9,000 runners compete under sunny, but windy skies
Runners in the Big Sur Marathon typically have two natural elements to battle – the 16 hills along the rural, coastal route and the relentless headwinds coming off the ocean. Today’s race provided both, but under crystal clear skies and nearly flawless execution.
Defending champion Michael Wardian of Arlington, VA, battled shoulder to shoulder with two-time winner Adam Roach of Monterey, CA, for most of the race. Roach tucked behind Wardian for a wind break during much of the race and the two traded 1-2 spots a few times. Ultimately, Roach made a strong move at mile 23 and broke the tape at 2:30:48, three minutes slower than his 2013 victory. Wardian, who had run the Boston Marathon six days prior clocked in at 2:33:04. At 41 years old, Wardian was the Masters Division winner and also won the Boston2BigSur title for the second year in a row.
The women’s race was won by Malia Crouse of Edgemont, CO in a time of 2:57:02. The Big Sur competition was only her third marathon and she too commented that the “wind was brutal.” Christine Taranto, 30, a member of the US. Marine Corps Elite Athlete program currently attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, finished a strong second at 2:59:34. Third place was captured by Veronica Tysseland of Westport, CT, the 2010 champion of the Big Sur International Marathon.
The 30th Presentation of the annual April race was a nearly seamless production. Two thousand volunteers assisted to make this logistically-challenging race a positive experience for the 9,000 runners in six different events occurring simultaneously along the course. In addition to the marathon, distances of 21, 10.6 and 9 miles have their own races, plus runners and walkers participate in a 5K and a marathon relay. Four hundred of the marathoners were running in the Boston2BigSur or “B2B” Challenge, and had run the Boston Marathon six days earlier. Another 300 marathoners were taking part in the Runner’s World Challenge, which offers personalized training and VIP experience at key races around the country. Runners were from all 50 states and 30 countries.
“The 30th Big Sur International Marathon was another amazing day,” said race director Doug Thurston. “The support of the community as volunteers, spectators, sponsors and participants was truly incredible.”
Race founder Bill Burleigh sounded the start horn in Big Sur and was on hand throughout the week to reminisce about the past 30 years of the “footrace” he started. The initial Big Sur event was a marathon only, with 1800 participating.
The popularity of the event has grown so much that the 2016 race registration will happen via a lottery this summer. For details on the lottery, as well as race results, visit www.bsim.org. #bigsurmarathon @bsimevents