Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge

Over the weekend I got to experience something I’m calling CRAZINESS.

2 marathons…2 coasts…13 Days…

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This is by far one of the craziest running challenges I have ever participated in but it was 100% amazing and worth all the pain I’m currently in (my quads are extremely sore).

How did this all start? I signed up for Boston 2 Big Sur in November, but was put on the waiting list. I had signed up late and was told I had a few people a head of me on the list. To be honest, I completely forgot that I had signed up for this challenge until I got an email 2 days after the Boston Marathon saying they had an open slot available.

I wasn’t prepared to run another marathon, but if you know me you know I’ll never say no to a challenge. So I accepted and started doing some research on what training I should start doing and getting familiar with the course.

I did a lot of reading about the B2B Challenge. I mostly read blogs and a few articles from previous participants. What I was reading was discouraging and got me feeling really nervous. Everyone suggested you have at least five or more marathons under your belt before running this challenge…I had just finished my second marathon. However, I had just accepted the challenge and I wasn’t about to back out.

Why did I do this crazy nonsense? Hello, the word CHALLENGE is in it! Well, that’s part of it. But I also considered this possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Who knows if or when I will ever run Boston again. I also wouldn’t be telling you the whole story if I didn’t say that they have some AWESOME swag, and we all know I’m a sucker for medals. Not only do you get Big Sur’s traditional marathon swag (shirt, medal, etc.), but you get an additional Boston 2 Big Sur jacket, training shirt, special bib, and an additional medal.

What was my goals for this challenge? Finish ALIVE! Seriously. I always tell myself that I’m just going to enjoy a race and not actually “race” it. But inevitably, I still ended up somewhat racing. Given that I was fresh from Boston, this was the perfect opportunity to simply run a race. No goal time (well, I just had to finish under 6 hours). No pace charts. Literally just running and enjoying the breathtaking views.

Now on to the good stuff…

Big Sur International Marathon

The expo

I went to the expo Saturday morning, picked up my bib, my Boston to Big Sur shirt, and my Big Sur International Marathon shirt. I also got my Bus ticket and I purchased a ticket to the Pasta Dinner.

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The rest of the day was spent exploring Monterrey and enjoying the great weather.

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Race Day 

I woke up at 2:45 AM to catch my bus at 3:30. Once I was ready my Mom drove me to my bus stop. They have you an option to check a gear bag at the start, but I’m a minimalist and don’t want to worry about losing things, so all I wore over my running gear was an old long sleeve shirts.

Our bus left around 3:40 and we made it to the starting line/runners village about 50 minutes later and there were tons of people parked everywhere trying to rest their legs. I got some water and found a spot to rest and eat my pre-race fuel. Around 6:10 they called my wave up, the last wave, – they have to push everyone back on highway one, so the last wave (4:45 and up) goes up first.

As soon as they started the race, I had to pee. I know 🙄 I hadn’t even hit .20 miles, but I didn’t want to get further into the race because restrooms were only near aid stations and I didn’t want to stop on tired legs.

When I stepped out of the porto potty, the 5:00 pacer had just passed. I caught up to her and stuck with the group for the next few miles. Once we got past mile 5, we weren’t protected by the trees anymore, and the wind started to pick up. It was everywhere. They tell you to find a big guy to run behind or to run in a pack of runners, but that didn’t help.

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Hurricane Point started just after mile 10 and we slowly started loosing the pack. Just before mile 11 is when I lost the pacer. I was disappointed that I couldn’t keep up with the pacer, but I took the recommendation of one of my Instagram buds and started to focusing on the view and the experience.

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After reaching the summit at Mile 12, I looked back and it was breathtaking and fulfilling to see how far I had climbed on the mountain.

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And the hills just kept coming, mile after mile, up and down. It was tough. I took my Honey Stinger gels and Gu Chews religiously at my scheduled miles – 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24.  At stopped to refill my 6 oz. water bottle two times.

Finally crossed the finish line at 5:20:19 in tears.

Post race I was exhausted. I walked to the Boston 2 Big Sur tent where I got some food, my second medal, and my finishers jacket.

I didn’t take many photos during the race like many other runners were, but the beauty of this race will forever be embedded in my mind.

I also  wanted to thank everyone who offered me advice, support, and encouragement and followed along throughout this CRAZY journey. Without that, I know my own self-doubt would have ruined me.

Happy running friends!