted to really be in tune with myself.  i wanted to check in at certain points of the race and see how i was feeling.  if i started to feel bad, i wanted to recognize that and slow down a bit so i wouldn’t crash too hard and start hating life.  i just really didn’t want to have any “i don’t want to finish this race” thoughts in my head, i wanted to be happy and enjoy the race and finish strong.  i kept thinking of big sur as a “zen” marathon, and that’s what i was hoping to achieve.  

race weekend

marathon eve
this was going to be a girls weekend race!  my friend from high school, jessica, had signed up for it as well, so we had a weekend full of fun planned.  after a good night’s sleep on friday, i packed up my car and headed to monterey.  i stopped half way and had lunch with one of my best friends and then continued on the road, taking a more scenic route that i had never taken.  it was a beautiful day and i was enjoying the drive down the coast listening to my music and just thinking about the race. 

i arrived in monterey just before 2, checked in and waited for jessica to arrive.  soon after we walked to the expo, picked up our packets, very early bus tickets and wandered around for a bit.  i was actually a little surprised by the size of the expo.  it wasn’t huge, but much bigger than i anticipated for a smaller race.  there are only about 3,000 full marathoners, along with a relay, 21 miler and 9 miler.  it was very well organized and they did a great job. 

one thing i loved about this race is instead of giving you a bag full of papers and coupons, they emailed all the race participants a link of pdf forms of the paper so we could print out what we wanted, rather than waste paper.  they were definitely doing things along the way to be more “green” and you could tell.   

2010 BSIM 004

2010 BSIM 005

sandra was staying in our hotel as well and she arrived just as we got back.  she headed over to the expo and we went down to meet up with her, alisa, and alisa’s husband for an early dinner.  we talked about the race and got tips from sandra since she ran it last year, and then headed back to the hotel to get some relaxing and sleep in before our early wake up call.

overpacker much?
2010 BSIM 003

tara arrived a little bit later – she came all the way down to spectate and cheer us on!  after she got there, we turned off the lights and had the alarm clocks set for 2:45am.

race morning 
the alarm went off all too early as it always does, but i popped out of bed and started getting ready.  the hour flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head to the buses.  big sur is a point to point course that starts in big sur, runs up highway one, and finishes in carmel.  in order to do this, you HAVE to be bussed to the start, unless you are one of the few that stays in big sur.  tara got up and dropped us off (isn’t she the best?!?). 

we got to the busses right around 4, found katie, and got in line.  pretty soon we were on the bus driving the course backwards in the dark!  you could see the mile markers from the bus, but i was trying not to pay attention to them.  you could also feel the constant up and down of the bus, but i just kept telling myself that all the ups were really downs since we would be running the other way and there had to be more downs than ups. 

we arrived at the start with over an hour to spare so we hit the porta potties and found a spot to wait.  it was chilly but actually not that bad which made me a little nervous.  the weather forecast was sunny with high temps in the low 70s, so i was hoping it would stay cool for most of the race and was hoping being near the ocean would help as well.

pretty soon they were calling all the runners to the start, we stripped off our sweats, checked our bags and made our way to the start line.  since it wasn’t that cold, i decided not to wear my arm warmers or gloves.  i also really didn’t want to wear anything around me (interfering with my zen state), so i decided to shove gu all over me (my shorts pocket, sports bra, etc, which i would later regret since they cut me up nicely) rather than wear a belt to carry it.  i also carried my small handheld water bottle since they had “byob” stops at every water stop where people were going to be ready with pitchers to refill water bottles.

we got up to the start and there was tons of room up front, so katie and i decided to line up closer to the start while sandra and jessica wanted to go further back.  we said our good byes and good lucks and parted ways.  as we were standing there waiting we spotted dean karnazes right in front of us.  he had tons of people around talking to him so we didn’t say hi but it was still fun to see him there.  pretty soon the gun went off and we were on our way to carmel!

the race
miles 1-5 – through the woods
the race starts off winding through redwoods.  i immediately got a little cold and thought maybe i should have brought my gloves with me, but that was only for a minute.  we were trying to find a comfortable pace, i didn’t want to start off too fast, but not too slow either.  i was under the impression that the first few miles were downhill (and they were in net) but there were definitely some ups to go with the downs.  we cruised along chatting about her boston experience and were having a good time enjoying the scenery.  it was so beautiful through this part and i felt my legs definitely starting to warm up as we went, but it took a couple miles. 

