Big Sur Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & 5-Mile

Saturday, September 28, 2024 • Big Sur, CA • Course Map

The Big Sur Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & 5-Mile race is run along Old Coast Road, the first of its kind that connected the towns of Monterey and Big Sur before the road now known as Highway 1 was built.

Challenging and hilly. Like the road on which it is run, this race is challenging and hilly, with long, steep climbs and descents as well as spectacular scenery throughout the entire race.

And if you’ve ever been to or driven through Big Sur, you know how impressive that scenery is — breathtaking views from craggy bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as well as trails that wind through sun-dappled redwood and oak grove forests and across bridges overlooking the rocks crashing against the shore.

Runners see all of this along the course starting from the race start line at Andrew Molera State Park, which lies just off Highway 1 (Cabrillo Highway) near the Big Sur River.

From there, the course begins a long, winding route northward along Old Coast Road, climbing in elevation from about 200 feet above sea level to just above 1,000 feet above sea level between mile markers 2 and 3. Runners then get something of a reprieve from the steep climb with a long, steady descent between miles 3 and 4.

Big hills around the race midpoint. Then the really challenging uphill starts just after the 5-mile marker, continuing all the way to the half-way point, where runners will reach a peak just above 1,200 feet above sea level.

After that, the field turns around and heads back down Old Coast Road along the course they’ve just run, all the way back to the finish line at the park.

One of California’s smaller running events, the race is limited to 300 entrants and usually sells out every year.

Runners are encouraged to carry either a water bottle or a hydration pack with them to ensure they have plenty of water between aid stations and have a 6.5-hour time limit to complete the race.

The Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, Calif., where the Big Sur Trail Race is run. (Courtesy Enviro Sports)

The Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, Calif., where the Big Sur Trail Race is run. (Courtesy Enviro Sports)

Race Weather & Climate

Perched along the Northern California coast, just south of Monterey and about 150 miles south of San Francisco, the area known as Big Sur enjoys generally mild to moderately cool weather conditions virtually year-round, with much drier weather in the summer and early fall than the rest of the year. Average low for this time of year is 53ºF, with an average high of 71ºF.

Big Sur Marathon & Half Marathon Past Results

Big Sur Marathon & Half Marathon Course Map

See the race route map for the Big Sur Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

9:00 AM


  • $85 – $105 for the half marathon
  • $105 – $125 for the full marathon
  • $65 – $75 for the 5-mile

Big Sur Marathon & Half Marathon Registration

To reserve your spot in the 2024 running of the Big Sur Trail Marathon, Half Marathon or 5-mile run, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Big Sur Trail Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: September, California

2 comments… add one
  • Mohammad Abu Limon August 25, 2021, 2:28 pm

    Half Marathon

  • R July 10, 2017, 1:22 pm

    Could this race be impacted by the current road closures from the landslides?


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