Friday, May 10, 2013

Goodlife Toronto Marathon 2013 Race Report

On Sunday I ran my 5th marathon.  Well really my 4 and 2/3rd marathon because of last year’s Mississauga fiasco.    To be honest after that race I never thought I would run a marathon again.  I know I said that many times last year….
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.
MSL TO marathon
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!
BGSL TO marathon
Busted on a walk break just after the Casa Loma hill:
LSG TO marathon
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:
WTF runners
Giant Medal Heads:
ToMarathon medals
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.
The good:
  • Cool medals and nice race t-shirt
  • lots of volunteers
  • interesting (but tough) race route
  • lots of spectators
The bad: 
  • 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 definitely don’t regret the race at all.  Post race I did some serious hobbling on Monday and Tuesday – thank goodness my work has bathrooms with hand rails in them!  
I am now in planner mode for the next great adventure…stay tuned…


Robin said...

Congratulations on a HUGE PB. Awesome. And stop calling yourself slow! You've had such a great season so far, you've trained so hard and it's paying off! Well done.

Johann said...

Congrats on a great PB! You did very well and can be very proud. That is a giant medal indeed! Rest well!

Sam said...

Awesome race Laura. Love the pictures. You trained really hard this winter and it paid off with a great PB! Good luck with the next adventure!

Andrea said...

Congrats on a new PB. I agree with you that Goodlife needs to step it up. The expo was lame, water stops unorganized. I really like the half marathon route though and want to run the full next year, really just to get the giant medal.

Lisa said...

Congratulations on achieving a new pb!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the PR!!

This race, more specifically, the medal is on my bucket list, but after hearing your review of the race, I dont feel like I need to more it up the priority list.

lindsay said...

26 min PR!!! That's a minute per mile! You are amazing! Since I'm way late, hope recovery went well.