Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Monterey Bay Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
On November 8, 2017 I’ll be running my 2nd half marathon of the year, the Monterey Bay Half Marathon . Which is kinda crazy, only 2 halfs in a year. But it has been a nice break, a break that my body (and mind) really needed.
As noted above, I do get free entry into this race, which is a perk of being a BibRave Pro. However, I’ve always been more than willing to pay for races because I know the money goes to a good cause. For every race I have ever signed up for, I check out their website and see who/what the race benefits. It makes me feel good knowing where my money is going, which is why I wanted to share with you all why you should run the Monterey Bay Half Marathon and where you money goes when you do.
First of all, it is not easy to put on a race, especially a good race (Monterey Bay Half Marathon has a 5 star review on BibRave by the way). I have volunteered at races and have been “behind the scenes” so I know some of what it takes to put on a race. While your money doesn’t go directly to the volunteers (obviously, otherwise they wouldn’t be volunteers 😉 ), it often times will go to the organization that the volunteers represent. Julie Armstrong, the Marketing and Communications Director for the Big Sur Marathon Foundation (BSMF), told me they have had volunteers, “From boy and girl scout groups, to local school music booster clubs, to volunteers for the libraries, lighthouse, high school athletic teams and many more. We have approximately 1,500 local volunteers helping out with our event.” By running the Monterey Bay Half Marathon, the Big Sur Marathon Foundation is able to support these groups through grants and donations – which is approximately 60 groups throughout their (Monterey) community.
The roles that the volunteers have at the Monterey Bay Half Marathon include everything from aid stations to handing out finisher medallions to course (bicycle) marshals, start & finish crew, gear check, food tent, pace teams, the ever-important Green Team (recycling, composting, etc.) and many others. So when you run by a volunteer on race day be sure to say thank you!
A really cool program that I learned about is the JUST RUN program. This program gets its operating budget from the races that the Big Sur Marathon Foundation puts on, and yes, that includes the Monterey Bay Half Marathon. From the JUST RUN website: “JUST RUN is a FREE, multifaceted youth fitness program developed by the Big Sur Marathon Foundation. It not only promotes exercise and the sport of running but also good citizenship and healthy eating through its Just Deeds and Just Taste features. Virtual runs across the USA and Europe link points of interest and geographical and historical sites making it educational as well.”
The impact that races can have on the community can be extremely beneficial for locals, even if they don’t realize it. From the Monterey Bay Half Marathon alone, the BSMF contributes approximately $75K to local groups. I know when I am there, I’ll be staying at a hotel, eating at local restaurants (I was told I have to check out LouLou’s Griddle), and checking out the aquarium – all of this also helps out the local community/economy. So if you’re hesitant to pay to run a race, look into who they support, and remember you’re actually helping to benefit the local community.
BONUS: if you plan on signing up for the Monterey Bay Half Marathon use code “BRP17” for a bonus 13.1 magnet! You can register for the Monterey Bay Half Marathon HERE.
*All photos are from the Monterey Bay Half Marathon website