35th Annual Big Sur Marathon, Originally Postponed, Has Been Cancelled Due to COVID-19

June 3, 2020

Race officials halt plans for weekend-long celebration of running

CARMEL, CA – The 2020 Big Sur International Marathon, originally rescheduled from its late April date to November 15th, has been cancelled. The Big Sur Marathon Foundation’s governance board made this difficult decision as they continued to monitor updates from county, state, federal, and international public safety and health agencies regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Our highest priority is always the wellbeing of our participants, volunteers, spectators, and our residents. As a mass participation event, we feel that planning any race this year is not the right thing for our community,” said Doug Thurston, Race Director.

The Monterey Bay Half Marathon, also produced by the Big Sur Marathon Foundation (BSMF) and originally scheduled for November 14th, will be held as a virtual event. Registration for the virtual Monterey Bay Half Marathon is scheduled to open this summer.

All entrants of the 2020 Big Sur Marathon, Relay, 21-Miler, 11-Miler, 12K, and 5K have been given the option to either receive a 60% refund of their race entry or to donate their entry fee to help the Big Sur Marathon Foundation support other nonprofits in Monterey County. Add-on expenses incurred by entrants, such as the Boston 2 Big Sur and VIP packages, pasta party tickets, will be refunded at 100% of the purchase price. While a deferment to future years is no longer offered, all 2020 entrants will enjoy “priority registration” for the 2021 or 2022 Big Sur Marathon races.

“Even though our race has a no-refund policy, standard in our industry, we know these are unprecedented times,” Thurston commented. “We know many of our runners and their families have been greatly affected by this pandemic and we want to help them as much as we can.”

The Big Sur Marathon was one of many area events unable to be held this spring due to the coronavirus, joining hundreds of other marathons around the world that either had to reschedule or cancel. Many of those originally rescheduled races are now being cancelled or held as virtual events, including the iconic Boston Marathon.

The Foundation has had to weather five race cancellations in the last four years due to circumstances beyond its control. BSMF is a nonprofit organization that donates nearly $400,000 a year to over 100 other Monterey County-based nonprofits. Entrants can choose to donate their entry fee to help BSMF carry out this part of our mission. Those who choose to do so will be given priority registration for the 2021 or 2022 Big Sur Marathon events.

Race organizers say when they chose to postpone the race on March 13th, they were hopeful they would be able to produce a world-class event in the fall of 2020. Since then, however, the State of California developed a phased reopening plan with mass participation events like the Big Sur Marathon not allowed until there is an effective COVID-19 vaccine or other therapeutics.

“There are so many unknowns both with this virus and with the effects of it on large events,” Thurston said. “We were also very concerned about having access to needed public safety and medical officials, volunteers, and supplies during this ongoing crisis.”

In an email to registered entrants for the 2020 event, race organizers expressed gratitude for the patience and support of their community over the past few months. They hope to open registration for the April 25, 2021 Big Sur International Marathon later this year on a no-risk reservation basis.

For questions regarding the 2020 Big Sur Marathon cancellation, send an email to info@bsim.org.

About the Big Sur Marathon Foundation

The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create beautiful running events that promote health and benefit the community. Under the brand are three individual race weekends: Big Sur International Marathon in April, Run in the Name of Love 5K and 2K in June, and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon, 5K and 3K in November. In addition, the Foundation oversees the award-winning JUST RUN® youth fitness program. www.bsim.org

Media Contact:

Hillary Fujii, Big Sur Marathon Foundation

hillary@bsim.org / 831-915-3820