Three Comox Valley Road Runners were greeted with perfect weather for the recent Big Sur International Marathon in Monterey, Calif. They needed it as they tackled what has been described as one of the toughest marathons in the world.
Ten thousand runners arrived from around the globe to challenge themselves in one of several events held that weekend. Our local runners joined 4,000 other athletes in the marathon, which is aptly described as “running on the ragged edge of the western world.”
The scenic course travels along Highway 1, which is closed to traffic, as it snakes along the rocky, and hilly California coastline from Big Sur to Carmel. The route includes the infamous, gut-wrenching, two-mile climb to Hurricane Ridge along with numerous hills along the way.
It is not the lung-searing, calf-aching climbs that are the real challenge though. It is the repetitive, thigh-burning descents on the other side that take their toll as the race progresses, leaving the runners hanging on as they wind their way to the finish 42.2 km away.
CVRR was led by Wayne Crowe (Extreme Runners/Asics) who finished second in the Men’s 55-59 division, and 25th overall, in a time of 3:03:55. He was followed by fast-improving Danny Keyes (Comox Valley RV) with another stellar performance, finishing third in the Men’s 50-54 age group, 35th overall, in a time of 3:09:25 and setting a personal best.
CVRR’s Roger Plamondon rounded out the impressive podium appearances for the club with a fourth-place finish in the Men’s 50-54 age group and an amazing 89th out of the 4,000 runners, in a time of 3:19:01.
– Comox Valley Road Runners