Monday, May 2, 2011

A Photo Journey from 0 to 26.2 - The Story of my 1st Big Sur Marathon

Date: May 1, 2011
Location: Monterey, CA
Start: 6:45am
Finish: 4:19:14



I didn't get very much sleep the night before as to be expected. I was concerned about how I was going to get to the starting line the next morning since the course was different this year and no one at the expo really made me feel confident when I asked them if dropping off was an option. It all ended up working out in the end since my Sweetie dropped me off. It was a good thing because catching the bus to marathon village would have meant an even earlier morning. None of this matter though because I was actually up at 3:30am. Getting dropped off was definitely the way to go because it was really windy and cold earlier in the morning and I stayed in the car with the heat on until about 15 minutes before the start of the race. I did something that morning that you should never do on race morning. I tried something new. My breakfast routine. My old routine was not eating anything at all but on that morning I was hungry for some reason and decided to eat half a raisin bagel with PB and washed it down with a cup of coffee. I figured that since I was up at 3:30am and I didn't have to leave the room until 5:30am that I had time to digest my food. Believe it or not...there is something to this whole eating breakfast thing. ;) I ended up only consuming 2 GUs and felt more energized overall.

So here I am just shortly before I headed out the door to the race. Good thing Sister K reminded me to take this photo, else you would have been deprived of this lovely tired looking photo of me.

Also, I don't normally do this but I carried a camera with me on this run because I wanted to capture all the mile markers for you to see. I had read in the race booklet that each mile would be marked with a special mile marker so I wanted to capture them. They had some funny on the photos to enlarge so that you can read the text part. I have to admit that these miles markers really made the course go by quickly as I was excited about running from one to the next to see what the next one looked like. And at certain parts of the course when the hills just would not end, they were the only things keeping me going forward. I carried my older camera so the photo quality is not as nice as my other photos but you get the idea.

Since I didn't start heading to the starting line until about 15 minutes before the start of the race, I ended up in Corral D. "D" is for DELIGHTFUL announced the commentator! I really should have moved up a corral or two because I was dodging people for many miles from the get go. At least I know for next time.

Here I am about to cross the starting line. I was really excited!

There were performers all along the route playing such beautiful music. I read in the race booklet to leave your music device home but I was hesitant to run without my music so I brought it with me anyways. I didn't end up using it after all because the bands and the beautiful sounds of nature was better than anything I had on my Shuffle.

These scenery photos aren't very good but I had driven the old course the day before and have captured a lot of beautiful scenery photos which I will post in the next few days.

D'oh what happened to the Mile 3 marker! I don't know, I didn't see it going out and didn't find it coming back. Weird!

Michael Martinez, the piano man...he took over this gig when Jonathon Lee (the original Big Sur Marathon piano man passed away in 2004). This year he was perched on top of a hill at Mile 5.

His music could be heard miles away...and it was lovely!

Taiko Drummers near Mile 7!

The lead man on his return and I had just passed Mile 7, I need to pick up the pace!

The turnaround!!!

We were treated to the spectacular sounds of bagpipes. Reminded me of my days at UCR! Go Highlanders!

This man was running his 300th Marathon here at Big Sur! What an inspiration!

So this was my favorite mile totally cracked me up when I saw it and made me run faster! ;^)

It seems like the entire course was just one hill after another. It made for an interesting course for sure.

The views were breathe-taking!

Somewhere after Mile 18 I caught up to the 4:30 pace leader and then ran in front of him and was determine to not let him pass me for the rest of the time. I succeeded!

Strawberries! They tasted amazing and these ladies are angels!

Failed attempt to photograph the strawberry. I was too tired to switch focus!

They routed us through Point Lobos State Preserve between Miles 22-24. I could have done without that detour. It wasn't anything to write home about.

An accordion playing Leprechaun?

Ahaha...just noticed that I also missed the Mile 22 marker. I'm totally sleeping on the job!

Mile 25 marker is also missing from this deck. I swear I didn't see it! But then again I was pretty tired by this point!

Praise the Lord!

This is me walking away from the Finish line, still amazed that I had finished under 4:30.

We were ushered into a large tent piled high with boxed snacks!

Organized chaos in that tent! The Big Sur Marathon volunteers are some amazing people! They are the heart and soul and of this event! They were out in force! Thank you volunteers!


This piece of bling is my favorite by far!

This race truly changed me! Running amongst so much natural beauty just made me feel so humble and grateful for being alive and being able to experience things such as this. I was so overwhelmed by this experience that I decided that I will make this race/trip an annual thing. This race is so amazing that once is just not enough. I cannot wait until next year!


Nobel4Lit said...

Those mile markers are hilarious!

Sarah Soon-To-Be said...

I L-O-V-E all of the mile markers! Thank you for your camera diligence so we could al re-live it with you :) Great race, girl - love the bling!

Glenn Jones said...

Woot! Congrats! That's a tough course.

Krissy said...

OMG definitely on my list for 2013 now.