Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday: Big Sur...and Badwater

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about races.  I don't think about how well I would do, or if I can even physically complete the race.  I just think about how fun! it would be to run...this one! and this one! and this one!

Seriously, if I could race every weekend, I would.

Hence: Wishlist Wednesdays, a weekly post about races that I wish/hope/dream I will/could run in the future.  Hopefully you will discover a new race that you'd like to run (wanna run it together?!)  And if you have a race on your bucket list, I'd LOVE to hear about it!!

Wishlist Wednesday: Big Sur International Marathon - Big Sur, California

The Big Sur Marathon is a race that I'm sure is on many a-runners wishlist. Starting just south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and ending in the town of Carmel, California, its supposed to be one of the the most beautiful marathons in North America, if not the world.

From the course description: "Featuring rolling hills, Big Sur is the largest rural marathon in the world, winding through redwoods, paralleling ranches, and offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean."  (all photos take from the official race website):

The course cut off is 6 hours and I'm not sure I would make it considering I would be stopping every 10 feet to take a picture!  

Not only is it a beautiful course but also a challenging one.  In addition to the rolling hills, there is also a 2 mile, 500 foot ascent from Hurricane Point around mile 10.  Not to mention the ocean wind pounding you as you run.  Beautiful but brutal.  

The race does it right, though.  Taiko drummers are positioned at Hurricane Point and the beats of their drums add power to your step as you begin the long 2-mile ascent.  

Taiko drummers and...taiko runners?

Cresting the hill, your legs are given reprieve as you run downhill and into the sounds of pianist Michael Martinez as he serenades you on a baby grand piano.  

Michael Martinez, BSIM live pianist!

You carry the music with you as cross Bixby Bridge, one of the most scenic points of the race.  

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge and that California Fog

Those three miles sounds ah-mazing.  But it does leave me wondering, whats left for the rest of the race?  Guess I will have to run it myself to find out.

Big Sur Marathon also has some sweet bling.
Last year (2011) the Big Sur Marathon sold out in 29 days.  This year it sold out in 26 hours.  I can only imagine how fast it will sell out when I am ready to run it in a few years (fingers crossed!)  Better practice my mouse-clicking skills now!

To great race reports about running Big Sur can be found here and here.

Have you run Big Sur?  Tell me about it!
Whats your favorite race?  Tell me about it!

And since I didn't post a Wishlist Wednesday last week (or the week before, but I'm playing the vacation card on that one), I leave you with a race I NEVER EVER want to do: Badwater.

Badwater is a 135-mile footrace from the lowest point in the United States--Badwater Basin in Death Valley--to Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous U.S.  The race doesn't actually end at the summit of Mount Whitney, but there are some who have run right through the finish line and up to the summit...and back down to the starting line in the Badwater Basin, roughly 300 miles.  Thats called a Double Badwater.  Or just pure c-r-a-z-y.

The race is held in mid-July when temperatures are at their highest.  As you can imagine, running in Death Valley can get a little hot.  Or a lotta hot.  Like more than 120F hot.  Course support is not provided and each runner must bring his/her own crew and all supplies.  

Running Badwater is not on my wishlist of races, but spectating it certainly is.  Maybe one day.

A great race report from a pacer at Badwater 2010 can be found here.  And a great post on why someone would want to run Badwater can be found here (also, check out Operation Jack, a father who runs to fight autism).

Is there a race that you would never run but are still very intrigued by?


1 comment:

  1. I'm totally with you on Badwater. Ultras are about beautiful nature, right?? Both my bosses have done it at least once. Crazy!
    Let me know if you need a NorCal resident to run Big Sur with you! Or if you ever do a race in the area. I can't get enough of racing too :)