Saturday, October 2, 2021 • 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.
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.
- Oct. 2 average low temp: 53ºF
- Oct. 2 average high temp: 71ºF
- 2019 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Big Sur Trail Half Marathon Results
- $85 – $105 for the half marathon
- $105 – $125 for the full marathon
- $65 – $75 for the 5-mile
To reserve your spot in the 2021 running of the Big Sur Trail Marathon, Half Marathon or 5-mile run, register online at RaceRoster.com 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.