Boston 2 Big Sur competitor Ben Bruce wins the overall marathon title
CARMEL, CA – The Big Sur International Marathon, a bucket list race for runners worldwide, once again converged along Highway 1 from Big Sur Station to Rio Road in Carmel for another unforgettable event on Sunday, April 30th. Runners faced windy and overcast conditions as they headed out of the redwoods, north over Hurricane Point, and across the iconic Bixby Bridge before coming into the finish in Carmel.
Ben Bruce, 40, of Flagstaff, Arizona was first across the line in the marathon distance with a time of 2:36:59. Bruce participated in Boston 2 Big Sur, having run the Boston Marathon on April 17th. Having represented the United States at the World Championship level multiple times and as the assistant coach of HOKA NAZ Elite, Bruce is no stranger to competition in what turned out to be a very close race.
“After running last year I knew what to expect from the course, but today the wind had a little surprise in mind,” says Bruce. He felt strong most of the way and stayed calm when the wind gusts hit hard. “I was very relieved to see the finish and as an added bonus, my 18 weeks pregnant wife Steph was holding the finish tape.”
Rounding out the top three was Sean Casey of Pensacola, Florida and third place was local and five-time winner, Adam Roach, 39. There were less than two minutes separating the best men.
Returning champion, Anne Flower, 33, of Covington did it again. Flower broke the tape at the finish line in 2:55:58, 10 minutes off last year’s time, a good indicator of the winds today’s runners experienced.
Sarah Bay, 43, of Niwot, CO came in second with a time of 03:05:14. Third place went to Sarah Johnson, 28, of Portland, OR with a time of 03:08:30.
Josh Priester, the new Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, was ecstatic witnessing his first-ever Big Sur Marathon weekend. “On behalf of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, we’d like to extend a huge thanks to each and every runner who traveled to our special corner of the coast to take on Highway 1 between Big Sur and Carmel. Additionally, a huge thank you to the volunteers who gave their time and energy into creating the experience for our runners and walkers at every distance, and of course, to our terrific sponsors and community partners who help make the BSIM weekend a best-in-class event.”
In addition to the marathon distance, the Big Sur International Marathon weekend featured a range of other race distances, including the relay, 21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, and 5K with nearly 10,000 participants in total. Boston 2 Big Sur this year had 13 days between the two races with just over 300 participants competing in that category.
Registration for Big Sur Marathon 2024 opens in late summer. For more information about the race, visit www.bigsurmarathon.org.
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. Under the brand are the Big Sur International Marathon in April and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon in November. Each year, the organization donates nearly $300,000 to local nonprofits via their grant program to community volunteer groups.
Photo credit: Luis Escobar