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April 17, 2006

Boston or Big Sur?

Sometimes a single word makes a big impression. I was reminded of that after my last post.

It didn’t hit me until I read several comments that I probably implied the wrong message about my shortcomings. I primarily felt stupid for not anticipating the situation that would arise with the kid’s shoes. But then I wrote about what a “good” dad would do, when the proper word choice would have been what a “smart” dad would do.

I wanted to convey that fact that I felt like an idiot, not that I thought I was an inadequate father. Unfortunately I was a bit off-target in expressing this.

So as always, thanks to everyone who left comments, because that’s what usually allows me to see if the message intended (by me) was actually the message received (by you).

OK, so enough of that. On to today’s post…

Every April, marathon runners in the Monterey Peninsula face a conundrum of sorts in deciding which marathon to run – Boston or Big Sur. Both are premier races, but for different reasons.

Boston is such a legendary and exciting race that every marathoner should run it at least once, just for the experience. Big Sur is awe-inspiring, and perhaps the ultimate “destination” marathon in America. If you lived halfway between the east and west coasts and had to pick one of these races to do...well, it would be a tough call.

Of course, there are always some locals who take the best of both worlds, and do both races every year.

We talk about all of these topics in our Monterey Herald article from last week, which you can read here.


olga 4/17/06, 9:29 AM  

Cool article! I am sure you visited Marathon Maniacs webpage (and if not-please, do so) on mine and Rob's side bar. There are people exactly like once you describe, and they run back-to-backs and many of them (many more than I would have expected) excell as they onto next marathon. talk about proper training plan...For me it's a pure inspiration to hear their stories and know some of them.

robtherunner 4/17/06, 1:08 PM  

Nice article. I will hopefully be able to run them both someday and hopefully more than once, although I probably will not run them in the same year since I would have to travel to both.

You ever checked out the Tahoe Triple, and the Quadzilla inspired by the maniacs? It is 4 marathons in 4 days, however, this should not be taken lightly.

backofpack 4/17/06, 2:24 PM  

We've been to Boston twice for my husband to run. As a spectator,I enjoyed every bit of the hoopla that surrounds it. This year we opted to spend our time and money in Anchorage in June. We are trying to spread our trips around - so, even though he has qualified again, maybe next year we'll go for Big Sur!

Also, in response to Rob's comment: my husband completed two of the Tahoe Triple marathons in October, and spent the third and fourth days, when he planned to finish out the Quadzilla, on crutches. Even so, he is contemplating next year. We also have a member of our Y Run Club heading to Big Sur next weekend - can't wait to hear how it goes!

Ben, aka BadBen 4/18/06, 1:40 PM  

I've run Boston (in 2000), but have never run Big Sur. Big Sur is probably one of the only paved runs that I would do (for enjoyment).

Boston was ok, but it wasn't the end-all, be-all race that I had imagined. (The journey is sometimes much more than the destination, comes to mind). At that race, I realized 2 things about myself. I hate paved runs and I hate running with a large crowd. So I had my "moment of clarity" at Boston, and have been running off-pavement ultras ever since. I will be forever grateful to Boston because of it, too.

Darrell 4/19/06, 10:58 PM  

I don't know if I will ever qualify for Boston, but you are doing a great job of convincing me to run Big Sur.

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