The 35TH Annual Big Sur Marathon Has Been Cancelled

We are deeply sorry to announce the cancellation of the rescheduled November 15, 2020 Big Sur International Marathon events. The Big Sur Marathon Foundation’s governance board made this difficult decision as they continued to monitor updates from county, state, federal, and international public safety and health agencies regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since we last communicated with you on April 13, California adopted a comprehensive reopening plan. In this plan, it now appears that mass gathering events like our weekend of races will not be possible until the final reopening phase when a vaccine or other therapeutics are widely available.

Our highest priority is always the safety of our participants, volunteers, friends and family, and residents. There are so many unknowns both with this virus and with the effects of it on large events. We were also very concerned about having access to needed public safety and medical officials, volunteers, and personal protection equipment and supplies during this ongoing crisis.

The Monterey Bay Half Marathon, our sister race rescheduled for November 14th, will be held as a virtual event. Registration for the virtual Monterey Bay Half Marathon will open this summer at You’ll be hearing more details on this soon and we hope you can join us for this virtual alternative in 2020.

We are informing you as soon as we could to give you time to adjust your plans. Again, we are very sorry that this unprecedented international crisis has forced us to cancel our races. 

All entrants of the 2020 Big Sur Marathon, Relay, 21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, and 5K are now eligible to receive a 60% refund of their entry fee or opt to donate their entry fee to our nonprofit organization. To receive this 60% refund, please “opt-in.” The window to make your selection begins today, June 2nd, and ends on July 2, 2020. Please click here or on the button below to make your selection. You will need to complete a short form and create an account on our new registration platform, haku, to ensure we have your correct information on file. Add-on expenses and programs, such as the VIP and Boston 2 Big Sur programs, pasta party tickets and VIP/B2B guest tickets, will be refunded at 100% of the purchase price.

Your original postponement choice does not affect your eligibility for a refund and the deferral options we offered after the April postponement announcement will no longer be provided. 

All April 2020 entrants will have access to a “priority registration” period for the April 2021 or April 2022 Big Sur Marathon race weekends. We will provide more details on that program in the coming weeks or months, but please know that if you want to run in 2021 or 2022, you will have a chance to register before the general public and at the lowest entry fee available (the 2021 entry fees are yet to be announced).

Our team conducted a very thorough analysis in order to provide our runners with the greatest restitution possible. Races around the country and world have offered various entry restitution programs according to each organization’s unique situation. Unfortunately, our organization has had to weather five race cancellations in the last four years due to circumstances beyond our control. Providing a higher refund or deferrals to future races are not viable options if we want to ensure our organization has the capacity to put on races once again in better times. 

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a nonprofit organization that typically provides nearly $400,000 in annual grants to over 100 other Monterey County-based nonprofit organizations. This year, with the loss of more than $2 million in entry fees and other income sources due to event cancellations, we will be largely unable to provide needed support to these worthy organizations. 

With your help, our local grant program will help get them through. If you choose to donate 100% of your entry fee and/or add-on fees to our organization, this could help us provide some support for our non-profit partners. This donation may be completely tax deductible to you (please consult with your tax advisor for details). In addition, those who choose to donate will receive a guaranteed entry opportunity for a Big Sur Marathon event in 2021 or 2022.

If you have additional questions, please visit our FAQ page. We hope to announce some exciting interactive opportunities for our runners over the next several months (details to come). Currently, we are planning to open registration for the April 2021 Big Sur Marathon events later this fall on a no-risk reservation basis. You will be updated as our plans are  refined and finalized.

For more information about our decision to cancel, please read our full press release and/or visit the FAQ page.

We empathize with your disappointment and we are immensely grateful for your patience and support over the past few months. We can’t wait for the day when we are able to safely produce another world-class in-person running event for you. In the meantime, we hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. Thank you.


The Big Sur Marathon Team