New Sponsors, Course Changes for 2017 Big Sur International Marathon

Sierra Nevada and Haribo among new partnerships

Scenic 12K in Point Lobos. Photo: Marianne Mangold

 The 32nd presentation of the Big Sur International Marathon brings several changes for the April 28-30 event weekend including a new 12K distance race, a new start area for the 10.6-Miler, new bus drop off plans for the marathon start, and new sponsor activations.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of America’s premier craft breweries, will be sponsoring a new beer garden at the race finish. In addition to the runners receiving a complimentary post-race beer, the public will be able to purchase beer for the first time ever. Famous for its extensive line of beers, Sierra Nevada will be showcasing its signature Pale Ale along with Tropical Torpedo® and SummerFest®.

Throughout the event weekend, runners and guests will encounter the Haribo Bear as he dances through the race expo and finish area, handing out sample packages of Haribo GOLD-BEARS gummi candy. Considered a “happy participant” of the race, Haribo is also providing GOLD-BEARS to all race participants in the runners’ food tent.

Changes at the Big Sur International Marathon kick off at the start of the event weekend on Friday, April 28, 12-6 p.m. with a new Health & Fitness Expo venue at the Portola Hotel & Spa. Race clinics, bib and shirt pick up, bus and pasta party tickets and a variety of vendors will be located inside the hotel for the two-day Expo. On Saturday, the hotel’s Portola Room will be the site of several clinics, including talks from Jeff Galloway, Dean Karnazes, Bart Yasso, Fitz Koehler, Runner’s World editors and Tom Foreman, a CNN correspondent and author of “My Year of Running Dangerously.”

On course, runners will now have the chance to run a 12K, a 7.4 mile distance on an out-and-back course from the marathon finish line in Carmel. Formerly known as the 9-Miler, this non-competitive run/walk is the only event travels into the scenic Point Lobos State Reserve, now with a slightly shortened route. The 12K starts concurrently with the 5K, a timed and competitive event which is also held on a revised out-and-back course. Both races are still open for registration with sign ups at the race expo or on race morning.

The 10.6-Miler has announced a new start location just .4 miles south of the previous start. Sixteen hundred walkers and runners will gather at the historic Grimes Ranch which overlooks pasture land and the dramatic Big Sur coastline. This 100-acre property was built in the late 1800’s long before there was a Highway 1, and is one of the last remaining Big Sur coastal ranches still owned by the original family.

The marathon course along Highway 1 remains intact even after the torrential winter storms caused destruction of a bridge just a half mile south of the start line. Because of the road closure, marathon runners will now be dropped off a half mile north of the start line and will walk on the road to the Start Village before heading on their 26.2 mile journey to Carmel.

Also, due to the demolishment of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and the additional landslides and flood damage suffered in the area, the Big Sur Marathon organization established a fund raising campaign to help support the residents in the Big Sur community. More information and donation opportunities are available here.

Finally, two additions to this year’s race are a new water distribution system for our course aid stations via Water Monsters storage and disbursement equipment and a NormaTec Recovery Zone in the Marathon Finish Village where runners will have a chance to try the state-of-the-art compression devices.

Bixby Bridge, midway point of the race. Photo: Sharon Garber

Michael Martinez on the grand piano at Bixby Bridge. Photo: Edie Ellis

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