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Runners Brave Wind And Fog At Big Sur

Nuta Olaru won the women's race in 2:50:08.

Nuta Olaru won the women’s race in 2:50:08.

From: Running USA

CARMEL, Calif. — On a day that combined sunshine, fog and heavy winds, nearly 9,000 runners braved the elements to compete in the 27th Big Sur International Marathon and shorter distance events on the scenic Big Sur coastline of Central California this Sunday morning.

Adam Roach, 28, a recent transplant to Pacific Grove, won the men’s marathon in a time of 2 hours, 32 minutes, 25 seconds. He beat out San Francisco’s Christian Mocko (2:34:11) and last year’s Big Sur champion Jesus Campos (2:37:08).

In the women’s marathon, Romanian Nuta Olaru, 41, won by nearly 20 minutes, finishing at 2:50:08. A current resident of Longmont, Colorado, Olaru is excited to run for the USA when she becomes a citizen this November. Second place went to Amy Lane, of Lakewood, Colo. (3:09:42) and Cassandra Alred of Menlo Park (3:11:34).

Strong winds of more than 30 miles per hour plagued the runners between miles six and 12, giving Hurricane Point its deserving name. Fog shrouded the course for several miles as well, but runners enjoyed sunshine for the last 10 miles of the race.

“When we started, the fog was out so I couldn’t really see where anyone was,” Roach recalled. When the fog finally cleared and he could see Mocko and Campos he said, “Hey, I’ve got a chance. If I can keep up with Jesus, I can maybe catch Chris.”

At the mile 19 mark, Roach suddenly surged past Mocko. “I was saving my energy for the downhills. I knew it’d be a tough course.”

While the three jockeyed for position, during some stretches they also had to battle winds gusting up to 40 mph.

“It was one of the most windy runs of my life,” said Mocko, who was running his third marathon in the last two months, the others being in Napa and Oakland.

Olaru easily earned the women’s title at Sunday’s 27th Presentation of the Big Sur International Marathon, despite battling stomach pains that twice forced her to completely stop. Her Big Sur debut smashed the competition which included 1,574 women of the total 3,357 finishers.

In addition to other non-competitive events which include the marathon relay, 21, 10.6 and 9 Milers and a 5K, the Big Sur Marathon was host to two additional sub-categories: the Boston2Big Sur Challenge and the Runner’s World Challenge. Four hundred runners initially registered for B2B, but the finishing numbers were smaller as several runners had to drop or pass on this year’s Boston race. The Runner’s World Challenge brought 260 runners from five countries and 42 states to complete in the event, complete with VIP treatment and other amenities.

27th Big Sur International Marathon
Carmel, CA, Sunday, April 29, 2012

1) Adam Roach (CA), 2:32:25
2) Christian Mocko (CA), 2:34:11
3) Jesus Campos (CA), 2:37:08

1) Nuta Olaru, 41, ROU /CO, 2:50:08
2) Amy Lane (CO), 3:09:42
3) Cassandra Alred (CA), 3:11:34

Full results and more at: