Frozen doesn't begin to describe this 5k; the naive girl that I am I figured a tank top and skirt would be perfect to run in while in Florida, but I thought wrong. Just around the day of the Frozen 5k was one of the coldest couple of days to hit Florida in the past year or so and it didn't really help that this was probably the earliest wakeup call I've ever had to date for any race. I'm pretty sure all I did was blink after my head hit the pillow before my alarm clock starting going off at about 4am and all I could think was how I had no idea how I'd be able to wake up even earlier for the 10k and the half over the next two days.
It was a really cold morning for Florida, especially considering the lack of clothes in my costume; thankfully Michelle and I were feeling the chill on Thursday so we picked up a few additions for our costumes and by that I just mean our toques, gloves and some hand warmers, but I don't really know where I would've been without them (especially the toque).
Note to self: regardless of the climate you're running in make sure you bring a few different options with you, especially so you can still pull off your costume coordination. =) AND don't forget that you're running earlier in the day, not at noon in the midday sun.
Anyway, since we were staying about 15 minutes outside of Disney we left around 5am to make our way to Epcot. Everything was really organized and even though the lineup of cars to get into the parking lot was as long as I could see we were all settled in no time. I didn't really want to get out of the car considering I was in a tank top and shorts, but duty called and I had been waiting for this for so long.
I've never seen a race so organized in my life and I'm not sure that I'll ever see a race more organized than Disney. There were more than enough volunteers and signs to get you to the right places, tons of port potties, and even volunteers at the entrance of the gated corrals to ensure you were in the right place. I have to say I really like that they monitor that you're in the right corral and that if you want to run with a friend you have to run in the slower corral of the two; it just ensures less congestion along the course which I definitely appreciate, especially when there's a very large amount of runners participating.
I'm pretty sure just as I was about to cross the start-line I couldn't feel any part of my body, but the thought of how cold I was quickly went away with the firework display that sent our corral off on a magical race.
The course started off by running around a parking lot and then we got into Epcot and went around the World Showcase, and out through Future World into the parking lot for the finish - we spent at least 2.5 miles or so running in the park. There were quite a few characters along the course including a winter themed Minnie, Pluto, a winter themed Mickey, a winter themed Goofy, and Kristoff, Anna, and Elsa from Frozen. While running through the World Showcase Let it Go played in various languages depending on what country you were running in, which was a nice added touch.
After crossing the finish line we were given our finisher medals and then given a box with a large selection of post-race treats. There were also options to take more pictures with some Disney backdrops, definitely a win for people who didn't stop for all the character photos.
This was a great race experience and I will definitely be running at Disney again, except next time I'll be dressed appropriately. I also have to mention this was my first time running in costume and I think I might be slightly hooked on it. It's definitely not an inexpensive experience by any means, but I feel like it's something everyone should do once in their lifetime, especially if you enjoy running!
Come November the amount of options for races dwindles down and in December they're few and far between so like last year I decided to run in the Santa Shuffle 5k, except this year I ran in Toronto. Last year I ran in Mississauga and it was a great experience, but I thought it'd be nice to be able to run in the same race just on a different course.
There was the option to pick up your race kit on the Thursday or Friday at a Running Room, but I opted to pick it up the morning of the race. Partially because I had only gotten registered on one of those days, and otherwise it was because it would've been an extra drive in the city to pick up my kit.
Toronto's Santa Shuffle is held in Sunnybrook Park, which is always a scenic and flat course; the only downside is that any 5k run here always ends up being an out and back course (as far as I know) and I know quite a few runners, me being one of them, that aren't the biggest fans of something like that. I've run pretty much the exact same course twice before with the Toronto Women's Run 5k races (August 2013 and October 2013), so part of me wasn't a big fan. If I run something in Sunnybrook again it will most likely have to be a longer distance. Other than the repeat course for me, I had a great run; just took it easy since my left knee hasn't been feeling the greatest. For a December run the weather was pretty mild and there was no snow, so no complaints over here.
Gun Time - 28:22
Chip Time - 28:22
Pace - 5:35
For anyone that knows me or my story, you know that the Team Unbreakable program and Cameron Helps are very close to my heart. I was diagnosed with depression some time ago and I'm sure I have been battling it for much longer than that. When I found out about this organization and the services they provide I knew that I would always try to participate in their events and I started by running the Runner's Mark Team Unbreakable Rib Run in the Summer of 2013; this also happened to be my first race with a medal.
