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Wednesday, 13 April 2016 04:25

Big Sur Marathon’s 3K Becomes Largest Race Weekend Event

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Big Sur Marathon’s 3K Becomes Largest Race Weekend Event Maria Prince

More than five thousand elementary school students along with parents, teachers and families have signed up to participate in the April 23, By the Bay 3K fun run in Pacific Grove, California. This largest-ever Big Sur Marathon event distance ranks as the third largest kid’s race in the nation. It has also now become the largest of all seven Big Sur race weekend events.

The annual Big Sur International Marathon is capped at 4,500 entrants in accordance with highway and county permits. The additional distances of 21, 10.6, and 9 miles, plus a 5K and 4-person relay all have individual caps ranging from 750 to 1,600. Collectively the Sunday events hold just under 10,000 for the six distances and all except the 5K are sold out.  In 2008 the kid-focused 3K moved from marathon Sunday to a different venue on Saturday and has been steadily growing.  This year’s 5,146 surpasses last year’s total by 20 percent.

“The growth of the By the Bay 3K reflects a growing interest in youth fitness in our community,” said Doug Thurston, Big Sur Marathon Race Director. “It’s fun to help more kids and parents experience the excitement of race weekend.”

Since the 1990’s, the marathon has held a “Schools Competition” which provides cash awards based on the school’s level of participation. Forty-four elementary and middle schools from throughout Monterey County will be represented at this year’s By the Bay 3K.  As part of its non-profit mission to give back to the local community, the Big Sur Marathon contributes up to $15,000 in awards. In addition, the marathon provides bus grants to schools coming from longer distances throughout the Salinas Valley.  For many children, this event along the scenic Monterey Bay coastline provides their first-ever glimpse of the ocean.

Staging and activities for By the Bay 3K are held at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove.  Beginning at 8 a.m., runners head west along Ocean View to Coral St. where they turn around for a finish back at Lovers Point.  All participants receive a finishers’ medallion, a marine-themed t-shirt, and post-race food and entertainment at the finish area.  National children’s entertainer T-Bone will perform a pre and post-race interactive show.  At 9:15, representatives from the Big Sur Marathon’s JUST RUN youth fitness team will present the cash awards to the schools, along with special plaques to those schools that are part of the year-long JUST RUN program.

Local residents and visitors are welcome to come out and cheer on the thousands of kids running or to sign up for the event and run or walk. Pre-registration is available online at through April 20, at the Marathon Expo on Friday, April 22, or on race morning beginning at 6:30 a.m.  Costs are $5 for children 4-17, and $20 for adults.

Street closures will be in effect beginning at 6 a.m. on Ocean View Blvd. between Fountain and Coral Streets. The race will conclude at approximately 9 a.m. and post-race festivities end in the park by 11 a.m.

For more information on the By the Bay 3K or the JUST RUN youth fitness program, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 831-625-6226.  

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