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The Big Sur International Marathon 2015 Recap

The Big Sur International Marathon 2015 Recap


Here we go friends. Let’s recap the Big Sur International Marathon, shall we?

Since I had a 3:00 am alarm set and was told to make sure I was quiet when getting ready in the morning I had all my stuff laid out in my teeny tiny walkway by the bed.



Halo Race Visor, Halo Headband and Halo Hairband (I could decide so just went with all three)

Handful Bra (the new ones are even better than ever by the way)

Mizuno Tamayu Tank and Kamiko 3/4 Tights

Auria all weather music belt

Pro Compression socks and arm sleeves

Wave Sayonara 2 shoes


I had the same pre race meal I had in Boston since it worked well only I prepped it the night before and put it in the fridge. You know, so I wouldn’t make noise in the morning. Ha.


Super Oats made with water and peanut free NuttZo. I didn’t end up adding the chia since there was chia in both the oats and the NuttZo. I didn’t want to go overboard or anything.

I had two GU gels and one Vega Sport one.


STUFT Daddy was in charge of bringing the recovery accelerator and some Action Wipes to meet me at the finish.


I slept pretty well actually and the 3:00 am wake up wasn’t that bad since I usually get up at 4:30 am. I got ready quickly and made it to my shuttle in time to get one of the last few seats on the back of the bus.


By the way, I’m not a fan of people saving seats on race shuttles. I asked a lady if I could sit by her and she said she was waiting for her friend. The bus was like almost full. I think you should just welcome anyone who needs a spot to sit, right?


The ride was dark and long to the start.


I was really prepared for cold weather, but it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.

I headed to the hot coffee right away. I mean, when there’s free coffee at a race and it’s 4:45 am, that’s just what you do.


And yes, you also double fist.

I met up with Pam and finally met @nycsweat who’s an instagram friend.


Oh and just in case you want to see me lovely oats.


My banana didn’t make the picture.

It was very low key at the start. There was lots of time to just sit around and wait. The port a potty line wasn’t too long, but it wasn’t too short either.

When it was time to check our gear and head up the hill to the start I bumped into my man Bart.


He always has a smile and a thumbs up. Love that guy.


You walk up and around to get to the start.


Supposedly there are waves, but everyone is just kind of standing around since the race isn’t that big.

Pam, Emily and I stood together and man was the National Anthem awesome. WE missed it at the Boston Marathon since there were so many people and so many different wave starts, so it gave me chills here.


It was go time. I didn’t really have a plan or think about things much. I don’t really know why. I was just hoping my hip would hold up and that the wind wouldn’t be too bad.

Sweet Emily (who got a PR in Boston) said she was going to run with me. We started together and you never know if someone is just saying they’ll run with you to be nice or if they really want to or heck if they’re going to take off right after mile 1 or something.

Emily and I have only met in person twice. I’m sure she wanted to go much faster, but she stayed with me at the beginning and we chatted about all kinds of stuff since we didn’t really know each other at all.

I was tired already by mile 6. Just physically tired. My body was telling me that I hadn’t had significant training time for my legs to be ready for a marathon, not to mention two marathons in 6 days. I knew it was going to be a long morning. That may have been when Emily first said, “Hey, just enjoy it.”

I’m 99% sure we were running into headwind the majority of the race. We had little breaks when the mountains would block the wind, but for the most part that darn wind was right in our face. You’d think it could be at our back or something useful.

I’m not a fan of wind. Really not a fan, but when you’re out there there’s really nothing you can do except grunt and take it. We did a lot of that.

We did so much chatting that I really didn’t have to have those mental battles marathons usually bring. I told Emily to leave me countless times, but her response was always the same. “No way. Just enjoy it.”

This marathon is one of the most breath taking marathons ever. There are so many moments when I just thought about how freaking lucky and blessed I am to be not only running, but running there. It’s beautiful.

I really wanted to get my phone out and take pictures, but with the wind and everything I just didn’t do it. Lame, I know, but I have the memory and the feeling and an excuse to just keep coming back until I do actually take pictures.

I didn’t look at my Polar GPS once. I’m glad I didn’t because I just would’ve gotten frustrated. My miles were slow, but still felt hard. But they were miles in the most beautiful place ever and they were virtually pain free, so I’m grateful.

The last few miles went rather quickly. We took our time at the aid stations and kept chatting. Finally we got our strawberries at mile 23 after a not so friendly runner told us that they weren’t doing them this year. We got our yummy strawberries.


And then we got to that finish line. Poor Emily for telling me she’d run with me and then probably feeling like she was stuck. Bless her though for her selflessness and for staying by my side the entire time.


It really makes me want to cry thinking about it. She barely knew me, but out of the kindness of her heart just kept running with me and keeping me entertained. I mean, who does that?

Gosh darn it there are some freaking amazing people out there. It totally makes me want to give more to others and be a better person and friend. Our 4 hours together (yes, 4, it was a long, slow race) were incredible.

I saw the boys right away and they spotted their favorite Runner’s World guru Bart.


Judah’s first question to me was “Mommy, did you go really slow? We thought we missed you.”

My reply was “Yes. Yes I did.”


We needed another picture once I actually got my medal.


