Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the 2021 and 2022 Monterey Bay Half Marathon

Updated May 27, 2021

Are You Going to Hold the 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon?

NO. As of late May 2021, after much consideration, the governance board of the non-profit Big Sur Marathon Foundation (BSMF) made the difficult decision not to hold the race in November 2021. The next Monterey Bay Half Marathon weekend will be November 11-13, 2022.

The next planned BSMF in-person race is the Big Sur Marathon weekend of events on April 22-24, 2022. Please visit for more information about our marathon and other April race distances.

Will You Offer a Virtual Monterey Bay Half Marathon in November 2021?

No, we will not offer a virtual event in 2021.

What if the State of California reopens in the summer of 2021 as is planned?

The State of California Department of Public Health is planning to change or eliminate the regulations and requirements in the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” in mid-June 2021. However, the State continues to place limits on participant levels for in-person events, both indoors (like a race expo) and outdoors (such as a road race).

Given the short timeframe, whether we would be able to secure enough volunteer support is also not clear. Our three-race November weekend typically attracts around 10,000 total entrants and requires up to 1,500 volunteers to organize.

For these and other reasons, we have reluctantly concluded that there are still too many unknowns and not enough time to promote and organize a safe and successful half marathon race weekend in November 2021.

How Will Future Races Change Due to COVID-19?

We simply can’t predict right now how an event in November 2022 will look different than our last event in November 2019 prior to the pandemic. While we certainly hope no COVID restrictions will be needed by then, our events do bring tens of thousands of runners, friends, family, and others from all 50 states and dozens of countries into our relatively small community. Throughout the second half of 2021 and into 2022, we will monitor best practices of the larger races in California and around the country. Our first priority is always the safety of our participants, volunteers, vendors, suppliers, and community. Some areas of our races that  could change include packet pick-up, the race expo, start and finish villages, aid stations, post-race refreshments, awards ceremony, spectator access at the finish area, family reunion area, and transportation.

We will provide updates for our future events when available on this website.

What About Those Who Deferred Their 2018 Half Marathon Entry to 2020 or 2021?

Some 900 entrants from the canceled 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon elected to defer to the 2020 or 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon. Since those events did not and will not be held, we have contacted those entrants and asked them to select if they wish to defer to 2022 or 2023 when we believe it will be safe to hold the race. If you are one of those 900 and did not receive an email asking you to select your deferral year, please contact

How Do I Receive Any Updates on Future Races?

The best way to stay updated about the status of our future events is to add your email address to our mailing list, available at the bottom of the home page at Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thank You

We appreciate your patience and consideration as we try to help our non-profit organization survive. Our organization and events have survived landslides, bridge collapses, floods, and forest fires, though we have had to cancel eight races in the last five years due to situations out of our control. We look forward to providing you another beautiful, world-class event when safe to do so. If you have any additional questions, please contact me at the information below.

Best wishes for your continued safety,

Doug Thurston
Race Director
Big Sur Marathon Foundation
Carmel, Calif.
(831) 625-6226