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Big Sur Marathon still on — with a course correction due to Highway 1 slip out

Highway 1 on the Big Sur cliffs during the 2022 Big Sur Marathon. Runners snake along one side of the highway.
William Brown, Luis Escobar, Karen Fenstermaker, Harrison Page, Andrew Tronick, Don Wilcoxon, Steve Zalan
Big Sur International Marathon Foundation
Runners completing the Big Sur International Marathon in 2022.

There’s good news for runners lacing up their shoes for the Big Sur Marathon later this month: the event is still on — despite the slip-out at Rocky Creek Bridge that caused part of Highway 1 to fall into the ocean two weeks ago.

On Apr. 10, the Big Sur Marathon Foundation announced it had re-routed parts of the course after consulting with multiple local and state agencies, including Caltrans, state parks, the California Highway Patrol and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department.

“Our top priority is always the safety of anybody that’s come into this area for our events, and so that will always be at the top of mind with everything that we're planning on,” Josh Priester, the foundation’s executive director, told KAZU.

Runners signed up for the marathon, 21-miler and relay will run an out-and-back course that starts and finishes in Carmel, instead of beginning in Big Sur and moving north.

The 5K and 11-miler have the same course, and the 12K race is clockwise around Point Lobos.

This isn’t the first time the foundation has had to reroute due to highway slip outs: In 1998 and 2011, the traditional marathon course was also altered to an out-and-back course.

“We’ve actually looked at the template they had created in 2011,” Priester said. “A lot of our plans were along those same lines.”

All races will still be held on their scheduled day of April 28. While traditional registration for the event is already closed, some charities listed on the foundation’s site may still have open race entries for interested participants.

Janelle Salanga is a reporter for KAZU. Prior to joining the station, they covered Sacramento communities and helped start the SacramenKnow newsletter at CapRadio.
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