Training went well through the Winter and cruddy Spring that we had. I knew it was a stronger runner going into this marathon but again…anything can happen on race day. We headed into TO for the expo (just ok and $10 to park – not cool.) I discovered with my lovely friends that a glass of Proseco is good hydration before a race.
Race morning came with an early wake up as we had to make it from the hotel to the race start. Though I had a throwaway on it was not needed at all…it was already warm at 7:30 am. Seeing as we had not had one training run that had been this warm, I knew it may be a bit of a slog.
I was lucky this race to have 3 friends to run with through much of the race. We were together, apart, ahead/behind each other for the whole race which for me made a huge difference. I am lucky to have such peeps in my life!
Busted on a walk break just after the Casa Loma hill:
Like any long race it was a battle in certain spots BUT overall I felt a lot better than I have in any marathon I have ever done. In the end I had a 26min PB over my best time from back in 2010. Still slow at 5:25 but slowly getting better.
The giant medal made some of the pain in my quads dissipate:
The awesome peeps from my run group:
Giant Medal Heads:
The best use of a medal yet:
While I did have a good run experience at the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, I don’t think I will do this race again. I understand that organizing a race like this take a lot BUT if you are trying to make it a great event (and are in competition for other marathons running on the same day – Mississauga, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New Jersey) you have to step it up.
- Cool medals and nice race t-shirt
- lots of volunteers
- interesting (but tough) race route
- lots of spectators
- water stops that were unorganized and were not consistent with water/Gatorade not always being in the same spot
- water stops running out of cups AND Gatorade
- no marshalling on the trail part of the route so we were side stepping strollers, pedestrians and cyclists who were ringing their bells at us. (FU buddy…)
- the only food left when I finished (well within the time limit) were white bagels and a few not so great oranges. No water or bananas left. Thank goodness the Milk on the Go people stepped it up!
- Organizers limited race kit pick up to 3 per person (yours plus one other). They flat out posted the reason for this was to encourage people to come to the expo as the sponsors paid a lot of money to be there….they need to hire new PR people….
I am now in planner mode for the next great adventure…stay tuned…