mile 1 – 8:36
mile 2 – 8:39
mile 3 – 8:24
mile 4 – 8:17 (gu)
mile 5 – 8:19

miles 6-10 – to the coast
around mile 6 you come out of the forest and into the open.  i have heard this is typically where you can tell if it’s going to be a windy day (this marathon is notorious for being very windy) but there wasn’t much wind at all.  miles 6-8 were straight down the highway and there were big beautiful green hills on the side.  i was really focusing on taking all the scenery in.  around mile 6 katie had to stop to go to the bathroom so we said bye and i hoped i would see her again.  i was feeling really good and just cruising along enjoying the scenery.

around mile 8 you come out to the coast and the point sur lighthouse is in view and you have your first views of the ocean.  you make some climbs and get your first views of hurricane point (which is the longest climb of the marathon).  it’s pretty crazy to see it and think that in just a few miles you will be up top!  first though, during mile 10 you have to drop to the lowest point on the course before you start climbing.  the views continued to be amazing and i kept making sure to turn around and look back and where i had just come from.  the taiko drummers were out here and you definitely knew they were coming from a ways away.

mile 6 – 8:19 (salt)
mile 7 – 8:27
mile 8 – 8:30 (gu)
mile 9 – 8:39
mile 10 – 8:07

running along the beautiful california coast

from alisa’s hubs
this is seriously what it looked likeIMG_0783

miles 11-15 – hurricane point and bixby bridge
mile 11 starts the climb up to hurricane point.  this is a steady 2 mile climb where you gain 500 feet.  i have been prepared for this and just told myself to shorten my stride, pump my arms and get up the hill.  it was obvious i was going to be much slower going up, so i didn’t bother to look at my watch, i just went up.  the first mile was definitely harder than the second.  i made it to the top feeling pretty good but the legs were burning a little from the climb.  i turned around for a look back and was in awe.  it seriously looks like a painting and words could never do it justice. 

after you climb all the way up, then you get to go all the way back down to the bixby bridge.  as you were coming down the hill you could hear the pianist that always plays on the bridge.  it was a beautiful sound and it was a pretty awesome feeling to be running across that bridge.  i got choked up here and the eyes got watery, it was just an indescribable experience.  i thought about how far i have come, what i accomplished last year, how i have so much to look forward to, and how lucky i was to be on such a beautiful course that day.

the half way mark is exactly in the middle of the bridge.  i crossed around 1:53 and was feeling really good.  after the bridge you start climbing again.  i made sure to check in with myself around mile 14 and i was feeling really good so i just kept on cruising along thinking i might actually get a sub 3:50 today!  it wasn’t long after that i started getting pretty tired and noticed myself slowing down.  the hills just didn’t stop coming.

mile 11 – 10:02 (hurricane point)
mile 12 – 9:35 (hurricane point & gu)
mile 13 – 8:12
mile 14 – 8:28 (salt)
mile 15 – 9:01

on the bridge!

miles 16 – 20 – the hills keep coming and the wall
we kept running along the coast and it continued to be beautiful, but the sun was really heating me up at this point.  the hills just didn’t stop, there hadn’t been a single section of the course yet that was just flat, it was either up or down.  i had filled up my water bottles more times already then i had planned (i think i filled them up 6 times total?) but i just kept needing more water since it was warm out.  i would also grab a cup of water at the stations to dump on my head to cool down. 

i was trying to take in the sites and keep the rhythm going with my running.  every hill i saw i would get a little defeated but i just kept saying to myself “get up this one and you can walk on the next one.” this kept working for me and i kept not walking.  around mile 19 there was a pretty strong headwind all of a sudden but i welcomed the air since i was getting really warm and it helped cool me off. 

my stomach gave me a couple of warning signs that it might get angry, and i burped up a gu one time, i just really hoped i wouldn’t be getting sick out on the course and luckily i didn’t.  mile 20 is exactly between these two large rock walls, so it literally feels like you are at the wall and i was pretty much hitting it.

mile 16 – 9:03 (gu)
mile 17 – 8:46
mile 18 – 9:19
mile 19 – 9:17
mile 20 – 9:41 (gu)

pony tail is getting matted from dumping water on my head :)

miles 21-26.2 – march to the finish
somewhere in here we started heading inland and there were more people around (this race is not spectator friendly and doesn’t have many at all).  i kept up my deal with myself about walking the hills until around mile 22 when there was a bigger one and i just couldn’t go anymore, i needed a break.  so i walked up the hill, but started running as soon as i would get to the top.  i did this a few times through the next few miles and it helped me get through.

