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Picture-Perfect Day for the Big Sur International Marathon

Michael Wardian takes top honors in marathon and Boston 2 Big Sur events

WardianCarmel, CA -- Nearly 7,400 runners in six distance events experienced a picture-perfect day along the Big Sur coastline for the 32nd Big Sur International Marathon. 2014 champion and ultra-runner Michael Wardian earned his second Big Sur title, outlasting four-time champion Adam Roach.  The female winner was Tegan Searle, a recent arrival to Monterey resident running her first Big Sur Marathon.

“It couldn’t have been a better day,” stated Doug Thurston, race director. “The weather was ideal and the competition close. Nearly everyone enjoying our six distance events from the 5K to the full marathon came across the finish line with a smile on their face.”

Michael Wardian, 43, of Arlington, Virginia, ran side-by-side with defending champion Adam Roach of Pebble beach before pulling away in the last few miles to take top honors in 2:30:29.  Roach, 33, finished second in 2:31:51. He has won or finished second in every one of his six Big Sur races.  Chris Knorzer, 48, of Rocklin, California, placed third at 2:42:46.

Both Wardian and Roach were part of the Boston to Big Sur (B2B) Challenge. Four hundred runners were registered for this special category of runners who completed the Boston Marathon on April 17 and the Big Sur Marathon 13 days later.  Awards were given for the combined race times and Wardian (4:58:04) and Roach (5:07:06) placed first and second respectively in this category as well.

RoachNewcomer Tegan Searle, a nine-month resident of Monterey, California, captured top honors in the women’s division with a 3:01:47 finish.  Big Sur was Searle’s fourth marathon and her first-ever Big Sur event, Jaymee Marty, 49, of Sacramento, California received second place honors with 3:07:10 followed by Serena Kessler, 45, of Ann Arbor, Michigan at 3:09:54.       

In addition to 3,309 participants in the full marathon, more than 4,000 individuals competed in five other races including a 21-Miler, 10.6-Miler, 12K, 5K and four-leg marathon relay.  Awards are given for the 5K and relay events; the others are timed, but not competitive.

“We offer a variety of distances so that walkers and runners beyond just marathoners can experience the beauty and challenge of our course,” said Thurston.

Many praised the scenic course and weather.  Searle, the female champion said, “It was gorgeous. You could see the grey whales coming up. It was beautiful, the wind was just right.  It really was a pleasure to run.”

Organizers of the 32nd annual race faced several logistical challenges early in the year and up to race week.  A bridge closure just south of the start line required a rerouting of runner buses, and road instability near mile 5 necessitated the removal of one lane of the two-lane Highway 1.  One relay exchange point was affected by mounds of dirt piled high along the road, all evidence of fire and floods that have occurred in the Big Sur area during the past nine months.

Full results from the Big Sur International Marathon can be viewed at

Registration for the 2018 begins in mid-July with signups for a lottery-style drawing for the full marathon event.  Information will be posted on the event’s website,, later this month. 

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