Are You Going to Hold the April 2021 Big Sur Marathon or Other Races Next Year?

NO. Our board determined that, at this time, it is neither safe nor feasible to plan for any races in 2021. 

Our organization has had to cancel all of our 2020 in-person events and programs and, at this time, all of our events and programs for 2021. We made the very difficult decision to suspend the Foundation’s race operations, effective last September 30, 2020. This suspension will continue until permits for large events are available in Monterey County and in California and race planning and registrations can begin again safely. This action allows our organization to operationally weather this global health crisis until we can safely stage our races again.

Near term, this means that:

  • We suspended the JUST RUN youth fitness program for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • We will not organize the April 2021 Big Sur Marathon weekend of races
  • We will not organize the June 2021 Run in the Name of Love
  • As of January 2021, we do not anticipate organizing the November 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon race weekend*
  • We have suspended grants for our volunteer organizations that support our race weekend efforts.

In addition, with no current races on the horizon, we reduced our staff to Race Director Doug Thurston and Administrative Manager Chris Balog.

*We will continue to monitor the status of vaccine distribution and use to see if an event in November 2021 is possible. We will update this website as well as the half marathon website if there are any changes.

What About a Race in 2022?

Updated January 2021: We are hopeful we will be able to host a safe race weekend April 22-24, 2022. As we have all experienced with COVID-19, however, is that the status of the pandemic changes constantly and it’s very difficult to plan very far ahead. We will continue to monitor the situation with vaccine distribution and use and, perhaps by the spring or early summer of 2021, we may have a better idea if we will be able to get the needed permits from Monterey County and State of California to hold a safe event in 2022.

When Will You Open Registration for the 2022 Race?

We will open registration for an April 2022 race weekend when we receive assurance we will be able to get a permit for the race. We hope the situation will be more clear by May or June 2021. We will update this website when we know more.

What About Those Who Entered the April 2020 race weekend?

All April 2020 entrants were offered a 60% refund of their entry fees or the option to donate 100% of their entry fees to our non-profit organization. These refunds or donations were all processed in early August 2020. If you were an entrant in one of our April 2020 races (5K and up) and did not receive an email with restitution information, please contact and we will research your entry. 

We did not open registration for the November 2020 Monterey Bay Half Marathon so there are no entrants into that canceled race…

We canceled the June 2020 Run in the Name of Love after registration had been open only about six weeks and all of these entrants were provided refunds.

Did You Defer Any Marathon Entries to 2021 or 2022?

No April 2020 entrants were deferred to future years. April 2020 entrants will have a priority registration period for the April 2022 or the April 2023 race weekends. (Note: there are a few dozen runners from 2019 or earlier that have special circumstances, and we have communicated directly with these entrants.)

For more information about the April 2020 entrant refund program, read through a separate FAQ HERE

Will April 2020 Entrants Have a Guaranteed Entry Into the Next Race in April 2022?

Those who entered the April 2020 Marathon or other race distances will have the opportunity to enter the planned April 2022 race before the general public. All 2022 registration plans will be updated and explained, hopefully, by July or August 2021 at

Please note that all plans for an April 24, 2022 Big Sur Marathon weekend of events are completely dependent on the status of the pandemic and the ability to secure a permit through County and State health and public safety authorities.

How Will Future Big Sur Marathon Races Change Due to COVID-19?

It’s difficult to say right now. Our events typically bring tens of thousands of runners, friends, family, and others from all 50 states and dozens of countries into our relatively small community. We will continue to monitor best practices if and when larger events happen successfully in California and around the country. Our priority is always the safety of our participants, volunteers, vendors, suppliers, and community. Some areas of our races (and many others around the country) could change including in such areas as packet pick-up, the race expo, pasta dinner, transportation, start and finish villages, aid stations, post-race refreshments, and awards ceremonies. 

We will provide updates to the April 2022 Big Sur Marathon weekend of events before registration opens, likely in the summer of 2021.

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.

Thank You

We appreciate your patience and consideration as we try to help our non-profit organization survive during this crisis. We have survived landslides, bridge collapses, floods, and forest fires though we have had to cancel five races in the last four years—and now are proactively canceling three more through 2021. We look forward to providing you another beautiful, world-class event when safe to do so. If you have any additional questions, please contact me at the information below.

Best wishes for your continued safety,

Doug Thurston
Race Director
Big Sur Marathon Foundation
Carmel, Calif.
(831) 625-6226