I just got e-mail confirming my registration for this year’s Big Sur Marathon on April 24th. Had been putting off signing up for a few weeks now, debating whether to run it again or to try something different in the spring, or to hold off until the fall.
The course is beautiful, and we always enjoy spending time in the Monterey/Carmel area. On the other hand, it’s a famously hilly course, so I have no expectations of going particularly fast. I have been making slow, but steady, improvements to my endurance and pace, and am gradually getting within theoretical range of a Boston Marathon-qualifying time. “Theoretical” meaning that the various equivalent race-pace calculators such as McMillan Running indicate that I might be able to hit a 3:20 marathon time, based on my current 10K time, provided that I complete adequate preparation and training.
A 3:20 finish requires an average 7:40 pace. At the moment I think I could probably hit 8:00 pace on a flat course. At Big Sur, I’m probably looking at something like 8:30 to 9:00 pace, since it’s hilly and I’m likely to aim for a more conservative/comfortable run than an all-out effort. Depending on how things go in the spring, though, I might be in position to train for something flat and faster in the fall.
In another 3 years I will be in the next age bracket for qualifying, so I would only need to hit 3:30, which seems pretty likely, assuming that I stay mostly injury-free.