I knew I wanted to run in both of the Bold and Cold 5k races for the weekend, but I was just waiting to see what the weather was going to be like since I was fairly under the weather the week leading up them.
I'll start off by saying that this event is not chip timed and I don't believe that any of the events that Team Unbreakable hosts are timed and I don't believe they give out awards for placing. It was nice being at an untamed event, especially since I've been running so much this month and I was under the weather - just a push to get outside and run and then get some bling.
The course was beautiful; running along the Etobicoke Creek Trail and then passing by Loafer's Lake was extremely scenic and something I enjoyed, even though it was an out and back course, it was nice to have a change of scenery (run somewhere other than Toronto or Mississauga). I took my time with the run, which was fairly flat and realized when crossing the finish line I was only at 4.5km or so.. SO after stopping to claim my finishers medal I ran a very slow cool down around the school to make it 5k.
Got back into the school after my cool down and couldn't have been more thankful for warmth and some good post-race eats. Pankcakes, eggs, and ham were served for breakfast, which was great! I have to say that the finisher's medal for a 5k is something else and I couldn't have been more excited to run again in Oakville, especially considering the weather was supposed to warm up.
Gun Time - 29:12
Chip Time - 29:12
Pace - 5:50
Just like yesterday's event this race was also not chip timed and I wasn't complaining, because this was another fairly scenic 5k. It was an out and back course for the most part running through River Oaks Park and then along Munn's Creek Trail, however the difficulty was that some of the paths weren't the widest along the course and with an out and back course there's so much traffic at various points so you're slowing down more to accommodate passing runners, etc. Other than that, I loved the course because it allowed you to high-five other runners and shout words of encouragement and motivation and this was something I saw a lot of.
The course ended up being 4.5k so I stopped my watch to get my finisher's medal and then started up another run and probably looked crazy as I circled the parking lot trying to get another 0.5k in with my finisher's medal in hand. Breakfast was served after the race in the form off egg and cheese sandwiches or sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches, along with bananas, oranges, and timbits on the side.
Gun Time - 26:28
Chip Time - 26:28
Pace - 5:51
Some runners might see the lack of chip timing and the course not being 5k as deterrents for running a race, but sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture - Team Unbreakable is a fantastic program that supports all teens through high school running programs, to support mental health. So the next time you decide you might not want to run a race because there's no medal or it's not timed please take a look at what the race is in support of, especially because it may be something near and dear to your heart.
As a newer runner I've found that it's pretty difficult to find a race, let alone a good one to run in the colder months of the year (November - February). I knew that while doing my training for the Glass Slipper Challenge in February I wanted to be able to incorporate as many races as possible for my weekend training runs, since I find that a race as a training run makes things so much more enjoyable. Granted The Playoff Run was only going to be a 5k, but that's exactly the distance I needed for this weekend.
SO woke up this morning somewhat regretting that I signed up for this race and wasn't going to be running 3 miles on the treadmill - there was frost on my car. Not cool. Thankfully I had my sister Raquel coming to the run with me and she drove so there was less for me to worry about. We left a bit earlier so we could pick up our race kits and so I could volunteer at the MyNextRace tent.
We got to the parking lot, which was right by the start line, to find out that parking was free. Amazing! Parking is usually anywhere between $15.00 - $25.00 in that area so this was definitely a huge bonus, especially since I've done races in the same area and have had to pay for parking in the past.
Of course about 15 minutes before the race was going to start I needed to use a port-a-potty and there were only 3. Thankfully the opening speeches went slightly past the race start time so I wasn't late.
Other than the fact that it was a cold morning the course was good; it was flat up until the halfway point where we had to go down a slight hill and then come back up. There were two awkward parts of the race where we had to run over the curb onto grass and then back onto a path, but volunteers were very vocal to runners about watching their step so it all worked out well. I did notice however, that there was no water station on the course - I didn't need one but just made a mental note of that.
The atmosphere was great with several people, including cheerleaders for the Toronto Argonauts, at the finish line encouraging all of the runners and walkers. It was also very motivating that Michael 'Pinball' Clemons was running along with players from the Argos, both past and present; an added bonus if you're a fan is that this event is a great meet and greet opportunity.
