Is there anyway to still to get an entry in the Big Sur Marathon?

As of early March, 2022, all races are full and all entry programs are closed. There is no wait list and no transfers of entries between runners. Thank you for your support!

Once entered, can I switch my registration to a different category (upgrade/downgrade)?

The category change period ended on February 15th.
A limited number of category changes (upgrades/downgrades) will be available from January 15th, 2022 to  February 15, 2022. If slots are available in your desired race category (distance), you will be able to initiate the category change from your haku participant account for a $20 administrative fee. If the price of the new race category is higher than the original category, you will also pay the price difference. If the price in the new category is lower than your original category, there is no credit provided. The inventory of available slots will fluctuate based on the category changes of other participants, so check back often.

How many entries did you accept in 2022?

We accepted full fields for all race distances in 2022, comparable to the 2019 and earlier race weekends. Capacities range from about 550 for the 5K to close to 5,000 for the 26.2-mile marathon.

The By-the-Bay 3K will not be held in 2022.

How will COVID-19 affect the April race weekend?

  •         As race weekend approaches, we will continue to monitor and follow local, state, and federal guidance which may result in enhanced safety precautions.
  •       Per current county guidelines, proof of vaccination or recent negative test is not required to attend any of our events. We do strongly recommend that all participants be fully vaccinated, bring their vaccination card, or be tested for COVID within 48 hours of arrival if unvaccinated.
  •         If or when guidance and requirements change, we will provide periodic updates to our 2022 registered participants through email communication and on our website,
  •         If, due to the pandemic, local restrictions prevent us from being able to host an in-person event in April 2022, refunds will not be provided. There is no virtual race option.

Where do I pick up my bib and race shirt?

The Health & Fitness Expo is Friday, April 22nd, from noon to 6 PM and Saturday, April 23rd, 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 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 23rd, at the Monterey Marriott for a pasta-focused buffet-style dinner featuring vegetarian options, chicken, green salad, asparagus and artichokes, and, of course, bread! 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: 6:20am
  • Marathon start: 6:35am
  • Relay start: 6:35am
  • 11-Miler start: 7:00am
  • 12K start: 7:35am
  • 5K start: 7:35am

Note that race starting times are subject to change.

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 bus departure schedule and locations.

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, smaller shuttle buses will make a loop on Highway 1 to pick up runners at 5:00 a.m. from two locations north of the starting line and two locations south.

  • For those staying at all hotels or campgrounds north of the starting line, please walk to either the Big Sur River or Ripplewood Resort and wait for the shuttle bus at 5 a.m.
  • For those staying south of the starting line, please walk to either Deetjen’s or in front of the entrants to Post Ranch Inn on Highway 1 for pick-up at 5:00 a.m.
  • To board these buses, stand near Highway 1 in order to be visible to bus drivers.
  • Check in at the transportation desk at the race expo for more information if you are staying in Big Sur.

Buses will transport runners from the finish area back to Big Sur after the race.

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. All buses must be back to Carmel prior to 7:00am so the Marathon finish and 5K/12K start area can be constructed on the roadway. 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, marathon bus departures are staggered between 3:30 and 4:15 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 Gatorade Endurance at all aid stations. GU will be available at stations 5 (mile 12.2) and 8 (mile 18.9). We may not provide fruit at the aid stations for safety reasons.

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, or 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. Only those participants who are able to complete the race in 6 hours (chip time) will receive a Big Sur International Marathon finisher’s medallion. All entrants agreed that they understood and accepted these time limits when they registered for the races.

How do I qualify for a marathon award?

To be eligible for marathon overall and divisional awards, one must show a time crossing all split timing mats near miles 5, 8.1, 12.1, 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 marathon 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 2022 Boston and Big Sur times.

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

There are also awards in the Marathon Relay. See the Relay page for more detail on Relay awards.

There are no individual or overall awards in the 21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, or 5K.

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 at the start, 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 at the start or along the course. Non-official bicycles are not allowed on the course race day.

Was the Big Sur Marathon held in 2020 or 2021?

No. Due to the pandemic, the Big Sur Marathon weekend of races was not held in April 2020 or April 2021. In addition, we canceled our other races, the Run in the Name of Love and the November Monterey Bay Half Marathon, in both 2020 and 2021. The Monterey Bay Half Marathon will return on November 13, 2022 ( The Run in the Name of Love has been discontinued.

Where do the entry fees go?

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a non-profit organization. Our mission is to create beautiful running events that benefit our community. Race entry fees help cover the cost of race production and help our organization provide grants to more than 90 area non-profit organizations throughout the year as well as our free year-round youth fitness programs.

Due to the pandemic, we had no in-person races in 2020 and 2021 and were, therefore, unable to provide any grants in our community in 2020 or in 2021. We are excited to once again support our community in 2022 and beyond as our local partners make our events possible.

How Do I Receive Any Updates on Future Races?

The best way to stay updated about the status of our future events is to add your email address to our mailing list, available at the bottom of the home page at or www.montereybayhalfmarathon,org. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram–see the bottom of the home page for links to our social media pages.

Thank you for your continued support!

We appreciate your patience and consideration as our board made many difficult decisions to help our non-profit organization survive during this international crisis. We have survived landslides, bridge collapses, floods, and forest fires though we have had to cancel eight of our races in the last five years. We look forward to providing you another beautiful and safe world-class event in April 2022.

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at the information below.

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation

Carmel, Calif.

General email:

Office phone (831) 625-6226 (Note that we often work remotely so email is the most effective way to reach us)