Big Sur 2013: 10.6 or 9 miler?

The big question is…do I sign up for the 10.6 or 9 mile event in April 2013? Registration opens July 15th and the prices don’t go up until the end of September. So I have some time to decide! Here are the differences logistically:

10.6 miler vs 9 miler

  • Cost: 10.6 miler is $100 and 9 miler is $95. An extra $5 buys me 1.6 more miles.  Cost~same.
  • Course: 10.9 miler starts at Rocky point, so you actually run the last part of the actual ‘marathon’ course. The 9 miler is its own thing altogether, where you do this loop around Pt. Lobos. I am not sure what the exact elevation differences are, but I heard that the 10.9 miler has a tough ending up a hill (since it is part of the marathon course), while the 9 miler has more regularity in the course elevation (no surprises at the end!). BOTH would have stunning views.
  • Start time: 7 am vs 7:30 am. Might not seem that different, BUT see transportation below.
  • Transportation: 10.6 miler means I need to arrive EARLY (like before 5am) to be bussed to the start (about 30-40min drive). For the 9 miler you provide your own transportation, so there is more flexibility in when I need to wake up and get there.
  • Distance: Well, there is the difference of 1.6 miles. Could be an easy extra 1.6 miles or a hard extra 1.6 miles. Who knows?
  • Training:  I would have 13-14weeks between events to train for the hilly terrain.

My initial thoughts after writing down these ‘pros/cons’ of sorts: By the time April rolls around, I will have participated in 2 half marathons (on relatively flat courses).  Regardless of the event I choose, I should have no problem running either distance. It would only be a matter of training differently; especially for the 10.6 miler because a hill awaits me at the very end. Knowing myself, I would be more inclined to do the 10.6 because it would be a slightly harder challenge. And who knows?  Someday I might like to participate in the Big Sur Marathon (once I have a few full marathons under my belt), so I think it would be beneficial for me to experience the last 10.6 miles of the course. Even if years separated those events, I would feel more confident completing the marathon because I understand the latter half of the course.  As I write the ending to this post, I find that I am already leaning toward the 10.6 event. Maybe I just answered my own question 🙂 Stay tuned to find out!


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