there had been many stretches of cambered road throughout the race but i reallllly was noticing it now.  it was sending pain through my foot and up my leg and i kept going back and forth on the road trying to find the flattest spots.  at this point i was pretty much ready to be done running, but it was never a question of if i was going to finish.  i knew i was, there was no doubt, i just didn’t know if i was going to beat 4 hours or not.  i knew it was going to be close and i tried to use that to get me going a couple times, and it would help, but really when you are in the moment you don’t seem to care about those things.

at mile 25 there was another big hill and it just makes you want to cry seeing it.  luckily there was a photographer sitting right in the middle of it, and i have a thing about walking in front of photographers – i just won’t do it.  so i got up that last hill and knew i was almost there.

there were more people around and i saw ari, katie’s husband and it was nice to see a familiar face.  the crowds were getting thicker and i knew the finish had to be close!  finally i could see it ahead of me and i picked up the pace and gave it my all to get there.  i could see the clock and knew i was going to be under 4 hours… just missing my nemesis time of 3:57 but i didn’t care at that point.  i saw alisa and tara and waved at them and crossed the line so happy to be done!

mile 21 – 9:22
mile 22 – 11:01
mile 23 – 9:56
mile 24 – 10:17
mile 25 – 8:54
mile 26 – 9:36
last .34 – 2:48 (8:10 avg)

i see you finish line!

garmin: 26.34 miles/3:57:54/9:01 avg pace
(i realized late in the race that my watch had been auto-pausing when i would stop to refill my bottles – so annoying, but i only lost 33 seconds total when comparing to my official time, not bad)    

official results: 26.2 miles/3:58:27/9:06 avg pace
overall: 719/3442
female: 160/1500
age group: 36/242

happy marathon finisher :)

post race
i grabbed some water because i was so thirsty then happily got my medal and posed for a pic.  then i went through the food line and loaded up with stuff which i ended up wanting none of.  i started getting kind of light headed and really needed to sit down so i found a spot and sat for a minute.  then tara came over and found me and we went to the finish to watch for our friends.  we all found each other and recapped our races and eventually made our way to the car where we ran into ron who is awesome and did the boston to big sur challenge!  see those two medals he has?  *jealous*

sandra, ron and me 53y  

we made it back to the hotel, got ready and went to get mexican food and a much earned margarita!  then tara, jessica and i went and spent a couple hours in the monterey aquarium walking around looking at all the fishies.  we did a bunch of walking that afternoon, and it was a little slow, but we felt pretty good and i think it really helped me out since i am really not very sore today! 

margarita time!2010 BSIM 012

sandra, tara, jessica and me2010 BSIM 013
at the aquarium
2010 BSIM 025  

post race thoughts

overall it was such an amazing and pretty much indescribable experience.  this course is tough and it will humble you, not only from the hills but from the beauty that you are running in.  you feel so small and insignificant at times among these towering cliffs and huge crashing waves below, but at the same time, you know you are leaving a small impact, at least on yourself, by running 26+ miles along the “ragged edge of the western world.”  you are leaving your mark by being one of the few people in the world who have actually done it.

2010 BSIM 031 

it is truly a course everyone should run someday and i really want to go back.  they had the boston to big sur challenge this year for the first time, and i have to say i was definitely jealous of the double medals and jacket they got… it put some crazy ideas into my head :) 

oh and this lies…bselevation[2]
this is more like it… see any flat in there?  i didn’t think so :) big sur elevation

***next up will be a  post full of pics!***

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86 Responses to race report: 2010 big sur marathon

  1. Rachel April 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    congrats! amazing race report, i'm completely sold for big sur 2011 : ) great job on finishing yet another marathon!

  2. runsarah April 26, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    Congrats on #7! Looks like an intense course but gorgeous views.

  3. Keri April 27, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    Great report and awesome race! I am determined to run this race someday…

  4. Laura April 27, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    Congrats again..Great report and what beautiful scenery.

  5. Denise April 27, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    what an awesome race report! sounds like a fabulous race. i just told my husband yesterday that i should do boston to big sur next year…

    great job on a sub 4 finish on that course!

  6. D10 April 27, 2010 at 3:53 am #

    Awesome race report, as usual. You did such an amazing job. The pictures are beautiful.

  7. marathonmaiden April 27, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    you. are. awesome. great report and great race! love the pictures too :)

  8. Janice {Run Far} April 27, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    great race report. Looks as though it was a tough course, and you rocked it. Good job.

