• Half Marathon will bring Thousands Through the Streets of Pacific Grove

    By Big Sur Marathon Staff

    On Sunday, Nov. 17, while you’re sipping your morning coffee, getting ready for church, or maybe even still asleep, more than 7,000 runners will be on the streets of Pacific Grove (Course maps at www.cedarstreettimes.com/pdf/BSIM5K3KCoursemapv4.pdf and www.cedarstreettimes.com/pdf/BSIMHalfCoursemapfinal.pdf) in pursuit of a well deserved Big Sur Half Marathon finishers’ medallion.

    Now in its eleventh year, the prestigious Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay has grown to become one of the west coast’s most popular distance running events. The 13.1 mile run has drawn athletes from all 50 states and 16 countries to compete in this year’s event. The scenic shoreline of Pacific Grove is one of the reasons.

    “The PG shoreline is consistently the highest ranked part of the course,” said race director Doug Thurston, a Pacific Grove resident. “Our spring marathon offers incredible coastal scenery in Big Sur and our half marathon provides a different, yet equally beautiful view to our runners.” The numbers bear this out, with nearly 40 percent being repeat participants.

    Starting in downtown Monterey at 7 a.m., the half marathon course winds around Lake El Estero, through historic Monterey, into Lighthouse Tunnel and along Cannery Row before entering Pacific Grove. Once in town, the runners head down Ocean View Blvd. to Fountain Ave. where they make a left turn to travel through downtown. The runners will run the length of Lighthouse, turning at the Post Office to head back to 17th and ultimately Ocean View and Sunset. They will turn around near Asilomar Beach before heading back to the race finish at Custom House Plaza in Monterey.

    Along the way, runners are entertained with a variety of music. From bagpipers in Lighthouse Tunnel to a Dixieland band at Berwick Park, rock bands and cheerleaders along the coastline and Taiko drummers at Asilomar, the music provides a welcome distraction to the runners. Spectators are encouraged to come out and cheer the runners on and listen to the music along the course.

    The majority of the ‘action’ takes place in Pacific Grove from 7:30 to 9 a.m. with a strong field of 35 elite runners leading the pack. Once runners hit Lovers Point on the return, they are routed onto the Recreation Trail, allowing the streets to be re-opened once runners are off course. Letters of notification about parking, traffic and street closures have been mailed to all residents along the waterfront and in the affected downtown areas.

    Street Closures in Effect for the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay, Sunday morning Nov. 17 include the entire waterfront area along Ocean View Blvd. and Sunset, and the downtown area bordered by Fountain, Lighthouse, Congress/Central and 17th Street. Also, on Saturday morning, November 16, the downtown area and residential streets from Grand to Caledonia will be closed to traffic for the running of the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K and the JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K races. Most streets will be reopened by 10 a.m. or sooner on Saturday, and 11 a.m. or sooner on Sunday. The city has posted No Parking signs in the affected areas and letters were sent to select local residents with details. For specific information on parking and traffic info go to www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org (Race Weekend > Traffic Info) or contact the PG Police Dept.

    Pacific Grove Music Spots

    American Tin Cannery: Sambahamians

    Along Ocean View: Dick Robbins Dixieland Band

    Downtown PG: Long Distance Flyers

    PG Post Office: PGHS Cheerleaders

    Lovers Point: David Holodiloff Bluegrass

    PG Golf Course: Paige Too

    Pt. Pinos: Wharf Rats

    Lighthouse & Sunset: Marina HS Cheeleaders

    Jewell & Sunset: Derrick Brown keyboards

    Arena & Sunset: Monterey HS Cheerleaders

    Asilomar: Taiko Drummers

    So, on Sunday morning grab your coffee – or better yet, head to breakfast at a downtown PG restaurant – to take in the action and cheer on the runners in this inspiring annual event.

    Saturday Only Runs: 5K and Kids 3K

    On Saturday morning, two smaller, shorter races will take place in downtown and along the scenic coastline from Lovers Point to Asilomar Ave. near the golf links. Rabobank is sponsoring the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K beginning at 8 a.m. on Lighthouse Avenue, followed by the JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K at 8:15. Anyone interested can sign up for the 3K or 5K at the Half Marathon’s Health & Fitness Expo at the Monterey Conference Center on Fri., Nov.15, or on race morning. Prices for the JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K are $5 for children ages 4-17 and $20 for adults; prices for the PG Lighthouse 5K are $20 for ages 17 and under and $30 for adults. Both races include T-shirts, finishers’ medallions, finish line food, 5K awards and more. The local Kiwanis club will also be serving a $5 pancake breakfast at Jewell Park.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 10, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News, Sports

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