28th edition welcomes Boston 2 Big Sur challengers; race weekend opportunities to honor those affected by Boston tragedy
CARMEL, Calif. - The 2013 Big Sur International Marathon kicks off this weekend with a two day Health & Fitness Expo, a 3,500-participant JUST RUN 3K kids fun run, and the iconic marathon along California's scenic Highway One. Nearly 9,000 runners and walkers are registered to participate in six different distance events - marathon, relay, 21, 10.6 and 9 miles and a 5K - on Sunday morning, April 28.
Since 2010, the Big Sur Marathon has welcomed a special category of runners within its marathon - those who take the challenge of competing in the historic Boston Marathon followed directly by the scenic Big Sur Marathon, either six or 13 days later. This year's Boston 2 Big Sur (or B2B) Challenge has taken on even greater significance, as the race truly unites runners between the two coasts.
Four hundred runners signed up for the challenge that sold out several months ago. Even though many weren't able to finish last Monday's Boston Marathon, they will still receive a B2B finisher's medallion, finisher's jacket and will gain admittance into the B2B tent following this week's race, Sunday, April 28. This decision was welcomed by dozens of runners.
"I am thrilled with your decision," posted Michele MacLean of Gardiner, Maine, on the Big Sur Marathon Facebook page. "I am running Big Sur marathon for my third straight year...this one as part of B2B, which after this past Monday is a special honor. I was fortunate to finish Boston just before the first explosion and hoped you would grant all that weren't able to finish the opportunity to still run. Your decision makes me especially proud to be a part of B2B running crowd!"
In an effort to honor those affected by the events in Boston, the Big Sur Marathon will be providing opportunities for all runners to unite and pay homage to victims, runners and the entire Boston community.
At the Big Sur Marathon's Health & Fitness Expo, race organizers are planning a special Boston Tribute area. Here, runners will have an opportunity to write messages on a large banner and to share stories of their experiences. Donations to The One Fund Boston charity established for the victims of the Boston bombings can also be made in this location. The Big Sur Marathon will be welcoming Ron Kramer, Senior Event Director from DMSE, the Boston Marathon's race organization, who will greet runners in the Boston Tribute area and throughout the weekend.
Additional weekend outreach includes observing a moment of silence at the start of each race (marathon, 21, 10.6 and 9 Milers & 5K), and providing a limited supply of "4.15.13 - Runners United" tribute pins. At the expo, runners can choose to purchase a "Runner's United" tech fabric shirt or custom race bib shirt with proceeds donated to The One Fund Boston.
Race organizers anticipate many additional personal tributes via signage, personalized shirts and more. One marathoner will be running alongside the 4:15 pace team with a sign to honor victims of the Boston explosions.
Not surprisingly, given the resilience of marathon runners, there have been few cancellations to this year's race following the Boston tragedy. Big Sur Marathon race director Doug Thurston said, "Actually, it's the other way around. We are receiving many requests for entries into our long-sold out event for those who want to show their support."
On race day, there will be heightened security throughout all aspects of the event. Already, the race maintains a high level of safety precautions and communications due to the difficult logistical challenges of the course. Multiple agencies are working collectively to ensure the highest level of safety for the runners and the community.
Race weekend activities begin Friday at noon with the commencement of the Health and Fitness Expo. The expo is open to the public and includes more than 60 vendors showcasing the latest in running gear and apparel, along with nutrition items, other race events and informative race clinics. Hours of the expo are noon to 6:00pm Friday, April 26 and 9:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday, April 27. The JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K race takes place Saturday morning at 8:00am, welcoming 3,500 children, parents and teachers to the fun run along the waterfront in Pacific Grove. On Sunday, the full marathon, along with five additional distance events along Highway One, will get underway at 6:45am with a finish time of 1:00pm.
More information can be found at www.bsim.org or at (831) 521-0704.