Where do I pick up my bib and race shirt?

The Health & Fitness Expo is Friday, April 26th, from noon to 6 PM and Saturday, April 27th, from 9:30 AM to 6 PM at the Monterey Conference Center at 1 Portola Plaza in downtown Monterey. The expo includes bib and shirt pick-up, race clinics; special events; vendors with products, services, and events of interest to runners and fitness enthusiasts; and official race merchandise. The Expo is FREE and open to the public.


Bibs and shirts must be picked up in person unless a Packet Pick-Up Authorization form has been filled out. Please bring your photo ID along with your registration confirmation email.

Note that masks may be required at all indoor events and before and after running the race. All participants, spectators, friends, family, volunteers, etc., will be required to follow the COVID protocols in place race weekend in Monterey County. These protocols may include showing proof of vaccination and/or booster or recent negative COVID test to pick up a race bib or enter the expo. We will update this website and the runner information as we get closer to the race. 


How do I purchase Pasta Party tickets?

Tickets are now available for the best pre-race meal on the Monterey Peninsula! Join us on Saturday evening, April 27th, at the Monterey Marriott for a buffet-style dinner featuring vegetarian options, pasta with pomodoro sauce, parsley, tomato, garlic and caper sauce, chef’s choice steamed mixed vegetables, fruit salad, mixed green salad with ranch, caesar, or red wine vinaigrette, bread and butter, and assorted cookies.  It’s a simple and perfect pre-race dining option located just across from the Health & Fitness Expo. Pick up your bib, then walk across the street and fill up your belly with a nutritious, delicious meal shared with your fellow runners.

Ticket pricing for the buffet dinner is as follows:

  • Pasta Dinner Adult, 4:30PM Seating – $40
  • Pasta Dinner Youth 6-12, 4:30PM Seating – $25
  • Pasta Dinner Adult, 6PM Seating – $40
  • Pasta Dinner Youth 6-12, 6PM Seating – $25

Log in to your participant account to purchase your ticket for the seating of your choice.


What time does my race start?

  • 21-Miler start: 6:30am
  • Marathon start: 6:45am
  • Relay start: 6:45am
  • 11-Miler start: 7:00am
  • 12K start: 7:35am
  • 5K start: 7:35am


How do I get to the start of my race?

Marathon, 21-Miler, 11-Miler, and Relay participants are transported from one of several Monterey Peninsula locations to the start of their race location. There is no parking at the start line of these distances and free bus transportation to the start is for official runners only. Runners can pick up their bus tickets in the bib pick up room at the Expo. Each participant must show race bib number and bus ticket upon loading. Please click here to view the Race Day Transportation page.

Because the 12K and 5K start and finish at the Marathon finish line and are out-and-back courses, entrants are responsible for their own transportation to the race. There is free parking available at The Crossroads Carmel shopping center at Highway 1 and Rio Road and other nearby streets and shopping center parking lots.

We do not provide transportation for spectators to the finish area but there is plenty of parking and access to the finish from the north and east is available during the race (Monterey, Carmel, Seaside, Pacific Grove, Salinas, etc.).

Buses will return runners from the finish village to the location where they picked up their bus race morning if needed.


I’m staying in Big Sur, how do I get to the start of my race?

For participants staying in Big Sur, please click here to view the Big Sur transportation map.


Why do the buses leave so early?

Buses leave so early race morning to make sure all runners get to the start on time and to ensure all buses are off the Highway for final course set-up and the start of each race distance. It takes one hour for a bus to travel SAFELY to Big Sur along a narrow winding road in the dark. After unloading, it takes one hour for a bus to travel back to Carmel. Therefore, allowing for possible delays, the final buses must leave for the start by 4:30 am. Because not all buses can leave at the last minute, bus departures are staggered between 3:30 and 4:30 am. The bottom line is that moving thousands of runners from multiple locations to several start destinations along a narrow, winding road in the dark TAKES TIME!


What nutrition and hydration do you have on course?

There are 11 aid stations spread out about every two-to-three miles. This is fewer than many other marathons. There will be water (in cups or, preferably, by filling your own hydration device) and Nuun at all aid stations.  There will be fruit at later stations. GU will be available at stations 5 (mile 12.2) and 8 (mile 19.0).

What is the course elevation profile?

The course is from Big Sur to Carmel on scenic Highway 1, the nation’s first nationally-designated Scenic Highway. The course is USATF certified and is an official Boston qualifier. The course reopens to traffic at 1:00 PM, an approximate 6-hour course limit, just over a 13:45 pace per mile.

Due to the nature of the course, no animals, pacers, skates, skateboards, bikes, wheelchairs, hand cranks, baby joggers or children/infants in backpacks are allowed on the course. No bandits. No exceptions.

To view the marathon course map and elevation chart, click HERE.

Start elevation: 356′

Finish elevation:  10′

Total elevation gain:  +2,182′

Total elevation loss:   -2,528′


What is the course time limit?

The course reopens to traffic at 1:00 PM, an approximate 6-hour course limit, just over a 13:45 pace per mile. Due to the nature of the course, the 13:45 pace per mile, 6-hour course limit is extremely strict. Those who do not reach marathon mile 15.2 by 10:30 AM or mile 21.2 by 11:50 AM will not be allowed to proceed past that point and will be provided transportation to the finish. 


How do I qualify for an award?

To be eligible for overall and divisional awards, one must show a time crossing all split timing mats near miles 5, 8.1, 13.15, 15.4, 17, 21.2 and 24.

Awards (based on GUN, not chip time) go to the top five male and female finishers and the top three masters (age 40 and over) male and female.  Divisional (age group) awards are based on CHIP time and are presented five deep in five year incremental age divisions, both male and female, after 16-19. Double-dipping is permitted.

Special division awards are also given to both male and females three deep in the following categories (based on CHIP time): Monterey County Resident and Active Military.

Awards will be given three deep to both male and female participants under age 40 and the top three masters men and women (age 40 and over) in the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge based on the fastest combined  Boston and Big Sur times.

The awards ceremony will begin at 11:30 AM in the finish area (time subject to change).


Is there cell coverage on the course?

Cell coverage is poor to non-existent over most of the course. Runner tracking, calls and texts, and social media use are often unavailable throughout most of the course and in the finish village area. Please keep this in mind when planning to meet friends and family after the race.


Where is the best place to spectate the race?

Because Highway 1 is closed to vehicular traffic until after 1:00 P.M., spectators, families, and friends of the runners/walkers can only view the race from the finish area. There are no spectating points along the course. Non-official bicycles are not allowed on the course race day.