bixby-apr25

The Big Sur Marathon is one of the top 10 marathon destinations in the world.

The big run happens along the scenic Highway One, skirting the rugged California coast from Big Sur to Carmel. The slogan used at Big Sur Marathon is "running on the edge of the western world"! It is indeed the case.

The different legs of the Big Sur Marathon race

A few of us runners at work had decided to participate in this race as a relay team. The race is divided into 5 legs, each having its uniqueness.

Eventually, three of us ran the race. Here is our team "Geeks with Wings" at the carbo load the night before the race.

geekswithwings

I ran the first two legs, the least undulating but the longest. My son, Rahul, ran the second leg, which is the hardest, shortest and the most rewarding because of the sights you get to see. Augustus, my ex-colleague, ran the last two legs, with rolling terrain. You can see the details in the topographic map here.

bigsur-topo1

The marathon course is along Highway One, skirting the cliffs along the California coastline. The area is incredibly beautiful and something to soak up.

Big Sur lighthouse

On the way

Quaint beach along Hwy 1

I passed the baton over to Rahul. While he ran, I unwound with the Taiko drummers, whose rhythmic beat could be heard from several miles. Here I am trying my hand at it:

taiko drumming

There is a 2 mile uphill run to Hurricane Point, which is hard. Here is Rahul proudly posing at the top.

hurricane-pt

The course also goes over the legendary Bixby Bridge.

Here are the three of us after completing the run in 4:21:56.

bigsurfinish-lres

The sights were spectacular, the run rewarding and unforgettable! It was wonderful to have trained and run with friends and with my son. I can see myself coming back here for another energizing run at one of my favourite places in California. The Pacific Coast Highway One! Cheers to the Big Sur International Marathon!!

My spirits were however dampened at the finish line by a very sad new. A very good friend's 11 year old son, Arya, had died of Leukemia in New York that morning. He was bravely battling this dreadful disease and doing well after a bone marrow transplant. But this did not last long. He was snatched from this world very prematurely. I had run and raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honour of Arya in the previous years.

Arya riding his bike in Central Park

Today my tears are spent, my body is numb as I think of the sweet little boy I knew and the thought of my friend's colossal loss saddens me. What do I tell her? How can I console her? Words can do little to express my grief. RIP Arya! I pray that your parents have the strength to overcome their big loss! I dedicate this run to you!

Arya in 2000

Arya