While it doesn’t have the "corporate polish" of other races I’ve run, the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey is no less spectacular. The stunning course along the shores of Monterey (yes; the Big Sur Half Marathon is actually north of Big Sur), combined with the folksy little town spirit of support, make this a can’t miss race in Northern California. And where else can you run with otters and sea lions cheering you on from the distance?
Long flat stretches, ocean views, and cool breezes make for a solid run. And the medals are a treat. They’re not metal, and it’s the same basic design every year (like I said, it doesn’t feel corporate): but these unique, handmade ceramic pieces showing the wildlife of Monterey look truly awesome. It’ll find a special place on your mantle.