Bart is the best. He said he loves the boys. He’s just so genuine and loves everyone. he will remember your name and your face even if he only meets you for like 30 seconds. He is one heck of an incredible guy.

And the Big Sur Marathon is once heck of an incredible race.


I am so blessed. Truly blessed.

I don’t know how the heck I made it there for the second year in a row and having the boys there to experience it this year was just awesome.



We made our way to the B2B Challenge tent for my other special medal and to see the amazing Shirley.


Then I picked up my special finisher’s jacket.


Heck yes it’s humbling to get slower and slower every race and I get down on myself, but then I’m reminded about just how lucky I am. There are so many people out there who WANT to run, but CAN’T. If my body is going to keep letting me do what I do, I’ll keep using what I’ve got.

There are so many people out there who are too scared to get out of their comfort zone to see what amazing things are out there waiting or just too fearful to fail or try something and not be good at it. That’s why running doesn’t matter. Running or walking, fast or slow……you just do what YOU can do.

I’ve failed a bazillion times and am really good at knocking my own self down to the curb, but that’s life. Getting back up however you can is all part of the process.


I have no idea what the future will bring, which is unsettling and scary, but I’m in it for the long haul.

I’m just enjoying life’s journey one race, one huge mountain, one new obstacle, one adventure and one amazing moment at a time.


I have a feeling I’m just not finished yet.


I want to be welcomed back to this particular finish for years to come.


Yes, yes I do.


Last year’s race recap is here. Just in case I thought I’d share.


I can’t thank my family, my friends and all of you enough for dealing with my crazies and being there for me along the way.


Now go get after your next adventure, okay?

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  1. 1

    Congratulations! I’m glad you had someone to help you enjoy the race – and it sounds like a beautiful course!

  2. 2
    Tracy Levine says:

    You are so amazing Kristin and keep me inspired to keep pushing myself to reach my fitness goals, and hopefully start running. Baby steps….I need to lose more weight before I run too much so I can have less pounding on my knees. My endurance has improved so much doing Insanity though. I’m on my second round of that and just started 2 mile runs this week. Will gradually keep building. I love reading your blogs and seeing the family. I can totally hear Andrew talking to you in his sarcastic way and funny smirk he has after working with him, haha!!! Great job on completing your goal with these marathons and I look forward to seeing what you decide to do next. I hope your hip is feeling good after all that as well, and continues to not bother you. All the best!!

  3. 3
    Kathy says:

    Even slower and as you said “virtually pain free” …You DID it (with Emily by your side) Maybe you can be that “Emily”for some one else next time…..slower yes, but oh so lovely ~ motivating that other runner through their first marathon or maybe their last.

    You can and YOU will do great things I have a feeling. 😉

  4. 4
    Pam says:

    great re-cap Kristin! you did it & I’m proud to call you a friend. 🙂 Emily is a great chica & I loved our morning together before the race. I have a feeling Big Sur wasn’t your last. Listen to your body & I know a new sense of appreciation will lather your heart for what your body gave you this past week! xo

  5. 5
    Jamie says:

    Congrats on Boston 2 Big Sur! I ran my first Boston this year and am hoping I can do the challenge next year! You always have such a positive attitude regarding all the obstacles that running can bring – early morning wake ups, injuries, personal frustrations. I always look forward to reading your blog! You did incredible and your perseverance is inspiring! 🙂

  6. 6
    Samantha says:

    Don’t you love when you meet the gentle kind people that always remind you to take care of others? I love those little reminders. And just reading this post gives me that. Yes, you have definitely reminded me to consider what am I afraid of or what I am letting hold me back. Thank you! Sam

  7. 7

    So so so inspiring! Way to go!! Love that Emily stayed with you the whole way <3 I. Must. Meet. Bart. 😉

  8. 8
    Melissa says:

    So proud of you, friend! Just enjoy it. Best advice for the moment. For today. Just enjoy it.

    Congratulations!! 🙂

  9. 9
    Kim says:

    I’m so happy that you were able to run both races again this year!!! And, Emily sounds amazing!! Without knowing her I would be willing to beat that she enjoyed running with you as much as you enjoyed her company!!!

  10. 10
    Joe says:

    Your second double/double. Truly amazing, inspiring, and courageous. Thanks for sharing that awesome race report. And Emily sounds like an Angel. Congrats to you for making it through to the end. Nice.

  11. 11
    Katerina says:

    Hi Kristin, congratulations! You are so inspiring! I am caught up at the moment-too much work@family@university=weight gain, no running, not happy me. I wish I could soak up some of your determination. Anyhow, take care and keep running!

    • 11.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      I hear ya about how too much work and family stuff gets in the way. I still struggle with trying to find balance. You’ll get there Katerina.

  12. 12

    Great recap! The Big Sur Marathon is on my bucket list for next year!

  13. 13
    Emily says:

    Uh…. This was one of my favorite all-time marathons!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing 26.2 with me and not judging me when I ate all the berries! Funning is my favorite, and I hope we can share many more races together! And get the dudes and littles together for fun times again!

  14. 14

    Ah, you are so amazing Kristin!!! I love all the pics – so glad you got to do it & that is all that matters – not the time! HUGS!

  15. 15
    Alyssa McQ says:

    Congrats! So glad you were able to run and enjoy both marathons. You sure are inspiring!


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