Sunday, May 18, 2014

2014 Big Sur 10.6 Miler Race Report

It's time for one of those rare race reports from Dave:

When Holly signed up for the Big Sur Marathon we found out that virtually the entire course was closed to spectators. For the runner's safety that meant no cars on the Pacific Coast Highway. I really wanted to take pictures of Holly running along the scenic course, but it looked like I'd be out of luck. Then we found out about the smaller distance races offered that day. Big Sur organizers offered a 21-miler, 10.6 miler, 9 miler, and 5K. 21 was never a consideration and the 9 miler was mostly through a park as opposed to the famous coastal road so I chose to do the 10.6 mile race. I signed up within the first minute of registration availability because we figured it would sell out quickly.

The time limit for the 10.6 mile race was 6 hours - the same as the marathon. With no pressure, I decided that I was not going to go out there and push myself like I did in Janaury for the WDW Half. Instead, I was going to walk a normal pace, take pictures, and film. At one point I thought about bringing the DSLR but Holly talked me out of it.

I was happy to board a bus at 5:40 vs. the early time the marathoners had to take off and get to their start line. Our start was at Rocky Point Restaurant and we had no fog to obstruct the view. Lots of great ocean views, including the Bixby Bridge. We had a band, free Starbuck's coffee, and a sufficient amount of potties. I waited here about 40 minutes before crossing the start line.

There seemed to be a pretty even mix of walkers and runners. With the generous time limit there was ample opportunity for folks of all abilities to participate. Our course was mostly downhill, but there were a few long up hills thrown in there. We had lots of on-course entertainment, including a reggae band! Snack and water stops seemed sufficient to me. It wasn't a real hot day so my fluid levels never really dropped.

Love it when the GoPro makes me look slimmer

As I headed into the finish line I said hello to my friend, race announcer Rudy Novotny, then picked up my medal. I grabbed my snacks from the snack tent (cookie, banana, bagel, chocolate milk, pretzels) and my one beer allotment. While I watched the band I saw someone with the 9 mile race medal. It was nicer! I talked to them about their race and they told me they saw seals (or sea lions) giving birth! Man........

My finish time was 2:41 with a 15:11 pace per mile. Some miles were in the low 14 minutes per mile and others were 17 minutes per mile. I noticed some finishers took 4:40 to do the race, so once again this is an event for almost anyone.

After snacking I jumped on a shuttle and headed back to Monterey to shower, change, and get the car so my two marathoners did not have to take the bus back. By the time I returned to Carmel I still had about 45 minutes before their finish. Since I could not get any snacks or beers in post race area I just sat there and watched the award ceremony and complained to myself every time I saw a 9 Mile race medal.

After collecting my runners at the race finish line we returned back to Monterey. After their showers we crossed the street to the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf for a seafood lunch and then hit Cannery Row (we don't make beer) Brewing Company for a few rounds before taking Eddie to the airport to pick up his rental car. Holly and I rounded out our evening at a local bar, the hotel's brewpub, and the hotel bar.

The 10.6 was a unique way for me to take in what this incredible area had to offer. Typically, I'd drive a road like this and pull off at the scenic vistas. Doing the race made for a more personal, and longer, outdoor experience.

P.S. Holly really wanted a picture with. CHiPS guy, but this was the best we could do that day.

Be sure to read about Holly's race experience in her report and checkout our video:


  1. Dave,
    I am so happy to read you report on the 10.6 at Big Sur. As a Florida 5K runner I was debating on which course to enter. I was thinking about the 10.6 and just taking my time run/walk/sightsee and your commentary confirmed it! The elevation is a bit of a concern since while in Denver last year walking up a hill was an eye Are you and Holly planning to go back to Big Sur in 2015??

    1. Thanks for writing Debra! We are glad you enjoyed the report. If you are making the trip from FL to California the 10.6 miler is the right choice. The scenery is so worth it. There are a few large hills but overall I thought the 10.6 was balanced. The six hours time limit gives you the option to go any pace you desire. Keep in mind Denver is at altitude so that may have added to the challenge.

      We won't be returning to Big Sur next year. No repeat states until Holly completes the 50 States Challenge.

      Let us know how it goes.


  2. Thanks, Dave...Yeah, my daughter laughed at me about the altitude comment...."Duh, Mom.....Mile High Stadium??...LOL" Oh well, just another Senior moment....

    Best of luck to Holly in her pursuit!