> The Fifteenth Presentation > Event Information > Half Marathon

Half Marathon

Registration for the November 11, 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon will open on April 2, 2018.

ENTRY FEE:  $3 of your half marathon entry fee is a tax-deductible donation to JUST RUN, the Big Sur Marathon's award-winning youth fitness program.

Half Marathon Entry fees: to be determined for 2018

The Ocean View Challenge: Half Marathon and 5K Combo Package:  For those who would like to run Saturday's Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K and Sunday's Monterey Bay Half Marathon at a discounted entry fee. Special finish medallions will be awarded to those who complete both races. The Active Military discount does not apply to this category.

COURSE TIME LIMIT  Before entering this race, please note that the Half Marathon course and finish line are only open for a 3.5 hour finish pace, or 16 minutes-per-mile. This time limit begins with the final start wave. Runners who are unable to maintain a 16-minute pace may be turned-around early and/or redirected to an alternate course. Aid stations, official finish times, finish medallions, and post-race refreshments are only available to runners who maintain a 3:30 finish pace or below 
CANCELLATION POLICY: Per the marathon running industry policy, all entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. This policy applies to all entrants and is in effect whether you are injured, have an unexpected family/business emergency, have a medical emergency, etc.  If the course has to be changed or the race cancelled due to an act of nature, there are no refunds or rollovers. There are NO exceptions.  You may not defer your entry to another year or transfer, sell or give it to another person if you are unable to run. If you do not run or pick up your event shirt you may deduct the amount of your entry as a charitable contribution on your income tax return.  The Big Sur International Marathon is a non-profit 501(c)3 and the proceeds from our events go to local charities and grant groups.

Booking Protect is a registration protection program available through Active. Com. It is an opt-in offer that enables registrants to purchase coverage for the total cost of their registration and processing fees. If a registrant is unable to attend our event for a reason covered by the Registration Protection offer, they may contact Booking Protect to file a refund application and receive compensation.

 Registration protection can only be purchased during the event registration process. The offer will appear on the payment page (immediately following the Order Details summary).  If an entrant decides later that they don’t want this protection, they can cancel up to 14 days after the start of the booked event for any reason – no questions asked. If you wish to cancel your purchase visit https://bookingprotect.com/contact-us/.

If you have purchased Booking Protect, you can submit a refund request via Booking Protect’s easy-to-use online portal at https://bookingprotect.com/refund/


While it may seem like no big deal to give or sell your race bib to another person, it does present serious consequences to both the race organizers and the participant field alike. Race results and finisher's awards can be impacted and medical staff might not be able to identify a participant in need of treatment on the course. It is imperative that the person wearing the bib and taking part in the race is the same person that is in our registrant database.  This is for YOUR safety!

If a person is caught wearing a bib that is registered to someone else, both parties will be banned from participating in all Big Sur events for a period of one year. The person wearing the bib will also be disqualified from any official results.


- A unique ASICS technical fabric long-sleeve t-shirt in gender-specific sizing 
- A ceramic finisher's medallion by artist Kathleen Kelly
- Bib tag timing by SVE Timing
- Food and drink at the finish
- Race Program & Weekend Guide
- A two-day Health & Fitness Expo
- Fluids, fuel and sanitary facilities on the course
- Live music and entertainment on the course and at the finish

START TIME: 6:50 AM PST for elite and seeded women
6:59 AM PST for elite and seeded men, followed by corrals A through L
START LOCATION: On Del Monte Avenue at Camino El Estero in downtown Monterey. For a map of the start area, click HERE.
PARKING Parking is available at the Custom House Garages (on Franklin between Alvarado and Washington) prior to 5:30 AM, and/or at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) and Del Monte Center (DMC) from 5:00 - 6:30 AM.  A shuttle will drop you near the start from MPC and DMC, and there will be return shuttles post-race between 8:30 AM and 1:00 PM.  For a map of parking directions, click HERE.

Custom House Plaza, between Portola Hotel & Spa and Fisherman's Wharf.  For a map of the finish area, click HERE. At the Finish Festival, runners will receive their medallions and race results. There will be a special booth for the Waves to Wine Challenge finishers as well. There will be photo ops courtesy of MarathonFoto, a chance to ring our "PR" bell (if you set one), a beer garden, hot soup, merchandise for sale and live music.


Average Temperature: 50° - 60° F. Average Humidity: 30 - 50%


Elite and Seeded entry considerations for the 2017 Half Marathon are NOW CLOSED. 

The 15th annual Monterey Bay Half Marathon is Sunday, November 12, 2017 in Monterey, CA. 

A total prize purse of over $30,000 will be offered and will include an expanded gender Equalizer Bonus. Female runners will be given an approximate nine-minute head start. The first three male or female runners to cross the finish line will receive a bonus of $3,000, $1,500, and $500, respectively, in addition to the open prize money.

