Enjoyed a real treat yesterday morning and joined the Clif Bar Pace Group at the Big Sur International Marathon to pace the 3:30 group. My first time seeing that stretch of Highway 1 and I don’t think we could have requested better conditions than what we had. Absolutely no fog. Clear skies. Warm enough to wear short sleeves. And Hurricane Point barely managed a nice gentle breeze. So if you’ve never run the Big Sur Marathon, don’t expect other years to be as kind and friendly as 2010. I don’t think it gets much better than yesterday. But on a windy day and with some decent hills, there could be some pretty tough days at the office if conditions really wanted to test you. Too many sights to see not to enjoy the 26 miles so I brought my camera and tried to take some pictures along the way. Yes, there really is a guy in a tuxedo playing a grand piano overlooking the ocean just after mile 13. Yes, there is a fresh strawberries aid station around mile 23. Each mile marker had a funny sign. My favorite had to be the mile 14 sign of two Kenyans runners teasing the “runners” with “In my country, we call that walking!” Congrats to all the runners who finished and to those die hard running the B2B or Boston Marathon 2 Big Sur Marathon (2 marathons in less than a week). Seems like I saw quite a few runners with 2010 Boston attire at the expo and on the course. We had a large 3:30 group up through Hurricane Point but at the top of that 2 mile climb, the group started to thin and only a few held on to the very end. One of those who held on was Luis from Ecuador who finished under 3:30 in his first marathon after battling some cramps at mile 25. Click here for a brief slide show of my pictures.
After the marathon I tried to squeeze in a 20 minute nap to recover from that 3:30 AM wakeup call then it was off to board the Sea Wolf II for some whale watching with Nicole and Dylan. We had not been whale watching before and we were very excited about the possibility of seeing some humpbacks or even some orcas and dolphins. A few minutes before boarding, we had been talking with Jody and Lily and I still hadn’t had any food since the pasta dinner the night before. Tired and hungry with no chance to find any food for the next few hours: I’m not about to be a happy camper. So I bought one of those sourdough bread bowls filled with clam chowder. A perfect meal just before taking a bumpy ride on the ocean. Nevertheless, we spotted 2 whales a couple hours into the trip and about 11 miles off the coast. Then it was back to safe and solid land and the drive back home but not before a stop at the infamous Dennis The Menace kids park in Monterey.
Interested in how well I hit those 8:01 splits? Here’s the data from my Garmin watch.