Event Date:November 10, 2019

Event News: The 2019 Monterey Bay Half Marathon is now SOLD-OUT!



Monterey Bay Half Marathon



The Monterey Bay Half Marathon is an out-and-back course beginning in historic downtown Monterey, running along Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, and next to the beautiful Pacific Grove shoreline. The course features scenic views of waves crashing on rocky beaches, beautiful Victorian-era homes, and frequent sightings of aquatic life (whales, dolphins, sea otters, pelicans and more). Celebrate your finish with family and friends at the downtown Custom House Plaza-Monterey State Historical Park at our post-race Finish Village, where you can visit the Treadmill Recovery Center, enjoy a free beer at the Lagunitas Brewing tent and watch the Awards Ceremony.



The 2019 Monterey Bay Half Marathon and Ocean View Challenge are SOLD-OUT!

2018 entrants who chose to defer their entry to 2019 were emailed a private registration link to register for the Half Marathon on February 1, 2019. Registration for the 2019 event is still available for 2018 deferees.

Race Date

November 10, 2019

Start Time & Location

6:50 AM PDT on Del Monte Avenue at Camino El Estero in downtown Monterey

Course Time Limit

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.


The Ocean View Challenge (OVC) is a half marathon and 5K combo package for those who want to run the 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. It includes a discounted entry fee and a commemorative finisher medallion.

If deferring your 2018 entry to 2019 for this category, there will be a $30 entry fee for the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K portion of the challenge as that race was not cancelled in 2018.


The half marathon is limited to 9,000 qualified entrants (must be 12 years or older, in good health and well-trained). Only those participants who are able to complete the race in 3.5 hours (chip time) will receive a Monterey Bay Half Marathon finishers’ medallion, an online finishers’ certificate and be listed in the online Results Book.


View event entry fees.

After registration opens, sign up online at Active.com. When registering, you will enter a predicted finish time and be assigned to a start corral accordingly.

Event entries are non-refundable and non-transferable to a different year. Once we accept your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate. You may not give or sell your number to anyone else without going through the transfer process. No eBay or Craigslist sale of bibs. No bandits. To read our cancellation policy, see below. You have the option to purchase Booking Protect from Active.com during the registration process on the payment page.

Your entry fee includes:

  • Long sleeve technical fabric shirt in gender specific sizing, featuring an original design.
  • Unique ceramic medallion for participants finishing within the official time limit of 3.5 hours
  • Refreshments at the finish, including hot minestrone soup and beer
  • Souvenir Race Program & Weekend Guide
  • Free Expo and informational race clinics


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, or the event time changed due to circumstances beyond our control, there are no refunds or rollovers. You may not sell, transfer or give your bib to another person without going through the transfer process. There are NO exceptions.

You do have the option to purchase the optional Booking Protect through Active.com at the time of registration. See below for more information.

Your 2019 entry fee IS NOT TRANSFERABLE to 2020. You do not need to inform us of your cancellation. If you do cancel, you may take the amount of your entry fee as a charitable donation on your income tax return. The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit.


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 run without registering (a bandit) or 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.

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.


Due to liability and safety concerns and the nature of the course, there are no animals, unofficial pacers, skates, skateboards, bikes, wheelchairs, hand cranks, strollers, knee scooters, baby joggers or children in backpacks, permitted on the course.


You must be present to pick up your bib, participant shirt and race packet at the Health & Fitness Expo; you cannot delegate another person to pick-up in your place unless you have completed an official Packet Pick-Up Authorization Form. Please be sure to make your travel plans accordingly.


Prior to race weekend, you will receive a series of communications containing important information. If you have a Gmail account, be sure to check your All Mail or spam folders as our eBlast or eNewsletter may not land in your inbox. Communications are sent via Constant Contact or through Active.com. If you have opted out of either or both, you will not receive our communications.



Download our Mobile App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for athlete lookup and tracking (when available), a schedule of race weekend events, course maps, a FAQ, visitor info and more. Search for Big Sur Marathon..

Get it on Google Play


If you received a confirmation email, then you are registered for an event. If you did not receive one, be sure to check your spam and all mail folders.

To confirm your entry, claim your registration, purchase additional merchandise, sign your waiver, or look up your bib number (once assigned) go to My Events at Active.com. If you do not have an Active account, you can email the Registrar for a copy of your confirmation.


Half marathon participants will start in 15 waves and assemble in corrals before the race. Corral assignments are based on a the predicted time entered during registration. Please be accurate with your predicted time to ensure a safe and smooth start for all. Your official time does not begin until you cross the start line.

If you are Active Duty military or a military Veteran, you can opt to be in a special Military corral which will start between Corrals B (1:44-1:53) and C (1:54-1:58).

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+.

Click HERE for a map of the start area.



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. Ocean View 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-Monterey State Historical Park.

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

Course Map
Course Elevation Charts


Water stations, also offering Gatorade Endurance, 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 7.8). There will be first aid and medical care at all aid stations and at the finish.


Bib chip timing is provided by South Valley Endurance.  There will be split mats near miles 4, 6, 7.8 and 11.


A total prize purse of over $30,000 will be offered and will include a 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.

Elite Athlete Eligibility
To be eligible for elite runner entry or prize money the following is required:

  • The athlete must not be currently suspended or have ever served a suspension for the use of banned substances;
  • The athlete must not be represented by a coach and/or agent who has ever been suspended for use of a banned substance during their athletic career;
  • The athlete must provide the necessary documentation proving eligibility for prize money (a W-9 form, W-8ECI or W8BEN);
  • The athlete must consent to possible random drug testing in accordance with the standards and procedures of USATF, USADA AND WADA (see below);
  • The athlete must be officially entered in the race through the elite athlete program.

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 at www.usantidoping.org.

Entry Standards Elite Seeded Masters
Men Sub 1:05.00 Sub 1:12.00 Sub 1:18
Women Sub 1:15.00 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 accommodations 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.

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


To be eligible for overall and divisional awards, one must show a time for all split timing mats located on the course. These will be near miles 4,6,7.8 and 11.

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

Divisional (age group) awards will go five deep in five year age divisions, both male and female, after 12-15 and 16-19 years.

The awards ceremony begins at 10:00 AM at Custom House Plaza-Monterey State Historical Park.


There will be official Pace Teams for runners for finish times between 1:30 and 3:30.


Our organization strongly discourages the use of iPods and other headphone devices as using an audio device may compromise your safety and that of others. 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


The Big Sur Marathon Foundation is a non-profit organization and the proceeds from our events are donated to local charities and grant groups. Additionally, $3 of your half marathon entry fee is donated 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.


The Monterey Bay Half Marathon is pleased to partner in a cultural and athletic exchange with the Dubrovnik Half Marathon in Croatia; Dubrovnik is Monterey’s Sister City. We are happy to welcome two runners selected from last April’s Dubrovnik race to our race. Two lucky runners from Monterey County will win a trip to the late April 2020 Dubrovnik Half Marathon! Monterey County residents have the opportunity to indicate their interest in the trip when they register. Others may stop by the DuMotion 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!