May 22nd, 2013
In it’s 10th year running the Halifax Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon has had a record breaking year.
Throughout the race weekend a record breaking 13,920 people participated in the three-day long event which includes a full marathon run and walk, a half marathon run and walk, a 10 km run and walk and a 5 km run and walk.
a record breaking year for participation in the Bluenose Marathon Weekend
Greg Wieczorek of Halifax won the full marathon for the third time in a row in with a finishing time of 2 hours 39 minutes. He remains the record holder for the marathon with a time of two hours and 28 minutes which he set in 2009.
Greg Wiozeak, winner of the 2013 Bluenose Marathon
Jen Nicholson of P.E.I., won the women’s race with a time of 3 hours and 4 minutes.
This year, almost four thousand youth athletes participated in the Youth Run which consists of a four-kilometre route around Citadel Hill, the National Historic Site located in the middle of the city of Halifax.
Close to 4,000 youth participated in this year’s race weekend
Volunteers have a big part in putting events like these into motion, and at Bluenose 1,400 people were out putting all the pieces of the day together from manning hydration stations to helping in the finish line area.
Volunteers refill cups at a hydration station
Around $520,000 was raised for 60 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.
A number of participants took to the hilly streets in costume, a tradition which may or may not help you run faster, but one that certainly brings a level of energy to the event.
a husband and wife duo
a runner proudly shows off his blue nose
To take a look at some of the other pics from the day make sure you check out our full Bluenose Race Gallery!
For more race day results check out the results page for Bluenose 2013 on Sportstats!
Congratulations to all who participated in this year’s event!
May 21st, 2013
Whether you’re preparing for a race next weekend in Ottawa, Calgary or elsewhere around the country, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of things you can do to be mentally ready when you line up at the start line.
I remember not too long ago, I never dreamed I’d be able to run farther then 8 km. That was my absolute maximum, and I’d tell anyone who asked. Doing a half marathon, it only happened by circumstance really; I was trapped in a top story shoebox apartment that had no air-conditioning so I started taking runs in the summer evenings to escape the heat of my place.
photo credit: creative commons
Before I knew it I was accidentally spending an hour and a half, occupying myself in the coolness of the summer dusk on the trails around the city. I wasn’t timing myself, I had no idea how far I was going, and when I reached the two hour time slot, I thought to myself, “Well, I think I’ve probably run the distance of a half marathon.” Suddenly it didn’t seem like such an unattainable goal to run farther then 8 km, so I signed up for my first half marathon. With all the long runs in the back of my mind, I had sufficient ammo to remind myself in moments of weakness that I’d be able to do the distance again.
But I get it, sometimes it’s hard to envision doing any distance longer then 5 km. Sometimes it’s hard to start training again after a long hiatus, and sometimes a week before race day sets in, you get that old familiar voice inside your head telling you all the reasons you should doubt yourself.
photo credit: creative commons
Dr. Kate Hays of The Performance Edge, a sports psychology and performance practice located in Toronto, talks about the mental aspect of preparing for race day. Hays, who is a runner herself, got into sports psychology because of running. She was hooked by the mental benefits that come from running and from there she became more interested in the psychology behind the sport.
Hays is well versed in helping runners overcome mental hurdles. She’s the founder of “The Psyching Team.” It’s a team of 30 volunteer psychologists and sport psychologists who offer runners mental strategies before, during, and after the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon. Based on the successful New York City Marathon Psych Team,the Psyching Team in Toronto provides strategies to upwards of 1000 runners in preparation for the marathon there each year.
Here are some of the tips Hays has to offer to runners as they prepare for a race:
1. Corral your worries: Write down things you are concerned about and give yourself some time to think things through, make a list if you have to. Take a few minutes every day leading up to your race and ask yourself, is this something worth being concerned about? Is it something I can address? Do this leading up to the race (but not on race day!) so that when the negative thought pops up again, you can say to yourself, “I’ve already dealt with this”
2. Set more than one goal: It’s important to have multiple goals, so that if your personal best doesn’t materialize, you can say to yourself after the race, “I lowered my split time in the most challenging part of the course” or “I ran the hilly part of the course at my personal best.” Doing this actually allows you to look back on the race with a better assessment of how you did, and more importantly how you can build on different areas of your race approach for the next time around.
