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Posted on Thu, Apr. 25, 2002
By ANNA DAVISON

Even if pounding the pavement isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of reasons to head down Highway 1 this weekend.

Sure, there’ll be hoards of sweaty runners competing in the Big Sur International Marathon, but there’ll also be a host of great musical acts and other entertainment - from Dixieland to drumming.  It could be the perfect excuse to pack a picnic basket and head out to the coast for a Sunday in the sun.

The lineup of performers includes seasoned artists like jazz/blues trio Andrea’s Fault, classical ensemble I Cantori Carmel and reggae band Jonah and the Whalewatchers, as well as student musicians from Seaside High School, Robert Louis Stevenson School and San Benancio Middle School, among others.

“I’m a great proponent of getting kids out there and letting them play professionally,” said Janet Lesniak, musical director for the Big Sur International Marathon.

She’ll be running the course and is looking forward as much to the music as to the finish line.

Lesniak is particularly excited at the prospect of seeing drum and dance group Big Sur Natives performing on Monastery Beach, “if I’m still alive at mile 24.5,” she laughed.

The group will be performing from 4 a.m., for the benefit of the runners who will be bused from Carmel to the starting line in Big Sur. The race gun goes off at 7 a.m. and elite runners will cross the finish line in Carmel a little past 9 a.m.

More than 20 other acts will be spread out along the marathon course, which will be closed to vehicle traffic at 4 a.m. Sunday.  Spectators hoping to enjoy the performances along the running route, “will have to either get up very early and pick their spot, or walk back,” Lesniak said. Most of the spectators congregate along the finish line, but many hike or bike miles down the closed road to escape the crowds.  There will be plenty going on at the end of the course, located near the intersection of Highway 1 and Rio Road at The Crossroads shopping center.  “The big show is going to be at the finishing line,” said spokeswoman Franca Gargiulo.

Eclectic jazz combo This and That Quartet will be playing on the awards stage at 8:30 a.m. and spectators can sample food from vendors and stock up on marathon-wear. The Monterey Jazz Festival Honors Band will also be entertaining the crowd, and VIPs can enjoy jazz flutist Kenny Stahl.  There’s also plenty going on before the marathon.  On Friday and Saturday, there’s a chance to learn a little about what it takes to make it through all 26 undulating miles of the Big Sur course at a Health and Fitness Expo at the Monterey Conference Center - race headquarters for the weekend.

There, vendors will set up their booths and inspirational speakers and Olympians will be on hand to offer tips on how to unleash your inner athlete and go from spectator to competitor.

Later on Saturday, everybody is invited to carbo-load with the athletes at a pasta party at the Monterey Marriott Hotel.

All this might just motivate couch potatoes to lace on their running shoes and break out a sweat.

“I think it’s a great day for non-runners to be inspired to be runners,” Gargiulo remarked.

After all, as she pointed out, “the core goal of the marathon is to promote health and fitness.”GO!

Health and Fitness Expo: noon-7 p.m., Friday, April 26 and 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at the Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey Pasta party: 5:30 to 8:00 pm., Saturday, April 27 at the Monterey Marriott, Calle Principal, Monterey: The buffet includes pasta, salad, bread, fruit, beer and coffee. Tickets are $20 on sale at the Health and Fitness Expo.

Performances:

START: Jacqui Hope singing the Star Spangled Banner mile 1.5: Zun Zun (pan flutes)

mile 2: RLS Lower/Middle School Band

mile 2.7: Seaside High School Orchestra

mile 3.5 Susan Bradley Harp

mile 5 NRG Rhythm&Blues

mile 8 York School Brass Quintet

mile9.8 Watsonville Taiko Drums

mile 11 Oasis

mile 12 Russ Guarino’s Dixieland Band

mile 13 Jonathan Lee on the Yamaha Concert Grand Piano

mile 14 JazzMasters Workshop

mile15.4 Andrea’s Fault

mile 15.6 Wild Coast Brass Quintet

mile17.3 Walter Colton Middle School

mile18 San Benancio Middle School Jazz

mile 19 Frank Paul School Room 24 Band

mile 21 Class Brass Quintet

mile 22.5 Nick Fettis Piano

mile 23 I Cantori Di Carmel

mile 23.5 Coast Highlander Bagpipers

mile 24.5 Big Sur Natives

mile 25 Monterey Community Band

mile 25.4 Jonah and the Whalewatchers

Awards Stage: This and That Quartet

VIP Tent: Kenny Stahl

High Five Party: Monterey Jazz Festival Honor Band


How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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