Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Rescheduled 2020 Big Sur Marathon Weekend

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation greatly appreciates your continued support of our events and for your patience, understanding, and consideration during this international crisis. We wish the best of health for you and your family.

For additional questions about your race registration or general race issues, email To reach the race director, email To contact our registration technical support line, call (831) 713-2227. 

What is the new date for the 2020 Big Sur Marathon Weekend

Sunday, November 15, 2020. We are adding the Marathon and other longer distance races originally planned for April 26, 2020, to our Monterey Bay Half Marathon weekend.

The general schedule for this weekend will be:

  • Friday and Saturday: Health and Fitness Expo, packet pick-up, vendors, merchandise, etc., Monterey Conference Center, Downtown Monterey (subject to change and Expo hours are to be announced)
  • Saturday, November 14: Monterey Bay Half Marathon and 5K, 6:45 a.m., downtown Monterey and Pacific Grove
  • Sunday, November 15: Big Sur Marathon, 21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, and Marathon Relay, start times vary by distance, Highway 1 from Big Sur to Carmel

Why did you select this date?

November 14-15 is the only fall 2020 weekend that is available for our race venues, Monterey Conference Center (event headquarters), major downtown Monterey hotels, and for our primary contractors, vendors, and suppliers.

Are you sure the coronavirus will be contained, and it will be safe to travel, be in large groups, etc., by November 15?

Our participants’ health and safety are and will always be our first priority, so of course, the November 15 date may still prove problematic due to COVID-19. However, we are optimistic and hopeful that both our marathon and half-marathon events can and will be held this fall based on what we know at this time. We plan to monitor the pandemic this spring and summer, and our team will be working hard in the coming months to produce entirely safe and beautiful events. We will also continue regular communications with area health and public safety authorities. In the event of a cancellation of the November race, we will communicate next steps to all registered participants well in advance.

What are the average weather conditions in mid-November?

As good or better than the end of April. The average temperatures range from lows in the low-50’s with highs in the upper-50’s to low 60’s. California’s rainy season typically starts in later November and early December with only an average of two inches of rain falling in November. During the 15 years we have hosted the Monterey Bay Half Marathon on the second full weekend in November, weather conditions have been excellent for running. We have yet to see rain during the race itself.

What might look or feel different about having the Marathon on November 15 instead of late April?

Very little, actually. The hills along the Highway 1 course will be more golden brown than they are in late April since we typically have little rain through the summer and early fall. You will still run beneath towering redwoods, be awe-struck with the magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the rocks and shore, and you will still cross the iconic bridges. Everything we do to make the April events world-class will be done in November too.

Over the next seven months, we will be working with our local medical and public safety teams as well as colleagues from other events to determine and implement appropriate measures to enhance your personal health and safety in this evolving situation.

What about the Boston 2 Big Sur division?

Typically, the Boston and Big Sur Marathons are both in April and either six or 13 days apart. This year, due to major event rescheduling caused by the pandemic, the two races will be 61 days apart. For those entered in our B2B division, if you finish the September 14 Boston Marathon and the November 15 Big Sur Marathon, you will still receive the unique additional B2B finisher medallion, beautiful custom jacket, and entrance into the exclusive post-race VIP hospitality tent. And you will still feel the pride of finishing two iconic American marathons in this most challenging of circumstances.

Will you still have a VIP Program, charity partners, Marathon Tours, and other special programs?

Yes, these programs are all still in place for November 15. Entrants in those programs will receive additional information about their race weekend experience.

What about the other race distances (21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, 5K, 3K, or Marathon Relay)?

All April race distances except the 5K and 3K will be held on Sunday, November 15. Those who entered the April 5K will automatically be registered for the Monterey Bay 5K that will be held as part of the Monterey Bay Half Marathon on Saturday, November 14 in Monterey. The By-the-Bay 3K events in April or November will not be held this year (they were typically the day before at a different venue).

Will you still have an Expo, Pasta Dinner, Clinics, and other events this year?