  Men  Women
First             $4,000          $4,000
Second $2,500 $2,500
Third $2,000 $2,000
Fourth $1,500 $1,500
Fifth $1,000 $1,000
Sixth  $   750 $   750 
Seventh $   500  $   500 
Eighth  $   250 $   250
Course record bunus  $1,000 (sub 1:02;32) $1,000 (sub 1:09:43)
Equalizer Bonus Top 3 finishers (male or female) $3,000, $1,500, $500

Prize money is available only to athletes officially registered through the elite program. For any questions, contact blake@bsim.org

Course Records

MEN-1:02:32, Ian Dobson, 2006
WOMEN-1:09:43, Belainesh Gebre, 2010

Drug Testing:
Athletes who participate in this competition may be subject to drug testing in accordance with the IAAF Procedural Guidelines for Doping Control or the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code.  Drug testing, and the adjudication of positive findings, will be carried out by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).  Athletes found to have committed a doping violation will be disciplined according to the USADA Protocol and suspended, if appropriate, according to applicable IAAF rules.  Such penalties may result in a period ineligibility as well as disqualification from the event.  Any substance taken by an athlete is at his/her own risk and may result in a positive sample.  (This includes cold medicines, nutritional supplements, and some over-the-counter medicines).  Information on drugs and drug testing may be obtained by calling the USADA Drug Reference Hot Line at 1.800.233.0393, or the USADA web site www.usantidoping.org.

Entry Standards Elite Seeded Masters
Men Sub 1:07.00 Sub 1:12.00 Sub 1:18
Women  Sub 1:17.00 Sub 1:24.00 Sub 1:27


Performances recorded on USATF-certified half marathon courses within the past 12 months (equivalent performance of other distance accepted)   

ELITE standard athletes will receive hotel accomodations for 2-3 nights and transportation to and from the Monterey or San Jose airports. Travel reimbursement up to $500 will be awarded to the top eight finishers.

Seeded athletes will receive a comped entry, race morning hospitality, and will start in the first Elite/Seeded wave.

If you qualify for elite athlete assistance or provisions, please contact Blake Russell at blake@bsim.org.  Registration for elite runners will end on Friday, November 3, 2017 (or earlier if all elite bibs have been reserved).


Ian Dobson (2006)        1:02:32
Belainesh Gebre (2010)   1:09:43 


The awards ceremony begins at 10:00 AM at Custom House Plaza. 

Cash awards are based on GUN, not tag time. Divisional awards will be based on tag time.  There is no double dipping...athletes winning cash awards or cash bonuses are not eligible for divisional awards.

Awards will go five deep in five year age divisions after 12-15 years and 16-19 years.

Bibs with attached timing tags, event shirts, gear check bags and 2017 Race Program must be picked up at the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, November 10th or Saturday, November 11th. A photo ID is required for packet pickup and you must be present to pick up your bib; no one can pick it up for you unless you have provided them a Packet Pick-Up Authorization Form. The Expo is held at the Portola Hotel & SpaHours are noon to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.

If you cannot pick up at the Expo, there is race morning pick up between 5:30 and 6:45 AM.  A packet pick-up tent will be located on Del Monte Avenue near the start.  Please know your bib number in advance. Bib numbers will be texted/emailed to all participants in the week prior to the race. Be sure to bring your photo ID or a photocopy of it.  We cannot guarantee your shirt size for race day pick up.

After October 16, no changes to other corrals as bibs have been printed. If you wish to change to a different corral you may do so at the Expo race weekend.

Half marathon participants will be seeded in corrals according to predicted finish time and the race will start in 12 waves following the elite starts. Categories include projected finish times of 1:15 to 1:43; 1:44 to 1:53; 1:54 to 1:58; 1:59 to 2:02; 2:03 to 2:08; 2:09 to 2:14; 2:15 to 2:19; 2:20 to 2:26; 2:27 - 2:31; 2:32 - 2:41; 2:42 - 3:05; and 3:06+. If you do not provide a projected finish time, we will assign you to the final wave.  Click HERE for a map of the start area.

PACING  Pacing by non-registered participants or those not starting at the starting line is prohibited. 
PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS: - No pets, wheels, pacers, or baby joggers on the course

- No selfie sticks or poles
- You must be able to complete the course in 3 1/2 hours
- You must be at least 12 years of age or older to participate
- You must be in good health and physically prepared to take on the challenges of a half marathon
- Race numbers are required to take part in the race. NO BANDITS! Anyone running with another person's bib will be banned from participating in Big Sur Marathon events for a period of one year, along with the person who sold or gave away the bib.
- Limited to 8,000 participants

COURSE MAP: To view a full-size version of the course map, click HERE or on the image below. 

2017 Monterey Bay Half Marathon Course Map

  Course Elevation Charts (to view as a full-size image click HERE)

Course Elevation Chart:
Course Elevation Chart

Course Elevation Chart with grades:
Course Elevation Chart with Grades
USA Track & Field has amended Rule 144.3, which pertains to the use of headphones and other electronic devices, to enable race directors to choose to allow the use of headphones by runners in non-championship races.  The rule now reads:

"The following shall be considered assistance and therefore not allowed:

The visible possession or use by athletes of video, audio, or communications devices in the competition area. The Games Committee for an LDR event may allow the use of portable listening devices not capable of receiving communication; however, those competing in Championships for awards, medals, or prize money may not use such devices."

