Sometimes you just fall into races. A friend talks you into it. You register at the last minute. Something like that…..that’s how this race happened.
I had been in contact with Peter D. from MyNextRace.com for a while via facebook. Much to my surprise he emailed me at work through the company’s website. When we realized that it was the same person we did some emailing about getting MNR involved with the Fleet Feet 15K and more visible in the states and not just Canada. After all this he said if I ever wanted to come race in one of his bigger races just let him know. Well the next one up was Toronto 10Miler and I just happen to have a 10 miler that day on the training schedule.
Up to Canada I went! I must admit, I love crossing the border at 6AM because there is no wait on the Peace Bridge. I also have to say….the city of Toronto always impresses me. There is just so many shiny tall glass buildings. And there are always cranes working on something, it makes it look like their are always building and expanding. Just nice to see.
On to the race itself. It was set up in a nice little area in the Distillery District. All the vendors and sponsors lined the sides of the road which made it very easy to pick things up. Parking wasn’t an issue either since it was a Sunday race there were many free spots to park. I claimed my free registration and shirt (yes they still had shirts available!) and hung out in the MNR tent watching the men’s olympic marathon. Luckily it ended right before we had to go to the starting corrals.
Everything was very well organized. The bag check was easy to find (not that I needed it) and the starting corrals were clearly marked. Gun went off and so did we!
I have to say that this started off as a really bad race for me. The first mile was uphill over bridges and up streets. My iPod decided to die on me in this first mile and both my calves started seizing up to the point that I wondered if I should cut it short at the turn around for the 5K people. Being the stubborn fool that I am I decided to tough it out. It was a little warm but not too hot. Worst case? I walk most of it.
After stopping to stretch a couple times I felt a little better and tried to focus on listening to my breathing instead of music. Imagine my joy to come across a band playing on the course! Woohoo some entertainment! Following that and a long stretch around the corner, I see a misting station ahead. PERFECTION! That is something every single summer race should have. A misting station. Nothing feels better on a hot day then a misting station. Down away from that we turned into Tommy Thompson Park. This has to be my third or fourth race in Toronto and every single one of them seems to go through this park. It’s pretty to look at, but the terrain is a little rough. There are lots of broken sections where the footing is difficult because of the gravel.
Around mile 5.5 I had the misfortune of witnessing a runner’s woe. Some man did not make it to the port-a-john in time. I imagine that was a very uncomfortable run to the finish line. It was around those miles that my legs finally loosened up. I hit my stride and kept on hitting it. Originally I was hoping for a PR since the only other times I have completed this distance was in “fun runs”, aka the Chocolate Race where the goal is to eat not run fast. With the shape I was in I should have been able to hit 1:50 or 1:45 pretty easily. Somehow my ipod came back to life and surged me to the end. I had a full 6 minute negative split for the second half. I ended up crossing the finish line in just over 2 hours. A PR, but not one that I am particularly proud of. I could have done much better. I was rather impressed with the medal and the finish line goodies though, even if the freezie pops were melted.
I felt like this was really an excellent race. I would love to do it again next year. I imagine it would be a much faster without the cramping issues and some tunes in my ears. Not to mention the medal was sweet as always. They have really nice ones! Gotta love running events in Canada. I don’t think I have had a bad one yet!
Now, for everyone looking for a good place to review races or find out about races in your area go to MyNextRace.com! Seriously….if people regularly review races then we could avoid horrible events like the ones put on by Rapid Running. (Still slightly horrified of all the people that were swindled in my own hometown. Didn’t hear about it? Google Buffalo Rapid Runnings Half Marathon or just read this. They are a horrible company and should not be supported in any way, shape, or form.)
So review and plan your next race at www.mynextrace.com!