I wasn't going for any sort of goal, except I knew it'd be nice to finish under 30 minutes since I've pretty much set a standard for myself. Apparently I PR'd with a time of 26:38, which I didn't even realize until I saw the results online on Sunday. Didn't think I'd be getting any PRs until 2015 so I couldn't be happier!
Gun Time - 00:26:55
Chip Time - 00:26:38
Pace - 5:19
Overall Place - 91/329
Gender - 29/188
The Playoff Run was an amazing run, especially for being in it's second year; it's a run I encourage anyone in the Toronto area to participate in next year and I'll definitely be running it again as long as I'm in town!
My sister, Raquel, and I ended up registering for this race just because. I was already going to be in Ottawa for the weekend to take her to the Fleetwood Mac concert as an early birthday gift, but we figured we should try to find a race to do as well and the South Ottawa Race Day (SORD) 5k ended up being it.
2014 is the third year SORD was being held and they offered a half marathon, 10k, 5k, and a 1k/2k family run/walk, so we opted to go for the 5k considering I was running 2 races at Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis the weekend before and Raquel had just done her first 5k at The Canada Army Run in September. We'll be working up to her first 10k and half marathon for 2015 I think.
Not to say that after St. Louis the rest of my races for the year, including this one, were/are going to be write-offs but I don't really have any big plans. I'm just going to run a few 5k races and really focus on my training and the longer runs I have planned in the new year.
Anyway, race kit pick-up was offered on the Friday evening and Saturday afternoon at 2 different locations, so we decided to pick up ours on Friday evening at The Sweat Shoppe. The kit really just consisted of your shirt and bib, no other treats.
I got in to Ottawa on Friday morning so I honestly hadn't been doing much working out or running up until today.. Just spending time with my sister and her family and fitting in my 30 Day Fitness Challenges everyday. This is part of the reason I wasn't expecting anything big going in to this weekend, that and it was going to be another chilly morning run with some possible showers. If you don't already know it, I'm not the biggest fan of running in the cold.
The night before I stayed up pretty late binge watching and catching up on The Walking Dead, so I was kind of surprised that I managed to get my race outfit together and ready rather than scrambling in the morning. Thankfully it wasn't going to be an early wakeup call like The Army Run we did last month... Got up and out of bed around 6:30am and took my time with breakfast and getting ready. It was probably 7:45am when we head out the door since we had a 9:10am start. The worst thing about doing races as it gets colder is stepping outside of the house and feeling that brisk cold air - for a second it has you wondering why you got out of bed so early and why you're not still in your pi's.
Thankfully once we got to the Rideau Carleton Raceway we realized we weren't going to have to wait outside (which we were dreading), because there was a large seating area indoors that we had access to. Winning! We had quite a bit of time to kill since Raquel has a heavy foot, so it was a good thing we were indoors with real washrooms might I add. The 10k and the half marathon races started before us and before I knew it, it was 9:10am and we were ready to go at the start line.
The course started on the race track, which meant you wanted to watch your step since there were some presents that the horses had left behind for us. After getting off the race track we went around the back and passed some of the horse stables on our way to this trail, where there were more presents left behind. It had just rained and there were some massive mud puddles that I tried to avoid for the longest time, but eventually I just gave up. The course continued on to the trail and it was a 2.5k out and back course. Turned around at the 2.5k mark, where the water station was located, and it was back to the finish line.
Crossing the finish line my time didn't even cross my mind until I looked at my watch afterwards - PR. My watch didn't quite hit the 5k mark (it was just around 4.85k) and I'm not sure if it was through some of the trails or if it was the racetrack and how circular it was that messed that up.. So I'm not one hundred percent sure that this counts, but they say the course was 5k so it should. Yay me! I have to say I'm really happy with where I placed today too - the middle of the pack for my division, but definitely closer to the top of the pack for my gender and overall runners. It's been great to see my improvement over the past year and what a difference all of my cross-training has made. I'm just hoping that I'm able to see similar progress throughout next year as well.
Originally I thought this was my last run for the year, but last night I decided to sign up for The Playoff Run in Toronto, so hopefully I'll see you there November 16th!
