CARMEL — The “bucket list” Big Sur International Marathon won’t be held until next April, but the highly sought-after entries to the 2018 race will be awarded following a series of random drawings held in late July and early August of this year.

Beginning July 15, runner groups of two to 15 members can sign up for the Groups and Couples category. On July 29, individual runners can register for the drawings in one or more categories: Loyalty, Local, or First-timer (“bucket list”). A Last Chance option is also available after all other drawings are completed. Below are details for each category.

GROUPS & COUPLES: Registration takes place July 15-24 with results announced on July 26. This category is for groups of two to 15 people who want to participate only if the entire group is chosen.

INDIVIDUALS: Registration takes place July 29-Aug. 7 with results announced from Aug. 8-12. This category includes Loyalty runners — those who have finished one or more Big Sur Marathons; Local runners — residents of Monterey County; and “Bucket List” First Timers — those who have never finished the Big Sur International Marathon. Individuals are allowed to enter in multiple categories if eligible.

LAST CHANCE DRAWING: Registration takes place Aug. 19-25 with results announced Aug. 26. This is a final opportunity to enter for a chance to receive a slot in the 2018 marathon. This is open to any individual including those not selected in an individual category above.

Individuals who are chosen in the drawings will receive a notification via email with a limited window to complete their registration.

Marathoners interested in running in the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge (B2B), two iconic marathons separated by 13 days, have the opportunity to register on October 2 following their separate admittance into the Boston Marathon. B2B registrations will be handled on a first-come, first served basis.

In addition to the random drawing selection process, there are additional ways to enter the popular destination race. A full travel package including hotel, airfare, on-site travel, course tour, race hospitality and other race perks is available through Marathon Tours. Specialized training and VIP amenities throughout the weekend are available through the Runner’s World VIP program and fundraising opportunities through partner charities offer race entries as part of the fund raising package. Race slots are also available by contributing to the Big Sur Marathon’s JUST RUN youth fitness program.

Known as one of the world’s most scenic courses, the Big Sur International Marathon also ranks high on the list of challenging marathons due to its hilly profile and often strong headwinds. The race has a strict 6-hour time limit to complete the race.

“We are flattered and humbled by the interest in running our marathon from runners around the world,” said race director Doug Thurston. “This entry process, refined over the last few years, provides several options for participants to experience the incredible beauty of our course and the hospitality of our community.”

If selected, prices for the 2018 Big Sur International Marathon are $175 for U.S. runners, $200 for international entrants and $160 for Monterey County residents. There is no fee to enter any of the drawings.

Marathon weekend includes six other distance events. Registration will open Sept. 1 and be first-come, first-served for the 21-Miler, 11-Miler (formerly 10.6-Miler), 12K, 5K and 3K. All races are expected to sell out.

To learn more and sign up for the drawings, visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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