After running in the Toronto Yonge Street 10k last year I knew it was going to be a 10k I would continue to run, as long as I was in and around the city. My older sister, Raquel, and I decided to sign up for the Yonge Street 10k along with the Oasis Zoo Run 5k earlier in the year so we could get a discount on both race registrations. It also worked out really well since Raquel later decided she wanted to run her first half marathon in Nashville and this run fell a week before it; I figured it would be helpful not only for her to run a 10k race before her first half, but so I could figure out how we were going to be run together pace wise. Up until this point we have only run 5k races together, so this was going to give us a better idea for how we would fare running together in Nashville.
The days leading up to the race were really crazy with me between work and life so shoutout to Raquel for picking up our race kits and some sweet free swag for us! I have to say I love that not only do you get a shirt with this race, but you get something extra; last year I got 2 shirts and this year a shirt and some shades. Winning. If you didn't know I love free stuff, especially when it comes to the race swag.
The morning of the race I drove into the city since Raquel and her family were staying at a hotel in Toronto for the weekend. I ended up parking by the hotel and we hung out in the lobby until it was time to make our way to the start; this was a nice change from last year and taking the shuttle up and standing around outside for over an hour. Once our cab got to the start line we only had 20-30 minutes to kill, which wasn't too bad since time flew by fairly quickly between walking around and stretching.
This year I was in the second corral - I can't quite remember if I fell into the second or third last year, but that's irrelevant. It was the exact same course as last year so when I got to the 5k mark and my time was around 28 minutes I knew I could beat my previous time on the course as long as I maintained my pace. I knew that I wasn't going to get a 10k PR all things considered with how my knee had been, but beating last year's time seemed doable. Thankfully the course was downhill, which helped with the pressure on my knee.. It also allowed me to keep a decent pace. During the run it looked like Raquel and I would be having no issues keeping pace with each other in Nashville as long as I remained in the same condition or better. Crossing the finish was a great feeling - not only did I beat last year's time, but I got to run Raquel's first 10k race with her!
Last year I finished in 00:59:05.4 and this year I finished in 00:58:37.2 - not a crazy amount of time shaved off, but it's progress so I'll take it.
After the race we took a couple selfies, grabbed some food and then walked towards the hotel until we could find a cab in all of the madness aka traffic. It was a great day for a run and I can't wait for next year; hopefully I'll be feeling lots better and still shaving off some more time with another course PR.
Gun Time - 01:04:24.1
Chip Time - 00:58:37.2
5km Split - 00:28:39
Pace - 05:51
Overall Place - 3063/6009
Division - 310/713 (F 25-29)
Gender - 1313/3340
Just like yesterday I was up bright and early for another run, except this time it was Minnie Mouse instead of Olaf and I was going to be running 10k instead of 5.
The 10k start time was 0530 rather than yesterday's 0615 start time so that, along with the fact that there would be far more people for this run, just meant that there was an earlier wake up call. The alarm went off around 3:30am and a little piece of me died on the inside - just like yesterday I had barely gotten any sleep.
It was another cold morning, but definitely wasn't a Frozen themed morning and for that I was thankful. It also helped that I had a black long sleeve in my suitcase and decided to wear that under my tank top; overpacking for the win! Michelle and I bought Minnie Mouse toques at Target the night before, but I ended up returning mine since I didn't wear it. I also ended up wearing the gloves we bought for the morning of the 5k, which ended up going perfectly with the Minnie costume. =)
We left our place shortly after 4am to ensure that we got to the race on time and thankfully we weren't affected by any major road closures or traffic going into the park, unlike the half marathon... but we don't need to talk about that right now.
Just like the 5k the 10k was extremely organized and of course I expected nothing less. If anything I figured it would be even more organized with the fact that there would be more people participating in this race than yesterday's.
The 10k course followed a very similar route to the 5k while running in the park and then the extra mileage was made up by running outside of the park on the highways and through parking lots.
Character photo ops/stops along the course included Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Tinkerbell and Periwinkle, Jiminy Cricket, Marie from The AristoCats, Donald in baseball gear, Princess Minnie, and Spaceship Goofy.
With everything to see, whether it was runners in costumes, characters at photo ops, or the park itself, I felt fairly distracted. The time went by fairly quickly and I didn't pay much attention to mileage or timing. Just like that part 1 of the Glass Slipper Challenge was complete. Now the only thing between us and our extra piece of bling was an early morning wakeup call and a half marathon tomorrow morning.
After crossing the finish line there were volunteers handing out HeatSheets, which I never thought I'd never after a run in Florida, but they couldn't have been more appreciated. After that we got our box of snacks and we were off to more character photo ops at the finish line. I ended up getting photos with Belle and Snow White and by then the sun had been up for awhile and I think Michelle and I were both long overdue for some more sleep, especially since we had another 21.1km or 13.1 miles ahead of us tomorrow.
This was the most last minute I've ever registered for any race... Friday night, the evening before I was set to run The Playoff Run (5k), I decided why not do another run this weekend - after all running season is coming to an end so better get it in while I can. I also hadn't run a 10k since the Spring when I ran The Toronto Yonge Street 10k, so I figured it'd be nice to see how I did.
The race is run by VR Pro Burlington Races and held in Hamilton at Shalom Village, which is also the organization that the proceeds go to. This was an added benefit because we had a place to stay warm in before and after the race started, especially with how the weather was outside. Race kit was also held in the same location the morning of the race, which worked out perfectly since I was driving about 40 minutes to get there; the kit just had the t-shirt (pictured below) in it.
