Most people drive Highway 1 through Big Sur, but each April, a few thousand crazy people like myself decide to run 26.2 miles from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to Carmel. The course has plenty of grueling stretches, such as the two windy miles of 500-foot incline that lead to Hurricane Point (very accurately named!). The views help dull the pain, as do the quirky locals who come out to support the runners. For example, at the half-way point runners cross Bixby Bridge while being serenaded by a guy playing a baby grand piano. And at mile 23 the "strawberry lady" hands out fruit to help runners power through the final few hills.