We anticipate most of these activities will take place November 13-15. Visit the website for updates and more details as they become available.

What about tickets we bought for the pasta dinner or friends and family to the VIP or B2B finish tent?

Those will automatically transfer to the November race weekend. You do not need to re-purchase these tickets if you plan to come to the November 15 race.

Will I need to re-register for the rescheduled November 15 race?

No, you do not need to re-register to participate in the rescheduled race in November. Your April 2020 entry information will automatically transfer to the November 2020 race weekend. All registered entrants in the April 26 race should have received an email (sent April 13) with a link to confirm their choice. We do ask you to confirm your intent so we can plan accordingly  If we do not receive your choice, we will assume you will be coming to run the November 15 race.

If you need to receive this link again, email the registrar or call (831) 713-2227 for registration technical support.

I can’t or don’t want to run the rescheduled race on November 15. What are my options?

Though we hope as many entrants as possible will come to the November race, we know that date may not work for everyone. If you cannot join us in November, you may choose instead to purchase a guaranteed entry for our April 25, 2021 or our April 24, 2022 events at a 60% discount off the current entry fee. You won’t need to go through the random drawing process or risk missing out in a first-come, first-served entry program to participate in the 2021 or 2022 race. All of our race distances typically sell out quickly.

If I can’t come back in November and I don’t want to defer to 2021 or 2022, can I get a refund of my 2020 entry fee?

As a non-profit, the Big Sur Marathon Foundation relies on entry fees to fund the costs of staging our races, as well as provide for our operating budget. In addition, our events support close to 100 area non-profit organizations that benefit from the roughly $375,000 in grants they receive. While we are unable to offer refunds, we are encouraging participants to either join us in November instead, or to request a guaranteed entry into either the April 2021 or 2022 races.

Hundreds of other marathons and races have been affected by this pandemic and each of them are handling the status of their race and runner entry fees in a way that is right for their organization. The plan we have outlined for our April 2020 entrants is what we have determined is best for us.

If you do choose neither to attend the November rescheduled race nor to defer to the April 2021 or April 2022 races, you may use 100% of your race entry fee as a tax-deductible donation. Email to request a donation letter with our tax identification number,  

If slots in the November 15 Marathon or other race distances become available because some entrants defer to 2021 or 2022, will you open entry slots to this year’s race to the general public?

 Possibly. We will evaluate this option likely by August. Check the registration page at our website this summer for more details

When will registration open for the general public for the regular April 2021 Big Sur Marathon weekend?

First, we all welcome the opportunity to think of our lives returning to normal. Given the many uncertainties we’re facing at this time, we haven’t set the date yet for April 2021 registration to open for the general public (those not deferring from the rescheduled April 2020 race). We can confirm that the Marathon random drawings and other entry programs will not start as originally planned in July 2020. Check the registration page on our website for updates.

When will registration open for the April 2021 Boston to Big Sur category?

This date is not set yet. B2B typically opens a week or so after Boston finishes their registration program for time qualifiers. We will monitor when the Boston Marathon schedules their April 2021 program and update our B2B registration date on our website.

When will registration open for Big Sur non-marathon distances for April 2021 (21-Miler, 11-Miler, Marathon Relay, 12K, 5K, 3K)?

This date will be determined this summer and listed on our website.

Do you have a virtual run option?

No, we currently do not offer a virtual run option. Finish medals are provided only to official entrants who complete our official course on race day.

When will registration open for the Monterey Bay Half Marathon?

We hope to open registration for the November 14 Monterey Bay Half Marathon and 5K in May. Check the race website for updates.

If I’m already running the rescheduled Big Sur Marathon on Sunday, November 15, can I also run the Monterey Bay Half Marathon the day before?

Yes! For this year only, there is the opportunity to run a unique 39.3-mile challenge for those fit (or crazy!) enough to run both longer races back to back. Registration and special amenities for this once-in-a-lifetime Big Sur opportunity will be available at the Monterey Bay Half Marathon website .