  9. Barefoot AngieB April 27, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    Awesome job on your marathon!! I would so love to run that race someday since I am a native northern cali girl living in the midwest!
    Love the medal!

  10. misszippy April 27, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Great job! Wow, what a tough course; but you are tougher!

  11. k April 27, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    Wow! That elevation profile is killer. Big Sur is on my list! My thought is "once I run a marathon or two, I'll have to give Big Sur a try"

    Hope your sunburn is better!

  12. Heather April 27, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    Congratulations! I loved your race report. That race is definitely on my must run list . . . someday! :)

  13. teacherwoman April 27, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    Nice job, Aron! Love the race recap and photos. The finisher's medal is too cool. I remember when my parents did the Big Sur Half Marathong a few years back!

  14. sunapeegirl April 27, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    Great recap! You're so fast! That course looked gorgeous but tough! Way to go!

  15. jen April 27, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    Congratulations Aron. Incredible race. I loved your report- you completely captured it. Your description of the course makes it sound so tough, but so worth it. Gorgeous pictures too. Congrats again. You amaze me. :)

  16. Staci Dombroski April 27, 2010 at 5:59 am #

    Way to go on the race!! That is such an awesome pace! The pictures were gorgeous :)
    It is making me excited for my upcoming trip to San Diego in a couple of weeks.

  17. ShirleyPerly April 27, 2010 at 6:01 am #

    CONGRATS on your race!!!

    I got a job offer in Monterey a few weeks back with a very tempting offer to run Big Sur Marathon too. Didn't really want to move back there (used to live there before moving to FL) but did want to run the marathon :-)

    GREAT job on a very TOUGH course!!!!!!

  18. Morgan April 27, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    Congrats on #7! Way to push through girly! That course looks tough but absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. I think you just sold me (hills and all) on the course! I can't believe you sub 4'd that. You are, as always, my hero!

  19. Alisa April 27, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    Awesome post, awesome run!

    Great to see you this weekend. I was so happy to see you smile when you ran by, I think that's a sign of an Aron "zen" marathon, albeit a hard one.

    Great job chica!!!!!!

    I wish they had a half b/c I would be IN!

  20. ShutUpandRun April 27, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    I loved this RR for so many reasons. The pictures are amazing and I can't imagine what it must have felt like to be there and running. I also enjoyed seeing how you paced yourself, when you took GUs, how much you drank. I am always trying to get this down to a science. you might have mentioned this in a previous post, but how/what did you eat the 4/5 days leading up to the race? So happy for you for such a strong and challening race. You work hard and it really shows.

  21. Running and living April 27, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    I'd love to run this race one day. There is a marathon on the East Coast that is called the Big Sur of the East. V tough course, and a great job from you!

  22. SideofSneakers.com April 27, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    Congratulations!!! You ROCKED it!! :)

  23. Marlene April 27, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    Awesome post! This makes me want to tackle it so badly. What an incredible experience.

    Sooo impressed by your sub-4 on this course. CONGRATS AGAIN!

  24. eatreadrun.com April 27, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    Congratulations! That looks like one tough run. I have a co-worker who wants to run this race next year, so I am sending her a link to your recap. That is one GIANT hill right in the middle there. Great job!

  25. eatreadrun.com April 27, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    Congratulations! That looks like one tough run. I have a co-worker who wants to run this race next year, so I am sending her a link to your recap. That is one GIANT hill right in the middle there. Great job!

  26. shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama April 27, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Great post! You got some great photos.

    Great job sub 4 hours! You really ran a steady pace. Congrats on #7!

  27. SDrunner April 27, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Congratulations on the great race, it sounds like a fun run. Just ran a half that was similar with the hills, but I'm sure your's was way worse! Great job!!

  28. Marya April 27, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    That course looks amazingly beautiful…and TOUGH! Congrats on pulling through under 4 hours! I'm glad you were able to enjoy the scenery through all those hills.

  29. kristen April 27, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Great race report. I love the idea of doing a zen marathon. I don't think this is what you got, but you definitly proved yourself out there on such a natriously tough course! Congratulations girl.

  30. Tara April 27, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    You did an AMAZING job out there! I am so happy I got to come spend the weekend with you and cheer you on! I definitely think I have been bitten by the Big Sur bug :)

  31. Matt April 27, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Great job going sub 4!!

  32. Katie April 27, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    Wow, fantastic job on a crazy rough course!! Congrats on the sub-4!