3. Have a positive mantra: Come up with some very good affirmations before race day. Say to yourself “I’ve trained enough for this race” or “I’ve trained as much as I can for this race, given my busy schedule.” It’s important to be self forgiving.
4. Control what you can: You can’t control everything about race day (like the weather) but there are some things you can get a handle on beforehand. Dr. Hays says it’s important to know the course and plan your strategy accordingly.
These are just a few of the mental exercises that can help you calm your mind in preparation for race day. Keep yourself motivated and remember: “Right foot, left foot, repeat!”
Good luck and thanks for staying Up to Speed!
For more tips and tricks on how to over-come mental roadblocks and prepare for your next big race, take a look at the Performing Edge Website.
May 17th, 2013
Steve Blaskie will be running the 5K at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend dressed as a caveman. “I’ll be completely barefoot and wearing a fur coat, wig and beard,” he says, adding, “I’m hoping not to push myself too much; I don’t want any contusions, blisters or rashes under my toesies for the marathon just 12 hours later.”
Also known as “the Paleo Guy,” Blaskie is author of the website Canadian Paleo Athlete – hence the caveman-theme. “For those who aren’t familiar, Paleo is short for Paleolithic, which is the ‘caveman diet,’” he says. “I’ll try and make it fun for the kids. A lot of grunting, yelling and running on all fours at times. Things could escalate,” he laughs.
He’s raising money for Little Warriors, an Edmonton-based charity that helps sexually-abused children across Canada. “As a survivor of this type of abuse, this was an easy choice. The people that work at Little Warriors are an amazing bunch! My goal was to raise $1000 throughout my race calendar year, but within the first two months of announcing the charity I’m racing for, I’ve hit and exceeded that amount thanks to everyone via Twitter and Facebook!”
He plans to return to modern-day fashion choices for the marathon. While training for a 3:15 finish, he hopes he will surprise himself and run even faster, maybe even – fingers crossed! – qualify for Boston on his home turf. “If I don’t, no worries,” he says – he’s got a plan in place that includes an attempt in the fall.
For more about Blaskie and his Paleo adventures, check out his YouTube channel, Canadian Paleo Athlete on Facebook, or follow @Zepphead on Twitter.
May 17th, 2013
Dr. Jean Seely has been a runner since she was 16 years old. She credits being able to get through med school to her love for the sport.
Now she’s a breast and chest radiologist and head of the Breast Imaging Section in the of Department of Medical Imaging at the Ottawa Hospital.
This year she’s running Ottawa Race Weekend in support of the Ottawa Breast Heath Centre. The centre, which does the bulk of diagnosis for breast cancer patients within the area, has doubled the number of patients it takes in since it opened 15 years ago.
“We’re incredibly fortunate in Ottawa to have such good medical care – but we’ve basically outgrown the space,” said Seely.
Seely’s efforts in the upcoming race weekend will go toward the Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s larger goal of establishing a larger, state-of-the-art Breast Health Centre at the General Campus of The Ottawa Hospital.
The new centre will have increased diagnostic imaging capacity, which means it will be able to accommodate the growth in cases of breast cancer in the population. The expansion will also allow the centre to take on more patients with shorter delays. As a result, doctors in the area will be able to make early diagnosis a continued priority – something that’s so important when addressing breast cancer.
Photo credit: Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Seely has always been inspired by her grandmother – both professionally and personally.
“She was a huge influence in my life. She was outspoken, yet gentle. Just a really strong woman.”
After a bilateral mastectomy, Seely’s grandmother was able to live with cancer until she was 60.
Having watched her grandmother suffer from breast cancer, she knows how important medical care and early detection are. While the number of cases detected has risen, medical improvements have led to a huge decrease in the mortality rate.
“It’s not the death sentence that it used to be,” said Seely.
While advancements have helped the way we treat breast cancer patients, Seely still advocates that you can do a lot to reduce your risk when you lead a healthy lifestyle.
Photo credit: Ottawa Hospital Foundation
A number of staff, doctors and nurses are taking part in Ottawa Race Weekend in support of the cause. Altogether the Ottawa Breast Health Centre team is aiming to raise $20,000. Seely has already made up $2000 of that amount through pledges for her participation in the half marathon. And while she’s close to her personal goal, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation still needs to make up a good portion of the necessary $14 million in funding before construction for the new centre can begin.
“It’s been six year’s since I’ve run a half. When you are running for something you are thinking less about what’s hurting. It gives you more energy with each step.”