Gun Time - 00:26:49.5
Chip Time - 00:26:49.5
Pace - 5:22
Overall Place - 106/301
Division - 9/17 (F 20 - 29)
Gender - 38/177
After completing my second half marathon ever, my first with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series in Chicago, back in July of this year I knew I was hooked. Technically my obsession started in 2013 when I ran the 10k during the Oasis Rock 'n' Roll Montreal Marathon weekend. I knew I'd be running some long distances with these guys someday, but Chicago was the true test. There's just something about this series, beyond some of the most beautiful medals that I have ever seen that I immediately gravitated to. Yes, there are always so many people at these events and it can get overwhelming for a first time race participant, however the organization at these events is just so seamless that you almost feel spoiled. The environment and atmosphere created by not only race organizers, but the runners, volunteers, and spectators is something you don't always get to see.
In Chicago I participated in the first ever Remix Challenge held by RnR; a double race weekend with some extra bling. I ran the 5k on the Saturday and half marathon on the Sunday and got myself an extra medal, and let's be real who doesn't like extra bling? I knew by the end of 2014 I'd have to run another half marathon with RnR so I could at least get 1 of their heavy medals (Rock Encore). Essentially once you hit 2 qualifying events run within a calendar year with RnR you can continue to earn an extra medal (except for events 8 and 9) and you can also get extra medals for participating in events in 2 specific locations. This is where the desire to go to St. Louis came from - not only did I want my Rock Encore medal for doing 2 half marathons in 1 year, but I also wanted my limited edition Midwest Best medal for running an event in Chicago and St. Louis in the same year. Once they released the Midwest Best medal I was registered for St. Louis and it was another Remix Challenge Weekend - 1 weekend, 2 races, 5 medals.
Before I knew it my countdown was over and it was 3am on a Friday morning and my alarm was going off.. Had to be at the airport for 4am for my 7am flight. *yawn* The airport was crazy busy so I probably shouldn't have taken my sweet time leaving the house, but I did. Got to the airport for about 4:20am and by the time I had cleared customs it was 6:05am. Killed some time walking around and then it was off to Cincinnati, my first stop on the way to St. Louis. My layover wasn't longer than 45 minutes, which is good since I had the itch.. Couldn't wait to get into St. Louis and start exploring.
When I got in to St. Louis I decided to take the MetroLink to my hotel for $4.00 rather than take a cab. Figured I'd save myself some cash and get to see parts of St. Louis that I wouldn't see otherwise. The ride on the train wasn't even 30 minutes and then all I had was a 5 minute walk to my hotel, very nice convenience factor. I was staying at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch and I have to say I probably made one of the best hotel choices possible.
After checking in at about 11am and being given a room early I considered myself very lucky so I decided to get settled in. After putting everything away in my room and realizing the expo wasn't open yet I did a small grocery run - picked up some water and snacks for the weekend.
Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis 5k
I went to bed and I swear I blinked my eyes and it was 5:50am and my alarm was going off; I don't think you know how happy I was that I live on the east coast, so it was feeling like 6:50am for me. Was a hard one getting out of bed for some reason, but I powered though. Ate my breakfast while watching some early morning ESPN and then got ready. I just have to say that I LOVE staying at a hotel so close to the race start line; I did it for Rock 'n' Roll Chicagoand I couldn't be happier that I did it again. It was a pretty brisk morning so I tried to leave for the race as late as I could - left my room at about 7:20am and walked over to Kaufman Park for the 8am start (didn't take any longer than 5 minutes to walk over).
As always the race was well organized and set up with registration, bag check, port-a-lets, the info desk, and more. I checked my bag and before I knew it, there was about 10 minutes to the start of the race. I have to say (and I know this is going to sound repetitive but I have to) I love the atmosphere at these Rock 'n' Roll events! If I could run more of these in a year, I definitely would...
The race started promptly at 8am with no corrals, which is how the 5k in Chicago was. It was a pretty chilly morning, however it heated up a couple kilometres in. The course wasn't bad, except I have to say the hills took me by surprise and made me slightly fearful for the half marathon the next day. The hills didn't have the largest of inclines, but they weren't the shortest hills out there. I enjoyed it though - it's so great to run through unfamiliar territory, very refreshing. An amazing part of the 5k was having a semi-familiar face at the end cheering me on, which pushed me to sprint and finish strong.