  33. onelittletrigirl April 27, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Big sur has been rated Most Beautiful and I can see why from your photos!!!

    I am an overpacker too!

  34. Katie A. April 27, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Nice recap girly! Way to go! And you're right, our words do the course no justice – it is truly breath taking :)

  35. Susan April 27, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    2:45 wake up call?? That's nuts!!

    Awesome recap and great race! What a different experience it is to run FOR the experience instead of for time…congrats on the sub-4 as well!

  36. Emz April 27, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    awesome race. great post. looks like it was beautiful!!

  37. AppleC April 27, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    WOW! What a terrific time and awesome recap. I was reading along, so excited for you. Good job. So…next year we all get to read about the Boston to Big Sur Recap? ;)

  38. the dawn April 27, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    I love that, even though I only know you through your stories and races, I can still feel so proud of you and your accomplishments! Great job at the race!!! Sounds like you're thinking of earning your very own "boston 2 big sur" medal next year…

  39. Jamie April 27, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Great Job! This race sounds amazing! I would love to do it someday. I always look forward to your race reports because it gets me thinking about my running and the goals I can accomplish. And, I pretty much want to run all these races that you've run. Keep it up!! :)

    Also, I have a question about who takes your photos during races. Are there several people or just one person running from point to point? I've done that before for my sister, but it was in Phoenix, and Big Sur sounds like it would be more difficult. I would love to get some great race photos, but not sure how to do it. Thanks!

  40. copiaverborum April 27, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    OMG. That was my EXACT LA time a few weeks ago. To the second! Kizmet!

    My pony gets matted with water too. What do do?

    Congrats on running such a tough course. Looks beautiful.

    I'll be on the northwest coast soon, so I'd love to get in on these gorgeous races!

  41. Jamie April 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Congrats!!! You did great on such a tough (but beautiful!) course! Awesome report and I love the pic with you, the medal, and margarita. Ideally that is how every 26.2 miles should end :)

  42. The Laminator April 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Hey Aron, congratulations on #7! Fantastic race and a beautiful report. OMG the course is no joke! Look at that GI-normous one at mile 10…Goodness!

    Wear that medal proudly! You deserve it for a job well done!

  43. Jo Lynn April 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Congratulations Aron. It looks like you had a great time afterwards too. The course does look beautiful and I've always heard that about it.
    Good luck this weekend in the Relay. ;)

  44. Scheri April 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Congrats! Sounds like a lot of fun, even with the challenges :-) Great job!

  45. Anabela (Bela) Neves April 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Great job. Looks like a great run!

  46. Lisa April 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm #


  47. Marathonman101108 April 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Beautiful pics, report, and a job well done. Nice time considering it was a very challenging course. Congrats!

  48. runnernic.com April 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    way to go aron!!! another sub 4 hour marathon in the books! a sweet medal too!!! id have to say that has to be my favorite looking… i may have to make the trip someday! :) keep up the great work!!!

    i like the tiny hand held bottle that has the hand strap! where did u get that?!?!

  49. seejessrun April 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    What a beautiful place–no wonder Big Sur is a popular marathon. You did great!

  50. Candice @ I Have Run April 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Great race report. You always amaze me. You are seriously one of my running idols!! Congrats on another marathon.

  51. Glenn Jones April 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Wow! Awesome finish Aron. I've always heard about how pretty yet difficul this course is. Way to slay it!

  52. Vava April 28, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Congratulations again! I drove across Canada and down to California once (about ten years ago now, yikes!) and remember driving along this same stretch of highway. It's amazingly beautiful, and I certainly remember my old Toyota chugging up and down the hills and around the bends.

    Great race, and great race report!

  53. Hannah April 28, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Great job and thanks for all the details! I was wondering what you take when you say "salt"? Do you just eat salty foods or is it literally just a salt packet?

  54. Nitmos April 28, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    Great job on a tough course! I'd love to do this one…if I could go west some day.

  55. d.a.r. April 28, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    Congrats on another great run! You are so inspiring and I just love reading about all of your fantastic races!

  56. Anne April 28, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I am so impressed! That is an extremely hard-core circuit! You did an awesome job and you should certainly be proud of yourself.

    If you can do that, you can take on the B to B challenge :)

  57. Emz April 28, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    you're the best!!

    Thank you so much for your comment.

    SOOOOOOO helpful & very appreciated!!

  58. Jess April 28, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Congrats on another awesome marathon!! I could NOT handle those hills, but the scenery is breath-taking!