If you’d like to sponsor Dr. Seely you can make a pledge on-line.
Or if you’re interested in making a donation to the Ottawa Hospital Breast Health Center you can go here: Donate On-Line
May 16th, 2013
By: Karen Karnis
Shelley Ann Morris was born visually impaired. She had no vision in her right eye at all, and only blurry tunnel vision in her left eye, due to Optic Atrophy. “That’s lucky for me, I didn’t have to adjust,” says Morris. “My parents said I saw the world differently, but I never got the impression there was anything wrong with me until I went out into the world and people told me something was wrong with me.”
The now 51-year-old Morris is able to see colours, can make out shapes and some details, but she can’t see faces or anything like that. Because of this, she was rarely allowed to participate in gym class – especially when the class involved large numbers of balls flying around in all directions.
But, in everyone’s life, there comes a moment that changes things forever, and for Morris, that moment was in the mid-nineties when the CNIB called to say that they were going to be offering an aerobics class designed for the visually impaired. “It was so much fun!” enthuses Morris. “It was a chance to be active participants instead of sitting on the sidelines.”
Unfortunately, the instructor moved to Toronto, leaving Morris wondering what to do next. So she went to the Dovercourt Recreation Centre. “They welcomed me right away,” says Morris. “Instead of saying, ‘oh, we’re not set up for you’ or ‘you’re too much of a risk,’ they said, ‘come on in! What do you need, what can we do for you?’ Twenty-three years later, I am still a member there.”
Shortly after that, Morris’s sister dared her to do a CN Tower stair-climb – which she has now done 18 times. In 2008, Morris was out to cheer for her sister in the 5K at Ottawa Race Weekend. “There was something about it. It was a beautiful day, ‘Born to Run’ was playing, the excitement was amazing,” she says. “That’s when I thought, ‘Hey, if I can climb the CN Tower, maybe I can run a 5K.”
She trained with her sister and ran the Run for the Cure in 2008. Shortly after that, Morris contacted Won with One, a triathlon club sponsored by Mizuno that is for blind/visually impaired athletes and sighted guides. She was thrilled to be invited to join them, and does not hesitate to say it’s changed her life. She’s also grateful for the support of Mizuno. She’s running in the Wave Inspire and Elixir and is thrilled with them.
“I would never be able to do this without the sighted guides,” says Morris. “Because of others, I am able to be an active participant, and I can’t tell you what that feels like after being on the sidelines for so long.” Morris has now done seven sprint triathlons with Won with One.
She also trains with the Ottawa Triathlon Club and does a Total Body Workout class at the Jack Purcell Community Centre that is specifically for blind and visually impaired athletes.
When asked what advice she would offer to someone considering taking up running or triathlon, Morris says, “A lot of people stand on the sidelines – whether they have a disability or not – and wonder if they can do it. My advice is to talk to people in the sport. See what it’s all about, learn from others. You will find that everyone is so willing to help if you just ask.”
Next up for Morris is the Ottawa 10K, which she will run with a guide. She’s also training for the Army Run – her first half marathon – in September.
“The thing I tell people is that if you’re running with a visual impairment, you’re not missing anything. You still feel the sun and the wind on your face, hear the crowds cheering, the thundering of shoes all around you, the music, the finish line – you may not see every detail, but you still get so much out of it,” she says.
May 16th, 2013
Mizuno will be featuring a staff member as a part of our monthly e-newsletter so runners in the community can begin to know a bit about our great brand ambassadors. The next time you see Kaireen at a store or event you will know a bit more about her!
By: Karen Karnis
Kaireen Patton took an unusual route to her position as a Territory Manager with Mizuno’s Running Division for Eastern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. She was first introduced to Mizuno shoes while running for a team sponsored by a running store in Texas in the late 1990s; when the time came to pick out a pair of shoes under the sponsorship, the store owner told her she had to try Mizuno. The self-described shoe junkie didn’t take much convincing – and she hasn’t looked back since.
A physiotherapist by training, Patton moved from Texas to Portland, Oregon for her next job, where she became good friends with a woman who was a sales rep for Mizuno. Three years later, when she moved back to Canada, Patton couldn’t find Mizuno shoes anywhere, so she asked her friend from Portland where she could find them.
Patton got more than she’d bargained for; as it turned out they were looking to expand in Canada and needed some tech reps, and Patton’s friend had passed on her name.
