On Sunday, we ran the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay. From a scenic point of view, this is my favorite race.
The race started at 7am, with 4500 runners in downtown Monterey. The weather was much warmer than the previous time I had run this race (2003), approximately 65 degrees.
We ran north for a quick three mile loop and then along the Bay past Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Once we reached Pacific Grove, we ran along the water on a Ocean View Blvd, which included a new (to me at least) set of turns and hills that took me by surprise. After the brief detour through town, we then continued South past Lover's Point and Asilomar Beach, then to the turnaround at Mile 8. The remaining five miles retraced our steps and we ended the race at Custom House Plaza next to Fisherman's Wharf.
Overall, here's how the run rates in my book:
Organization - The race was very well organized - clearly marked and staffed. Grade: A
Course - About as scenic as it gets. Grade: A+
Aid-stations - Located as billed - each had water and Gatorade. Gu available at mile 10. Grade: A
Swag - Long-sleeve dri-fit shirt, nice Finisher's medal. Grade: A