Toronto, Ontario Canada
Finish Time: 1:45:35
I visited Toronto to participate in the Scotiabank Toronto Half Marathon. This not only allowed me to check Ontario, Canada off my list but a beautiful course.
Originally I planned to run the marathon here, but when I got my confirmation email that I got into NYC, those plans changed. Going into this race, I was focusing on having fun, taking it easy and just enjoying the course and that is precisely what I did. My time was good, and I was proud of my performance given that I took it easy and I felt that I was prepared going into NYC.
We arrived in Toronto on Saturday, a quick flight from D.C. on Air Canada and caught a cab to the city. Toronto is massive and super spread out with pockets of tall skyscrapers. We stayed downtown at the Marriott which was a great hotel given its location. It was right after the finish line and a block or two away from the start. It was also next to the Galleria which provided some great hours of shopping ;).
The expo was at the convention center, and I will say that I get why it was there, the space is very large and it’s along the course; HOWEVER, it was a pain to get to from our hotel because traffic sucks in Toronto on the weekend. Who would have thought? The expo was ok, nothing spectacular but they did have a booth to donate old shoes which I loved.
The race had a late start for the marathon and half marathon of 8:45 am. I have never experienced a race this late in the morning, but it was good practice going into NYC where my start time would be 10:15. The race starts you going throughout the downtown area, then making the turn down to the waterfront where we would run along the roads by the lake for 6/7 miles before running the last mile into town. The course had a couple of “hills” over bridges and up highway ramps, but I was prepared for them because I had been running up hills for the past few months to prep for NYC. Overall though it was flat.
From mile 11-12 the organizers begin splitting the course letting people know that for the half marathon stay left, marathon continue right. I felt this was very visible and understood. However, a gentleman came up to me after I finished and asked if this was the marathon finish. Well first off, no this is not, second, if you can run a 1:45 marathon you are wicked fast. So I would say for runners to always pay attention to the signs! The next item is the mileage. Mileage always seems to be slightly off on race day according to GPS watches and today was no exception. After I finished, I noticed my Garmin said I ran 13.4, mom’s said 13.6, and there were multiple others I overhead saying they ran 21.5 or 6 kilometers, so something was off because it wasn’t just me. That might be something to be prepared for going into the last mile because when you see the 800 meters to go sign and your watch doesn’t agree, be prepared to run a little longer.
Overall, the medal was small but pretty and I was not impressed with the post-race food bag they gave us. Plus the walk to the area where we picked it up, was not worth it. Some food trucks were giving out coffee, juice and yogurt, but the lines were ridiculous, and I did not want to wait.
Overall a great race, a fresh new city to explore and very well run.
Perks: Course, course conditions, medal, well-organized aid stations, convenient start and finish location with numerous hotel options around.
Ehhh… Not a Fan: post-race food, expo location