“As a physiotherapist with a background in foot mechanics and orthotics, it turns out it was a really good fit,” says Patton. “Things in the running shoe industry were getting more technical; you can teach the sales side fairly easily.” It wasn’t long before Mizuno asked Patton if she wanted to make her part-time “fun job” as a tech rep into a full-time gig. She says, “In a moment of weakness I just said yes, and that was over eight years ago.”
“I get to talk about running and shoes all day and get paid for it, what could be better?” laughs Patton when asked about the best part of the job. She’s quick to add: “I have awesome accounts. All of them – from Trenton to Newfoundland – they’re all awesome. They challenge me – in a good way!”
Patton loves the running business – she can’t remember a time that she wasn’t a runner. She ran in elementary school, joined the East Ottawa Lions in grade 6, ran through high school, and ran indoor track at Queen’s. For a few years she got into triathlons, completing several races including Ironman Canada and Hawaii in 2001. Now she’s back to running for the most part, and while she’s done several marathons, including Boston, she says her favourite distance at the moment is the half marathon. “It’s short enough that I can train to the level I want without neglecting the family,” she says.
She’s humble when the topic turns to speed. “My dad was a sub-three-hour marathoner,” she says. “I was blessed with great genes and a good build for running. I also had the benefit of great coaches from a young age.”
If you’re wondering, Patton’s current go-to shoes are the Mizuno Wave Precision (for her distance runs) and Musha (for speed work and racing), but she’s very excited to get into next spring’s Rider as soon as she can.
If you’ll be at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, be sure to stop by the Mizuno booth at the expo and say hello to Patton – she’ll be on hand to help with all of your Mizuno questions. She’s also trying her hand at pacing for the first time – look for her in the half marathon, sporting ears and a sign that says “1:45.”
May 16th, 2013
By: Nikki Reiter
Photos by: Carter Brundage
Before a race, you may see some runners performing hops, skips or jumps (also referred to as ABC’s) to help them prepare for the event. It looks strange, and not exactly like running, so why do they do this? Great question! Runners will give you a variety of answers – these ‘drills’ help improve form, or help you limber up, or perhaps they do it just because someone along the way told them to do so! It’s now time to clarify what this is all about.
Drills, What are They Good For?
First off, running drills don’t directly contribute to learning better running form, since they don’t represent the same muscle firing patterns as running. The excessive use of the hip flexors for the purposeful knee drive in A’s, the disproportionate use of the hamstrings in B’s and the purposeful lifting of the heel in C’s do not mimic how these muscles are used in running.
However, drills are great for developing body awareness and the ability to learn to use feedback to correct oneself. For example, practicing the A-movement slowly works the hip flexors, which can contribute to improved hip stability. Also, the single-leg stance helps identify if you are dropping either of your hips in the stance phase, and practicing drills can help bring this awareness and reinforce stable hips through repetition. Practicing drills at full speed can help reinforce body position, such as a forward lean at the ankles or having the feet land under the body.
Drills are also a great part of a dynamic warm-up before speed work as they increase range of motion and get you moving more quickly. Increased range of motion in the hips allows for a longer stride. Additionally, practicing quick movement in faster drills relates to less ground contact time, a necessary component of increasing stride rate to run faster.
How to Implement Running Drills
A basic Internet search for ‘running drills’ will result in lots of variations of A’s, B’s, C’s. Start slowly to mimic their motion for a strength workout, or to reinforce motor pathways, then speed up to develop coordination. A quick tip if you’re struggling – try the motion with your ‘legs only’ and place your hands on your head. This adjustment will also help develop your oblique muscles, as you will have to activate them to resist trunk rotation.
Other cues to remember:
- Walk in the ‘hips tall’ position, which teaches proper alignment (proper alignment leads to better economy of running)
- Head, shoulders and feet should be centered over/under hips
- Eyes should be straight ahead with chest forward
- Lean forward at the ankles, not the hips
- Arm motion happens at the shoulder, not at the elbow, and hands shouldn’t cross the midline of the body
Nikki Reiter is a Mizuno Running Brand Ambassador from Kelowna, BC. She holds a master’s degree in biomechanics, coaches Cross Country at UBC Okanagan and is the founder of Run Right Gait Analysis Service (run-right.ca).
