Doug Thurston has directed the organization since 2013
CARMEL, CA. – After nine years at the helm of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, Race Director Doug Thurston has announced he will be leaving the organization. The Board of Directors has begun their search for his replacement to carry on the nonprofit’s tradition of producing world-class events and serving the local community.
Thurston is leaving the nonprofit Big Sur Marathon Foundation at a point the organization is expanding its mission of staging world-class races that benefit the community. In addition to already granting more than $400,000 a year to local nonprofits, the marathon will be bringing back its award-winning youth running program in elementary schools and dedicating a newly built, best-in-class Palo Corona cross-country course to support cross country running in high schools and colleges.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve the Big Sur Marathon Foundation and the Monterey running community,” said Thurston. “I have full confidence that the races and programs of BSMF will continue to thrive with the help of the dedicated and passionate members of the Events Committee, the talented and experienced team at Blistering Pace Race Management, and a Governance Board dedicated to the runners, the volunteers, and to the community.”
Thurston will be relocating to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to be closer to his family. He plans to continue his impactful career in the running industry through part-time consulting, but he will not be taking another full-time position.
During his time at BSMF, Thurston oversaw the complete rebranding of the organization and its two signature events, navigated uncertainty amidst canceled events due to wildfires and the COVID pandemic, and led his team to the highest participant turnouts in the nonprofit’s 36-year history.
“It is hard to overstate the positive change that has occurred within the Big Sur Marathon Foundation organization over the past nine years, largely due to Doug Thurston’s leadership. The change culminated with our best race weekend yet,” Dino Pick, Board Chair said. “Doug built a team of dedicated volunteers, professional race management and merchandise vendors and staff that delivered the world class experience our runners and community have come to expect. We will miss him and I want to thank him for being a true professional and working closely with the board through this transition.”
Before joining the Big Sur organization in 2013, Thurston worked on the Rock ‘n’ Roll running series, produced large and small events in Sacramento, was the race director of the Columbus (Ohio) Marathon and the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials, directed the Tulsa Run in Oklahoma, and edited Oklahoma Runner magazine in the mid-1980’s. He has received numerous national and regional honors.
“I’ve seen a lot of growth and change in the running industry in 40 years,” Thurston said. “From the growth in women’s running to changing technologies to the dramatic effects of the ongoing pandemic, the sport of producing running events has survived due to hard work and collaboration of so many friends in the business. It’s been a wonderful career.”
The BSMF Governance Board is now seeking candidates for the combined Executive Director/Race Director position to grow and maintain the organization’s storied impact on the California Central Coast. The full job description is slated to be posted to Running USA, Endurance Sportswire, and other national and local outlets starting June 3rd. Duties will include but are not limited to managing staffing, engaging with contractors, vendors, and partners, and working with the Governance Board and volunteer Events Committee. The right candidate will demonstrate the ability to develop a culture that reflects the vision and mission of BSMF, ensure fiscal responsibility, and maintain excellent community and board relationships.
“The search for an Executive Director/Race Director is an opportunity for BSMF to recruit a working executive who can maintain a cohesive team of volunteers, professional vendors and staff to sustain world class race events and increase our impact on the community through giving and youth fitness programs,” Pick said.
The Big Sur Marathon wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Thurston for his valuable contributions and long-running leadership. The organization looks forward to continuing their mission to create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit the community under new direction.
About the Big Sur Marathon Foundation
The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit the community. In addition to already granting more than $400,000 a year to local nonprofits, the marathon will be bringing back its award-winning youth running program in elementary schools and dedicating a newly built, best-in-class Palo Corona cross-country course to support cross country running in high schools and colleges. Under the brand are two individual race weekends: Big Sur International Marathon in April and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon in November. For more information, visit www.bsim.org #bigsurmarathon