The best part of the 5k - I PR'd!!! Beat my best time by 18 seconds from the Toronto Corporate Run back in September. Its funny because back in July Chicago was a PR for me, so I guess it seems like these Rock 'n' Roll 5ks are pretty lucky for me. :)
Gun Time - 00:28:29
Chip Time - 00:28:10
Pace - 9:03 (in miles)
Overall Place - 257/1121
Division - 17/95 (F 25-29)
Gender - 94/702
Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Half Marathon
Had a great evening the night before the half at dinner with a great group of people, that are definitely going to become new friends. Thankfully we were all on the same page about having an early dinner so I was in bed by 9:30pm/10:00pm. Even though this was my third half marathon I couldn't contain the nerves.. Wanted to sleep but found myself back on Netflix every couple of minutes.
Gotta love a 7am start with a 4:45am wake up. Not. I was extremely groggy getting out of bed, but soldiered through it. Manage to eat and get enough water down with enough time to digest so I wouldn't get crazy cramps on the course. It was a cold morning so I was sporting my nice garbage bag jacket, which I ditched just before corral 1 started. I moved from corral 16 to corral 9 at the expo, but somehow I ended up going with corral 7 at the start. No complaints though, it was getting cold outside.
Didn't take long to warm up on the course, especially with all those hills.. You're putting in work. The elevation is something I'm not used to.. I have to admit I'm not a big fan of hill training days. It's obvious looking at my race map that my pace slowed down at a majority of the inclines; thankfully I was able to pick up the pace after each one to get back on track. Looking back I hauled major butt during this run - I didn't even know I had it in me crossing the start line, but I definitely knew I did when I crossed the finish. St. Louis gave me another PR from my first half marathon time at the Mississauga Marathon back in May; I finished with 02:10:11, which was 00:06:34 off of my best for 21k.
Definitely didn't think I'd PR on the Sunday, let alone both days. I truly had an amazing weekend in St. Louis and those PRs were just the icing on the cake. Overall just an amazing Rock 'n' Roll event, so hopefully it's one I'll be doing again next year.
Gun Time - 02:18:41
Chip Time - 02:10:11
5km Split - 31:25
10km Split - 01:01:10
10 Mile Split - 01:39:48
Pace - 9:55 (in miles)
Overall Place - 2461/6361
Division - 265/742 (F 25-29)
Gender - 1177/4080
I'll be honest, I think I registered for this race out of withdrawal; came home from doing the Canada Army Run 5k in Ottawa with my sister and realized my next races wouldn't be until I went to St. Louis for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series the weekend of October 18th... I needed something more. After some use of MyNextRace.com I found this run and went ahead and registered since I figured it'd be nice to do some sort of themed race.
The KW Oktoberfest 5k Fun Run is held prior to the Thanksgiving Parade, running along the same route with the parade starting approximately 30 minutes after the race start. Race kit pick-up was available the day before for a few hours at both the Kitchener and Waterloo Running Room stores, along with the morning of; since it was a bit of a drive for me I opted for pick-up on the day of. Everything was really organized - the parking lot had ample space (which was no cost) and there were plenty of signs directing runners to kit pick-up, bag drop off, and the start line. Since the parking lot was so close to the starting area I was able to pick-up my kit and put everything in my car with the exception of my bib.
It was a bit of a chilly morning considering I don't remember the last time it was this cold before I ran a race, but shortly after taking off I started to warm up. My only complaint at this point would be that at the starting line there was no timing mat so everyone's time was just based off of the gun start and not their chip. This was unfortunate because I think I could've PR'd if it was timed from chips start to finish. The course was very flat just as promised on the race website with some nice downhill periods, which can always help to make up time if needed or just give you a nice break. I knew I wasn't necessarily running at a very consistent pace, but I definitely knew I was going to finish under 30 minutes. There were plenty of spectators along the race route since many were waiting for the parade and they even still cheered runners on; from what I saw on my drive up people were grabbing spots as early as 0700. Around the 3.5km mark it started spitting and I met my new friend, Bib #5763 (we never ended up exchanging names) - he was running beside me and it was like we were pacing each other for the rest of the race; when one of us started to slow down we managed to pick up the pace and catch back up. Right towards the end when we turned a corner off King Street he looked at me and asked how much further we had and after that we nodded at each other and sprinted the last few hundred metres to the finish. Thanks for the pacing #5763, you ran a great race!
