at the races Around the Bay Winner Dayna Pidhoresky’s 30 Tips for Race Day

Around the Bay Winner Dayna Pidhoresky’s 30 Tips for Race Day


Dayna Pidhoresky, 32, has won three of the last four Around the Bay races, the iconic relay, 5K and 30K race taking place this Sunday. The race has been held since 1894, and it’s special to runners around the world. Whether you’re lacing up this weekend in Hamilton or preparing for something in your own neck of the woods, these tips from a 2020 Olympic hopeful are sure to help you achieve your goals. She’s also running Race Roster Spring Run OffOttawa Marathon and Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon so, without further ado: The Pidhoresky 30 Keys for Success.

  1. Arrive early so you can find a parking spot, stand in that last minute bathroom line, and arrange yourself in your corral without breaking a sweat that you’ll miss the start.
  2. Have a pace plan that is realistic.
  3. Dress accordingly. It’s spring in Onterrible Ontario so expect blustery, frigid conditions and be pleasantly surprised if it’s mild.
  4. On that same note, don’t wear your favourite gloves if you plan on tossing them at some point mid-race when you finally warm up.
  5. Fuel! Plan to use the on-course aid stations and/or pack some gels or chews to take in en route.
  6. Do not litter said gel packet.
  7. When the gun goes off remember that it’s a marathon (almost) not a sprint (see #2). 
  8. In the first couple kilometres aim to find a rhythm, feel out your legs, and warm up to your planned pace.
  9. Lots of spectators are out to see the race off so enjoy this support. 
  10. Smile.
  11. It can be helpful to find a pack once the runners around you have settled in to their paces. Misery loves company, don’t ya know.
  12. The segment from 3-10K really highlights Hamilton’s ‘Steel City’ nickname. Breathe in those noxious fumes as you work hard through this industrial district. It won’t last forever.
  13. Also, based on past trends, this section of the race will include a strong headwind. Expect it.
  14. Find a wind block and run behind them (ideally a person larger than you).
  15. Tell them you will return the favour at 10K (there probably won’t be a headwind at 10K).
  16. As you turn onto Beach Boulevard soak up the crowd support along the way — you’re back in civilization.
  17. Mind your footing on the drawbridge but know you are past halfway at this point so have a mini-celebration. 
  18. The rollers of North Shore Boulevard West begin at about 18K — the following techniques can help:
  19. Increase your cadence on the uphills.
  20. Use your arms.
  21. Try to find a rhythm — get a song in your head.
  22. Enjoy the glorious scenery (think back to #12, add in #10).
  23. You’re approaching the final climb at Valley Inn Hill — this is a good thing!!!! It’s your final hill of the race!
  24. Use #19-21 to conquer this 400m climb. Also, revisit #10 because, pics.
  25. It’s all downhill from here. Literally.
  26. The grim reaper, who hangs out in front of the cemetery on the final stretch, is full of lies. He’ll tell you you suck, you’re slow, you’re not going to make it . . . Well, maybe all these things are true at this point but nonetheless, don’t fret. Give him a thumbs up and keep working towards the finish line. You have less than 3K to go!
  27. When you head into FirstOntario arena take off those sunnies as you round the corners to the finish line (and #10)! 
  28. Savour that unique finish area, catch your breath, and then eat ALL the snacks! 
  29. Exchange war stories with your fellow competitors, friends and family.
  30. Sign up for next year’s 126th Around the Bay 30K.