  59. Jill April 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Congratulations!! It's definitely one of my favorite/memorable races too.

  60. Tea Time April 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Wow girl, you are such a strong runner. Thanks for the recap. I am thinking of doing this one next year and reading you describe the scenery really makes me excited. You did so awesome! Congrats on the amazing finish!

  61. PunkRockRunner April 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    To run this course in under 4-hours, in that heat and over those hills is amazing. I think I'm most impressed with your mile 11 & 12 splits (that's some impressive climbing).

    All the best,


  62. Marathon Maritza April 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    I am so proud of you and your hard work in this race!!! I had heard all the stories about how tough the course is and I am so amazed by your efforts and strength (as always) on a great great marathon!

    I will definitely run this one some day.

    Relay time!

  63. RBR April 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Sub 4 on Big Sur is beyond my comprehension. NAd you do it looking so damn cute for the whole thing! You are a total beast! Congratulations!

    Re: your comment- Thank you for being sweet to bithcy old me. I am getting better. :)

  64. lindsay April 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    lol. gotta love those elevation charts :)

    i didn't know there was a special challenge – boston to big sur! man i would've had to sign up for that one!!

    congrats on a great race! sub-4 on a very hilly course is awesome. and again, you weren't training to race it.

    i feel like i need to sign up for another one real quick so i can stay ahead of you on the # of marathons! ;)

  65. Melanie April 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Amazing! Congrats girl! I had a friend out there running it so I've really been looking forward to hearing about it from her, but reading your post has totally rocked in the meantime til she gets home. I want to run this one someday!

  66. J April 29, 2010 at 3:19 am #

    Wow that looks like such a great race to run because the views were amazing! Great job on the marathon! Lots of hills is tough!! Great job Aron!

  67. Lisa April 29, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    congratulations on a fantastic race! It was a great race report and I enjoyed reading it.

    This race has always been on my "list" and now even more so. I'm not sure I could bring myself to do the Boston/Big Sur challenge, but who knows? Maybe I'll see you there next year! :-)

  68. dietitianontherun.com April 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Ah, JUST catching up on your blog – totally late on this one but CONGRATULATIONS!! It is So hard to tackle hills at any point in a marathon, much less rolling hills in the last 10K. That spike around mile 12-13 looks Bruuutal :) impressive finish time, nemesis beat or not ;)

  69. Jeri April 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    wowsers I'd be happy w/that time on a FLAT course, but that's why you're my hero I guess. ;) way to go aron. such a beautiful course, and you did so well! Can't wait for the picture post. :)

  70. Rachel April 29, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Great job on the race. Nice report. You encouraged me for my upcoming marathon this weekend!

  71. A Toronto girl out West April 29, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Congratulations on Marathon #7!!!! I can honestly say you inspire me. And there is no higher compliment I could think of! :o)

  72. RoadBunner April 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Wait. Did I not comment on this?!

    Congratulations! Sub-4 at Big Sur is no joke! You should be super proud of yourself. I will keep twisting your arm about Boston 2 Big Sur next year! I have a feeling it will be pretty easy :)

    Had lots of fun with you this weekend!!

  73. That Pink Girl May 1, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Way to go Aron! The pics are gorgeous, I can only imagine how breathtaking it was in person! I love that you lok like you are really enjoying yourself in the pics. That is ultimately what running about – doing it for yourself. Congratulations on another great marathon!

  74. Chic Runner May 3, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    What a great race to run A! :) I'm so proud of you and I have the same mentality when it comes to photographers. :) Good job on playing the mental game and sub-4ing on that hard, hard course! Seriously, you rock and you are going to be so quick once you do race again!!!

  75. Kristen May 4, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    What a great report!! You did so awesome given the difficult course. Makes me want to try and tackle it.

  76. Kim May 6, 2010 at 5:56 am #

    Wow, congrats on this great achievement! I've heard that this race is absolutely gorgeous, but the hills and lack of spectators terrify me! Way to beat those hills into submission, great work!!

  77. Brian May 17, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Congratulations! I was right with you thru the first 19 miles and then got a nasty calf cramp that wouldn't go away…….. and faded to 4:20. Most of my mile splits are within a few seconds of yours. I did the first mile of Hurricane Point in 10:04! Reading your report I'm thinking that those salt tablets you took may have been what I missed. Or maybe I was just going too fast for my body to maintain. It was my first marathon (male, 53) and I would have been much happier if I had finished like you – than like me (last mile over 15 minutes)


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