May 16th, 2013
By: Charmaine Broughton
If you are the breakfast-on-the-go type who enjoys a touch of sweetness with your morning meal, the following recipe is for you! My Fruity Breakfast Loaf is vegan, full of fruit and has no added sugar (other than the vegan chocolate chips). This recipe is 100% kid approved and makes a healthy lunch box “sweet treat” or after school snack (my boys can polish off over half a loaf after a long day of learning).
Enjoy a slice of this moist and tasty loaf with a cup of coffee or tea after a long weekend run.
1/3 cup (75 mL) melted coconut oil
1 jar (128 mL/4.5 fl oz) pureed prune baby food
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
1 cup (250 mL) brown rice flour
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats
¼ cup (60 mL) ground flax seed
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 medium apple, grated (*skin left on)
½ cup (125 mL) vegan chocolate chips (*such as Enjoy Life brand)
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Place batter into a parchment paper lined (or well greased) standard size loaf pan (about 9 inch X 5 inch-2L). Place in center of oven and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out with little crumb. Makes 8 servings.
Founder of Marathonmom.ca, Charmaine Broughton-Dunn has transformed her life from an overweight mother of two; to a marathon runner, triathlete and most importantly healthy wife and mother. Charmaine is a trained chef and food writer for a number of national publications including; Running Room Magazine. Charmaine is a sought after running coach and has proudly lead
many women to their FIRST finish line.
Charmaine will be contributing Running Healthy Recipes on the Mizuno Run Club Site, so be sure to check back regularly for this new feature to the site to see delicious recipes that will keep you fit and full!
You can also keep posted on what Charmaine is up to at MarathonMom on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @runnercharb
May 14th, 2013
The following is a guest post from Nancy Guillery. On May 30th she’ll be running from Montreal to NYC as part of a team relay in support of Esprit de Corps, a foundation that supports single parent families. You can read about this challenge and her other adventures in running on her blog: http://www.living4impact.com/blogging4impact/
“Do you want to run from Montreal to New York City?” A simple question that led me to experience an adventure I will never forget.
The situation: a charity relay race from Montreal to New York City. The challenge is simple: As part of a relay team, each of the 250 participants in the challenge must run at least 8 relays of 10kms, day and night, in order to cover the 609km distance to get to Times Square. All of this over a 3 day period. That’s the equivalent of 2 marathons in 3 days.
A life changing experience that pushes your limits physically, emotionally, and gives you a sense of accomplishment that ANYTHING is possible!
A year ago I started running for myself. I had something to prove. The ordinary girl who no one would consider an athlete was in fact, deep-down, an athlete who could accomplish amazing things. Before running, I was going through life; I wasn’t fully living it, experiencing it. After weeks of training I completed my first official 10km race during the Ottawa Marathon Weekend 2012. I did it, and I was hooked. In September 2012 I completed the Montreal Half Marathon – without a doubt the most physically demanding thing I have ever done (before Montreal-NYC, of course).
Fast-forward a few months later. When I heard about the Montreal-New York City challenge and what they strive to teach participants I knew that this was how I would add Impact to my life.
There is no doubt this is a physical challenge, but it goes beyond the physical. It is a mental and emotional challenge.
In the months prior to the final challenge, each participant trains weekly with their team (team members are essentially strangers at the beginning of the adventure, but life-long friends afterwards). We are put in situations where the only way to succeed is to rely on one another. Climbing 256 stairs 10 times during a workout is but one example of the workouts we experienced to get ourselves ready for the big test. Through these workouts you learn that sometimes you are the one to provide help to others while other times you are the one who needs to be help. Just as it is in life. At some point, everyone realizes that this is a team challenge and to get to New York City we all need to do it together. Contrary to the solo training we usually do to get ready for a big race, this team challenge changes your outlook on our usually solidary sport.
Part of the challenge is also to raise funds for the Esprit de Corps Foundation. All the money raised, just over $450,000 so far, goes towards enabling single-parent families experience similar challenges to the Montreal-NYC challenge. For them the experience is climbing Mount-Washington. They too are put through grueling workouts and must learn to trust their team. They also learn that nothing is impossible. These life lessons are ones they will teach their own children and hopefully propel the next generation to achieve great heights.
I started running to create Impact in my life. I have reached my objective tenfold. Now, I run not only for me, but to help others create Impact in their own lives.
You can sponsor Nancy as a participant in this challenge online – this year’s event aims to help more than 50 single-parent families in need.