As for the course, it was beautiful and scenic going along the waterfront even though it was an out and back course; the only downside was that it was probably colder than it would've been running through the streets. The only incline I really noticed was at the end of the course for the last 0.5km, which made the push at the finish more difficult than most.
First off I'd like to mention that I definitely wasn't expecting a PR yesterday, let alone another today. No complaints, just a little mind blowing. I knocked about 3 minutes and 50 seconds off my previous 10k time, so it seems like the work I've put in over this past year is paying off. Yay me! *insert happy dance here* Secondly, I feel pretty awesome getting 4th in my age category, 12/55 for my gender, and 34/94 overall.. Not too shabby.
Gun Time - 00:55:28.9
Chip Time - 00:55:14.1
Pace - 5:31
Overall Place - 34/94
Division - 4/8 (F 25-29)
Gender - 12/55
After deciding to do a half marathon in May I knew I wanted to keep my races to a minimum, however I did want to do a race a few weeks prior just for momentum. The Toronto Yonge Street 10k seemed like one of the best options - for starters, from my experience, any race in the Canada Running Series doesn't disappoint, and it was a large enough event to give me a great race day mentality.
Race packet pick-up was at the Sheraton downtown, which to be honest I was hesitant about, however parking across the street was only $2.50 per half hour and the location is very accessible by TTC. Walked in, picked up bibs for Laura and I, followed by packets. The process was very streamlined and there was also a mini expo. Originally I selected the green corral (finish time of 61-75 minutes), but I opted to switch to the blue corral (finish time of 58-60 minutes). I started to get nervous as soon as I made the switch, just because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull it off considering I had been doing the majority of my runs on a treadmill.
What I loved about this race is that even though it wasn't an out and back course, race organizers were very informative about the options you had for parking by the starting or finish line. Laura and I opted to park at the finish line and take the $5 shuttle to the start line so that we could go home right after the race - very happy with this decision. The only downside to taking the shuttle up to the start line was we ended up waiting around for an hour and it was a pretty chilly morning; even while moving around it was hard to keep warm. The good thing was it started on time, right at 9:10AM my corral was crossing the start line.
I hit my 5k split at about 29 minutes on the clock and I have to say I was feeling great, it really gave me the push to finish the last 5. The course isn't the most scenic since you're passing by storefronts, but you're more likely than not going to see some new places you may want to check out. The course is mostly downhill/flat, with some slight hills; a great course for a potential PB and what do you know.. I beat my 10k best! =)
Finished off the race by enjoying some food and live music and then headed home for a shower followed by a midday nap.
This is definitely a race I would run again, it was very well organized and the turnout of the racers and supporters makes it worth it. Gotta love Toronto!
Gun Time - 01:09:30.0
Chip Time - 00:59:05.4
5km Split - 00:29:38
Pace - 5:55
Overall Place - 3364/5690
Category Place - 165/324 (F 20-24)
Gender Place - 1438/3135
This was literally a race I fell into. I decided to enter a contest and I won, so there I was with free entry for this race and there was no way I was turning it down.
For the weeks prior to finding out I won this contest I really took a close look at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series, and began to take a liking to it. I knew I wanted to be able to run a bunch of races in this series at some point in time, and when this opportunity presented itself I knew I was going to do everything in my power to make it.
I knew it was going to be a hectic weekend, but I was going to push through; I had already signed up for the Oasis Zoo Run on the morning of the 21st, so it was going to be a rush to get into Montreal and get settled in for the race Sunday morning.
Montreal isn't anywhere near Toronto so I had to pick a hotel to stay in, and opted to go with the Hyatt Regency Montreal just because they had a pretty decent price in comparison to the other hotels listed (the pictures on the hotel's site were definitely nicer than the hotel itself though). I'm definitely making this a note to self for next year.. I'm thinking I'll stay at Le Westin Montreal.
After checking in to the hotel it was already time to pick up my race kit from the Expo. I'll be honest this experience was somewhat overwhelming for me and I had no idea what to expect. I didn't have any expectations walking into the expo, since this was completely new to me and seeing the amount of stations they had for race bib pick up blew my mind.. There were going to be over 40,000 people at this event!
The expo had several vendors for race gear and equipment, food/beverage and snacks, and various upcoming races. I managed to try a few smoothies and bars, and I picked up a few items as well. The highlight for me was this custom shirt by North Face - $20.00! :)
Hopefully I'll be more informative with the next race expo I go to - I'll try to take pictures and take down a list of vendors. This was just something I wanted to be able to take in and really experience, sorry!
Now the fun part - the race!
It was overwhelming before I even got to the start area since it was my first 10k, but then seeing the amount of runners just blew my mind.
Note to self: next time go to the bathroom before leaving for the race - the line up at the portalets was so long that some people missed their wave. I've never seen so many people need to use the washroom!
Enough digressing. We were off and it was unlike any other feeling up until this point - I felt so carefree and something was just different.
The course was a great one to run, especially for a first 10k - it was mostly flat outside of a hill that went under a bridge. There was a fairly decent incline going up and down the hill and it was fairly early on around the 2k mark and then again around 7 or 8k mark; these were the true tests of positivity and strong calves.
What really helped were the bands set up along the course every few kilometers, which was a nice motivator and energy booster.
All-in-all I finished and I couldn't be happier; it was my first 10k run so all I can do is work on my time and go from there.
The end of the race offered more things than anyone could think of - post-race photos, food, free smoothies, a beer tent, an engraving tent, a post-race concert, and more! I wish I could've enjoyed all that there was, however I unfortunately had a bus back to Toronto to catch.
Hopefully next time I'm more prepared for a Rock 'n' Roll run and I can enjoy everything it has to offer!
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