Now the post-race grub was definitely one of a kind! Not only were you greeted by a volunteer with your finisher medal, but a fresh pretzel as well (unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy the pretzel with the diet that I'm on right now, but next year it's going to happen). Along with the pretzels there was a large assortment of beverages (water, gatorade, juice, coffee, etc.) and there were granola bars, crispy apple chips, apples, bananas, and sausages.
Shuttle buses (which were included in race registration) started leaving the finish line 45 minutes after the race start time to go back up to the start line and continued every 15 minutes. This gave me 10-15 minutes to grab my food, check out my posted time, and walk over to the bus area. Just perfect.
From what I overheard this was the second year for this race and I was definitely impressed and it's a run I'll aim to fit into my schedule for next year. Granted there was one thing I would adjust with this race, I feel like since its fairly new the change I'd like to see with chip timing will happen eventually with time or as the numbers of race participants increase.
Happy Thanksgiving my Canadian friends!!!
Gun Time - 28:47
Chip Time - 28:47
Pace - 5:46
Overall Place - 138/420
Division - 29/137 (F 20-39)
Gender - 52/273
This was one of those runs that the first time I heard about it I immediately went online to see if I could register for it and unfortunately it was last year and it had already sold out. From what I learned the Canada Army Run is a favourite among many and it sells out on a yearly basis. Knowing this last year I set up consistent reminders so that when it did go on sale for 2014 I was registered, I'd figure out the rest of the details later. By the time this year's race registration opened up I was lucky enough to have my older sister in Ottawa so I knew nothing was going to stop me from running it, except I thought it'd be the half marathon. After some discussion Raquel, my older sister, and I decided that we'd run her first race together so we registered for the 5k.
I flew in from Toronto the day before the run, on the Saturday, since I had the Zoo Run in the morning. We went right to Ottawa City Hall for race kit pickup from the airport and it was definitely a seamless process. We grabbed our bibs, I changed my corral, and then we activated our timing chips and it was in to the expo tent to look at goodies and then grab our shirts!
Prior to the first 5k run (for the injured, ill, and disabled) at 0745 there were opening ceremonies that began at 0720. We missed part of them since we wanted to sleep in a bit longer; you win some, you lose some. We were able to catch a few members of the Canadian Military speak as well as John Stanton. Following the speeches went the national anthem and then it was time for the first race to start!
I will say one thing - there were SO many people at this race. Don't get me wrong I knew the race was sold out with approximately 13,500 doing the 5k that started at 0800, but there were so many people at the race that we couldn't get into the corral until the first corral went and everyone started to move up closer to the front; I've never felt so much like a sardine in my life so thankfully that went by quickly.
When people say that the Army Run course is very flat and great for a first timer or a PR they aren't lying - the most upward incline that you get at the beginning and the rest being downhill from there, literally. The views along the 5k course are also really nice; you see Parliament Hill and there's lots of greenery as well as the Rideau Canal. It was Raquel's first race so I decided to go with her goal so we could run together, which was beat her husbands first 5k race time which was somewhere around 31 minutes. This happened to be perfect since my 5k time has ended up in and around 30 minutes these days. My job was to ensure we were maintaining pace to achieve her goal and that we did - Raquelfinished in 00:30:41! Luckily we missed the rain that hit the half marathoners about 2 hours in.. The weather was perfect for a Sunday morning 5k.
This is definitely a race I'd like to do again in the future and hopefully it ends up being the half marathon alongside my big sister.
Thanks Ottawa/Raquel and family for the hospitality, its been a slice.
I knew this was definitely going to be a race to repeat year after year, after completing it last year. The Oasis ZooRun is definitely a very popular race held by The Canada Running Series, selling out this year, last year, and I'm sure numerous years before I started running. Last year's weather wasn't the greatest, but I still had a great time; I was going into this year's race with the hopes that the weather would be nicer so that more animals would be out and about in their habitats along the course.
