by Lauren Carnahan
In the Fall of 2018, my best friend Heather and I had this crazy idea … let’s do Boston to Big Sur! I didn’t even hesitate; I love a challenge. When it came time to sign up, we both sat at our computers- me in New York and her in Florida, palms sweaty, heart beating, and we signed up. We were in! My best friend and I texted one another at the same time… “Holy @#$%, we got in!” Another running adventure we were about to embark upon and no turning back. Let the planning and fun begin!
Obviously, training is training throughout the fall and winter months. I won’t bore you with that, but Heather did encounter a heart wrenching injury in February. She has overcome this with great strength and determination. I on the other hand, encountered illness for a few months. We were going to cross the finish line at Boston and Big Sur, nothing was going to stop us. Nothing.
At Boston, we both ran our respectable races and celebrated accordingly. We started just as the rain stopped and finished right before the rain started again, what a relief. I was happy to have my best friend with me and the support of my awesome local friends cheering us on! After finishing Boston, we had 13 days to prepare for Big Sur. Something we both had never done before. Though, after Boston my body didn’t feel right. There was an ache in my right leg, foot, and ankle that left me with some concern. I decided to take it easy the next few days before the race, in hopes it would subside.
So, it’s time to head to California. Heather and I met in San Jose and the fun began, we headed to Monterey! The morning of the race was quite early. We boarded a bus a 4:00 am and rode up to the start line. We had no idea of the views we would be taking in later that morning. We sat around for a bit, taking in the atmosphere, and prepared for a breathtaking run. As we started running, we waited for the magnificent views. “I don’t see what’s so great about this course,” we both said to one another. Well, as we ran mile by mile, we witnessed the beauty of Big Sur- the redwoods, the hills, the waves crashing against the shores and coastal mountains, the bridges, the rolling green pastures, and the entertainment along the course.
Heather and I ran Big Sur together, side by side. During the race, the ache in my leg, foot, and ankle began to unleash havoc on my body. Every step hurt. My best friend was there and carried me along the course, although she will say that we carried each other. She was there and encouraged me every step. It truly was an amazing experience and I’m grateful I was able to do it, especially with her. If you get an opportunity to do this race, go for it!