May 13th, 2013
Over the past couple of years, I’ve run several half-marathons and 10Ks without ever hitting the wall; this Sunday, however, I ran the Sporting Life 10K with just under 22,000 finishers and I hit the wall at the 9.9K mark. Let’s rewind to the beginning to reveal what happened.
A Messy Start
My wife and I had signed up to do this race together for several months now – my job was simple: be the pace rabbit that lovingly guides, encourages, and supports his wife to a sub 1 hour finish. As such, we were assigned to the green corral which is in the front half of this massive running pack. It was a sea of watermelon red as many chose to dawn the great Nike dri-fit race shirts given for the run.
We had to make our way back to the bag check trucks and we were a little panicked at the hundreds of people in the lineup with just 20 minutes to race start. Another truck suddenly opened its doors and a mob of runners made a rush to literally thrown in their gear bags as a quickly as volunteers could handle. We said a quick prayer to hope to see our bags at the end and made haste towards our corral.
We stood in our corral and waited for race instructions, but we didn’t hear any. It was a wave start so we would shuffle up and wait, shuffle up and wait. As we got near the start, we started into a jog and we were suddenly off – an anticlimactic start to a race.
Still a Great Course
One of the best parts of this race is the downhill course along Yonge Street. This course is meant to be fast – that is, until you’re running it with 22,000 other people. The start corrals were too crowded and we had to do a lot of dodging and weaving for the first couple of kilometers until we wised up to running on the clearer sidewalks instead.
Although my wife’s goal of sub 1 hour required a 6:00 min/km or less pace, I was going to test the waters with a 5:30 pace to see if I could help her beat her personal record from last year. When our pace dipped, I encouraged my wife that “we need to pick up the pace” to which I received a bug-eyed “Why?” Wanting to remain happily married, I focused more on pointing out streetcar tracks and reminding her how strong she looked.
One improvement over last year was that there was an increased number of bands on the course to spur us on. The water stations, however, seemed to be short of volunteers to distribute cups. In any case, we were still keeping at our desired pace, that is, until the finish.
The Wall at the Finish
As we made the final turn, we were pushing hard for a strong finish. We were headed towards a 57 minute finish and at about 20 feet from the finish line, we hit the wall. This wasn’t that wall that you experience at a marathon where your body just wants to shut down – this was a wall of runners clogged at the finish line. We were stopped dead in our tracks for 30 seconds waiting to cross the finish mat for our chip time. Just awesome.
In a race, not being able to finish when you want to, is unacceptable. Although we finished well within our goal time, what if weren’t? How do you explain to your friends that you met your goal of running under an hour when your official time says otherwise? There simply weren’t enough informed volunteers to move finishers onwards to clear the finish chute. This race was simply undermanned and it showed in the post-race area as well.
The Post-Run Wasn’t so Fun Either
After we finally crossed-over the finish, we just followed in the direction that all the runners were going. There weren’t any signs and it wasn’t clear which way to go to collect our medals. We eventually found our way to the medals, and subsequently the food area which consisted of bagels and bananas. The water and Gatorade area was a farce – just a few volunteers pouring out cups one by one as hundreds of thirsty runners waited. Not good.
I then headed over to the bag check area and thankfully it was well organized and I was able to quickly retrieve my bag, albeit on my own without anyone checking me. We had a number of other friends who ran the race and meeting with them was a challenge – there were no designated meetup areas and a map of the post-race area was never shared. Frustrating.
There was free McDonald’s coffee so we decided to wait in line – big mistake as that single small cup of coffee took about 30 minutes of waiting time in a cold brisk wind. We quickly assessed that there really wasn’t much else to do in the finish area and opted to head towards the shuttle to take us back to the race start area where we parked. The shuttle area had multiple lineups and it was unclear as to which lineups would be serviced in which sequence. We waited, shivering in the cold as mobs of runners would try to jostle into unorganized lineups for the next bus. Painstaking.
The Final Word
The Sporting Life 10K has the potential to be a great race for the city of Toronto. The funds it raises for Camp Ooch for kids with cancer is an incredible contribution towards a great cause. This run does a fantastic job at drawing many new first-time runners to complete a 10K – it did this for myself two years ago and got me hooked. The management of this race, however, has not kept up with its growth in size and it is my sincere hope that the race sponsors and organizers would listen carefully to the feedback from the running community to make this the great race it deserves to be.