I’m finally getting around to writing this! The delay is mostly in part to the fact that I wanted to include race photos, so I had to wait until those went live. As usual, I’ll break up the review into sections for you guys to give an in-depth review.
Race Kit Pick-Up/Expo
I was really upset about this the expo, because I essentially missed the whole thing! The commute from my area in Toronto to Coronation Park (where the expo was) with no traffic is around 45 minutes. On this particular day, it took us two hours. Since we were running errands, we didn’t leave our house until just before two. Combine that with a few road closures and it created a recipe for disaster. We literally got to Coronation Park with minutes to spare so I really didn’t get to partake. That being said, race kit pick-up was a breeze and it looked like they had some really cool venders there (Running Room, Nuun, Honey Stinger…really wish I was able to catch the Honey Stinger booth).
The Race Itself
I feel that this part needs to be broken up into sections as well since there’s so much to say. I’ll start with things I feel went wrong/things I could’ve worked on:
-I had to run to the start line when the race started since we were running late due to road closures
-Since my hydration pack has no pocket on the straps to put gels in, I decided to put two gel packs in my cleavage for easy access…let’s just say that wasn’t the smartest idea
-I had to stop at every bathroom stop due to gastro upsets (something I didn’t account for even though I should’ve)
-Because of said gastro upsets, I had to walk WAY MORE than I’ve ever had to during a run in order to wait for the gastro upsets to subside
-I went into the race being under-trained…I could definitely feel it.
Things I did right during the race:
-I had a playlist on my iPod rather than frantically trying to pick a different song every three minutes
-I listened to my body during the race
-I finished injury-free (the most important of all)
-I had a hydration plan in place which was super beneficial considering it was unseasonably hot out
In terms of the course there’s a few things worth noting. The course was a mixture of residential side streets and some major streets, however it was mostly on side streets. Course marshalls did a good job of guiding people and local cops did a good job of stopping traffic for race participants, (a few would even cheer you on). The cool thing about running on the side streets was that a lot of residents would spectate and cheer you on as you passed their house. One house that I passed had a little girl (supervised by her parents), standing on their driveway with a hose on the mist setting asking people if they wanted to be sprayed. That girl doesn’t know it, but she was my best friend that day. I felt that the course volunteers were a little lack-lustre though, which was kind of disappointing. When most of them cheered, you could tell they were tired or that they didn’t want to be there. There was one girl however who really stood out at one of the Nuun stops (there was a Nuun table at every bathroom stop), who was super encouraging and would even call you by name which was really sweet.
At one point during the race, a man who was also a participant ran alongside me and gave me tips on how to slow my breathing down and even paced me for a kilometer. Again, these little gestures go an extremely long way.
Once the race was done, I went to get stretch at which time Daniel informed me that there were massage therapy students from a nearby college giving out free massages. The best part? Next to no line! They originally quoted me a wait time of 15 minutes, which is still amazing, however, I only had to wait 5. I can’t member the name of the girl who massaged me, but she really helped loosen up my calves which are always crazy tight after running. They also had a few post-race snacks like bananas, bottles of water, and buns from Ozerk Bakery.
Would I run this race again? I think so. The views waterfront/dreamy real estate views were nice, and it’s quite affordable relative to races in the city.
So what’s next? Well, I’m registered for Hamilton Marathon Road 2 Hope (the half distance), which is at the beginning of November. Stay tuned for updates!
-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy
My favourite photo of them all.