Frequently Asked Questions about the 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon                                                    

Updated January 28, 2021

Are You Going to Hold 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon?

To be determined.  After what we have all been through with this pandemic, we realize it’s difficult to plan with much confidence. As we write this in January 2021, at least two vaccines are in distribution but the number of folks vaccinated is still far below predictions. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with an update likely in the spring. 

Starting in the fall of 2020, we suspended or canceled all of our events and programs including:

  • We canceled the JUST RUN youth fitness program for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • The April 2021 Big Sur Marathon weekend of races
  • The June 2021 Run in the Name of Love
  • Grants for our volunteer organizations that support our race weekend efforts.

In addition, with no current races on the horizon, we reduced our staff to Race Director Doug Thurston and Administrative Manager Chris Balog.

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

To be determined. Please check back in April or May 2021 or updates.

What if the Situation Changes and the Pandemic is Over in mid-2021?

If vaccine distribution and use improves dramatically in the winter and spring of 2021, that will be great news for our area, the United States, and the world. We will continue to monitor the situation locally including our ability to get a permit from health and public safety officials for an event in November 2021.

Our next planned race is the Big Sur International Marathon on April 24, 2022 with next year’s Monterey Bay Half Marathon scheduled for November 11-13, 2022.

Please monitor our social media pages and our websites for any updates:

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

There are about 900 or so entrants from the canceled 2018 Monterey Bay Half Marathon who elected to defer to the 2020 or 2021 Monterey Bay Half Marathon. Since those events are canceled or not planned to be held, we have contacted each of those entrants 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 Will Future the Foundation’s Races Change Due to COVID-19?

It’s difficult to say right now. Our events typically bring tens of thousands of runners, friends, family, and others from all 50 states and dozens of countries into our relatively small community. We will continue to monitor best practices if and when larger events can get a permit in California and around the country. Our priority is always the safety of our participants, volunteers, vendors, suppliers, and community. Some areas of our races (and many others around the country) could change including in such areas as packet pick-up, the race expo, start and finish villages, aid stations, post-race refreshments, and awards ceremonies.

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

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. We have survived landslides, bridge collapses, floods, and forest fires though we have had to cancel at least seven races in the last four years or in 2021. 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