Friday, May 2, 2014
All the Extra Things to Love about the Big Sur Marathon
Most people would agree that it's not just the actual race on race day that makes a race a good experience. I would have to say that sometimes it's a lot of the extra stuff that goes in to it before and afterwards. For this Friday's 5, I'm sharing the "extra" things I liked about the Big Sur Marathon.
1. Shopping at the Race Expo:
I arrived at the race expo as excited as I always do. I was ready to get some race swag. The Big Sur expo is a fairly decent size. It's not small, but it's not too big that you will feel overwhelmed. You are sure to be able to see everything. I first stopped at the Big Sur merchandise because I know that it was quick to sell out of certain clothing (well at least in my size) last year. I was a bit disappointed this year of their selection. Last year I bought a tech zipper down that had thumb holes around your hands. I liked it so much, that I wore it all the time, and I misplaced it. I was hoping to get another one of those, but they didn't have any.
The closest they had was a white zipper down wind breaker that was very thin because there was no lining in it. I did find a nice blue zipper down sweatshirt that's very comfy, so that's what I bought.
Next it was over to purchase a flip belt. I have heard many great things about this product and wanted to try it out for myself. They say you shouldn't try anything new race day, well I did. (A later post to come about this product). I then went over to snuggbuds. I had just purchased a pair when I was down for the Princess half marathon in February. On the plane ride here the cord got frayed and the music became staticy. Snuggbuds says that they will replace your snuggbuds within 6 months if they stop working, however you are suppose to have the case you purchased them in. I did not, but they were very nice and still honored an exchange.
I didn't spend too long at the expo the first day, because I knew I would be back the following day to listen to the speakers in the afternoon.
2: Listening to the speakers.When I arrived at the expo the second day, the first session I attended was What are your course questions?
(Yikes, sorry the following pics are so blurry)
There was a panel of veteran Big Sur runners to give you tips on what to expect and do and don't along the course. Even though this was my second Big Sur marathon, it was still very informative to hear. The panelist included Jeff Galloway, Bart Yasso, Dean Karnazes, and Lee Scott. The next session was Run like a Girl with the ladies from Runner's World. The panelist included Tish Hamilton, Christine Fennessy, and Jen Van Allen ( co-author of the Runner's World big book of running for beginners). Barbara Galloway (Jeff Galloway's wife) and Susan Love (director of the Just Run Program and VIP program coordinator for Big Sur) also spoke. I really enjoyed this session since it was focused for women.
3. Meeting the professionals: Then it was Bart Yasso's time to speak. He is the chief running officer of Runner's World magazine ( Which I'm sure you already know). I have listened to him speak at several expos but it is always nice hearing about his experiences during his many races.
I was even able to meet him and he signed his book "My Life on the Run." I've heard many great things about this book and am excited to start reading it. Later I listened to Dean Karnazes speak. His session was to tell runners how to tackle the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge. Even though, I didn't run both this year, it was great hearing him speak. He also told some of his crazy stories of being an ultra runner. He said he goes through 30-40 pairs of sneakers a year. WOW! He is very grateful to have sponsors. His goal for 2015 is to run a marathon in every country in the world in one year, which would be over 200!
4. Pre Race Pasta Party: That evening we went to the pasta party to carb up for the big race the following day.
5. Post Race Celebrations: Immediately after the race there was a VIP tent that I was invited to. In here they had a large spread of salads, pastas, and different meats. They had a wine table set up, along with a bloody mary bar.
This tent was located right next to the finish line so we had a great view of all the runners still finishing. And a perfect photo opportunity at the finish line.
The night of the race was the post race party. This was not a dinner buffet like the pasta party, but hors d'oeuvres.
Even though, it wasn't a dinner, there was plenty of food there to choose from and it was very yummy. There were many different salads and sliders (chicken, beef, and Portobello mushrooms). Each post party ticket came with one complimentary beer or wine as well.
During the party there was a big screen that continually rolled with pictures of race day. The race director spoke again and all the board members of the committee were acknowledge for all their hard work throughout the weekend.
Besides the actual race itself, what are some of the extra things you like about a race weekend? ~L