Our organization strongly discourages the use of iPods and other headphone devices by those not competing for prize money or divisional awards.  We continue to stress that by using an audio device you will compromise your safety and that of others. If wearing an iPod or other audio device results in you being unable to hear verbal instructions or commands, or approaching vehicles or course marshals on bicycles, you may be asked to remove or turn off the device. 

We truly hope you'll opt to leave your headsets at home and instead let the incredible scenery, the music we provide on the course, and your fellow runners serve as your motivation and inspiration.


Online registration is provided by Active.com.

You may register online by clicking HERE. When registering, you must provide a predicted finish time and you will be seeded accordingly. 

CONFIRMATION: If you register online and provide a valid email address, a confirmation email is automatically generated.  Due to firewalls and spam filters, we cannot guarantee you will actually receive that email.  If you do not provide an email address, your canceled check or credit card charge is your confirmation.

Entries can also be confirmed online at My Events at Active.com. A photo ID is required to pick up your bib, shirt and race packet and you must be present; no one can pick up for you unless you provide them a Packet Pick-Up Authorization Form.

The official shirt for the 2017 Half Marathon will be a gender specific ASICS® long-sleeve technical fabric shirt. These shirts WILL NOT SHRINK and many female participants find they like to size up one size when ordering. If you have further questions on sizing and would like to see the sizing chart, click HERE


Timing will be provided by South Valley Endurance. The timing chips are attached to your bib and should not be removed. For instructions on how to properly attach your bib, click HERE.

The Half Marathon Run is a timed, competitive event. Cash awards to the top five Open males and females based on GUN time.

Divisional (age group) awards will be based on tag time. There is no "double dipping." Athletes who win cash awards are not eligible for divisional awards.

If hoping to place overall or in your division, you may NOT wear an ear bud or other headphone device. 


Course is subject to change.

The out and back certified course begins on Del Monte Avenue at Camino El Estero and heads east on Del Monte next to the Window on the Bay Park. Runners turn right on Camino Aguajito at the eastern end of Lake El Estero and then make the next right onto Third Street. After crossing Camino El Estero, Third becomes Pearl Street. Runners stay on Pearl until Alvarado where they turn right. At Franklin Street, runners turn right again and then left on Washington, left on Del Monte and pass through the Custom House Tunnel. After emerging from the tunnel, runners veer right onto Foam Street. They take Foam to Drake and turn right again and then left onto Cannery Row. They run the length of Cannery Row and then turn right on Ocean View Blvd. in Pacific Grove. At Fountain Avenue runners turn left and proceed to Lighthouse Avenue in downtown Pacific Grove where they turn right. They take another right at the Pacific Grove Post Office onto Central Avenue. At 17th Street runners turn left and continue down to Ocean View Blvd. and Lover's Point. The next six miles are run next to the Monterey Bay. Oceanview becomes Sunset Drive just past Asilomar Blvd. Runners will make the turnaround at Asilomar Beach. They will return to Lover's Point the same way (but in the ocean side lane) and then get on the Recreation Trail. Runners take the Rec Trail back to Cannery Row where they will again run down the Row to Drake. At Drake runners get on the Rec Trail again and take it to the finish at Custom House Plaza.

Note: Your GPS device will generally indicate a course length longer than 13.1 miles. For a comprehensive explanation of course measurement and GPS readings HERE.

RACE ETIQUETTE GUIDE  New to running? You might want to check out our Race Etiquette Guide in advance of race day. 
AID: Water stations, also offering Gatorade, will be found approximately every two miles on the course. GU will be available at two aid stations on the course (miles 5.9 and 9.4). If you are taking part in our BYOB program ("Bring your own Bottle"), a fill up station will be available at the turnaround (approximate mile 7.7). There will be first aid and medical care at all aid stations and at the finish.

The Big Sur International Marathon is a non-profit organization and the proceeds of our events are donated to local charities and grant groups. The proceeds from our Half Marathon are dedicated to our youth fitness program, JUST RUN®. JUST RUN is a free program designed to assist schools and other youth organizations by providing vital youth fitness programs. Geared towards promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles in grades 2-8, the program encourages physical activity and healthy eating habits as well as promoting good citizenship and family involvement. Please visit www.justrun.org for more information.

For information on other charity groups associated with our events, click HERE.  If you'd like to see how your charity can benefit from association with Big Sur International events, view our guidelines HERE or call 831.625.6226.
DUBROVNIK EXCHANGE  The Half Marathon on Monterey Bay is pleased to partner in a cultural and athletic exchange with the Dubrovnik, Croatia half marathon, Dubrovnik is Monterey’s Sister City. We are happy to welcome two runners selected from last May’s Dubrovnik race to our race. Two lucky runners from Monterey County will win a trip to the late April, 2018 Dubrovnik Half Marathon! Monterey County residents have the opportunity to indicate their interest in the trip when they register. Others may stop by the Du Motion booth at the race expo to put their name in the hat for the trip. Winners will be selected at the Half Marathon post-race awards ceremony. You need not be present to win. Good luck!