Thankfully I didn't have to find time to pick it up before the run since race day pickup was available. I opted not to pick up my race kit in advance this year based on the fact that it was difficult to find time to do so the days before the race. Now if you've followed my blog for awhile you know that I prefer to pickup my kit in advance and regardless I always like to get to a race early. Today was a bit different.. Since I was headed to the airport after the run for a flight to Ottawa I had my lovely father accompany me to the run. I wanted to leave the house at 8:15am and of course he wanted to make some stops before we were on our way at 8:45am. The drive over to the Zoo wasn't too bad until getting within a couple kilometres then there was traffic. With half an hour before the race start once we parked I ran over and picked up my kit, brought it over to the car, ran back to the entrance of the Zoo with bib in hand, went to the washroom, and got to the start line.
Couldn't believe I had made it to the starting line with time to spare... and then I find out the start of the race had been delayed. We started about 10 minutes later than expected and from what I hear it was due to a delay in the 10k wrapping up, but I'm not one hundred percent sure.
Once we were able to get in corrals we were quickly on our way. Compared to this year it seemed that there was more room in the corrals, but that may be because I moved up one from last year. Hey, really I had no complaints... Last year it was raining and it was looking like a beautiful day and before I knew it we were off. There were definitely more animals out on the course this year from camels, to flamingos, to giraffes, etc. The course was identical to last year's with 3 hills or so that stood out, otherwise it was a flat course. Beat last year's time by about 5 minutes; winning!
The finish line was packed with volunteers giving out medals and treats and tons of photographers ready to capture everyone's accomplishments. What's great about this run is your registration includes admission to the zoo for yourself, half price admission for any spectators, and free parking. Ends up being a great day for the whole family! Similar to last year I had to jet off to the airport for a Sunday morning run, except it was Ottawa and not Montreal this time... Maybe next year I'll end up sticking around to enjoy the Zoo rather than heading off to another race.
Gun Time - 0:35:31.6
Chip Time - 0:30:27.5
Pace - 6:06
Overall Place - 309/1598
Division - 21/158 (F 25-29)
Gender - 132/1085
To be honest I don't think I ever would've signed up for this race on my own in a million years, however I couldn't be more glad that I ended up running in it. From the name of the event it appears to be for corporations and business people, however that is not the case. The Toronto Corporate Run is for everyone, whether you're running as an individual or with a team (competitive or non-competitive).
The Toronto Corporate Run, previously known as the YMCA Relay for Strong Kids now has a revamped race structure. Previously this event (over the last 32 years) was a team relay format whereas this year it was still a team event, but all the team members ran at the same time competing for the best combined time.
I was very honoured when Katie, the brand manager at MyNextRace, got in touch with me to run with the MyNextRace team, especially since I'm not the fastest runner. I couldn't say no for a couple reasons - I've always wanted to run with a team in this type of environment and they've been very supportive of my race reviews by posting them on their site. =)
Race Kit Pickup was offered the day before the race at the Liberty Village Running Room or on race day starting at 4pm - since I live in Mississauga I decided to go with race day pickup. Everything was extremely organized once you were onsite from signs directing you where to go right from the parking lot, to baggage drop off, registration, race kit pickup, etc.
It was definitely a brisk September night, but once the running got started it turned into perfect running weather. The course was essentially 2 laps that were approximately 2.5k, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be; I'm not the biggest fan of a lapped course since it seems to go on forever, but since the laps were only 2.5k and there was a change for the end of the second lap it was fine. Overall the course was fairly flat outside of 1 hill and a set of stairs you had to go down, but I'd do it all over again for the few coming towards the finish line. Coming around this one corner all I saw was Lake Ontario and the setting sun to my right and greenery to my left, it was probably the most stunning view at a finish line that I've seen to date.
Gun Time - 00:28:28
Chip Time - 00:28:28
Pace - 5:41
Overall Place - 78/123
I ran on the MyNextRace ladies team and we technically took home a win, however since we weren't a completely corporate team the prize went to Team Pepsi who did a great job! Congrats ladies!!!
Individual race results haven't been posted yet, so I'll update this post once they've uploaded the results. I'm pretty sure I PR'd! :) *Results posted above*
I have to say that this was probably one of the running events I've enjoyed the most, simply based on the team atmosphere. You get to run on your own, but you have a team to hang out with pre and post race that you're competing alongside. Plus free beer, wine, and pizza is always better with good company.
Can't wait until next year!
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Recaps of all of the
My Best 5k
The Playoff Run (2014)