Saturday, August 25, 2012

Toronto Women's 10K Race Recap

This morning I got up at the crack of 5:30 to participate in the Toronto Women's 10K Race at Sunnybrook Park in Toronto.
The event was hosted by the lovely people at Toronto Women's Runs.

Image from
They have a full season of runs that vary in length from 5K to a Half Marathon, and after participating in this particular run, I can certainly see myself participating in future races.

There was a short walk from the parking lot to the staging area, but it didn't seem overly crowded.

Walking to the staging area.
The event was well organized and had a positive atmosphere.  When I first arrived around 7:15, they were playing Adele over the PA system.  I had a moment of "uh-oh".  I mean, I love Adele, but she's not exactly "get ramped up to run" music.  She's on my cool-down and stretch mix so I can pretend the run I just did is the man who wronged her and I'm stretching out the pain.  I know.  Weirdo.

Anyway, the music pepped up as the morning went along, and I'm now of the opinion that someone had their smarty-pants on this morning and used the music to ease us all awake (Adele) and gradual get us jazzed for the race to come (Justin Beiber).  It may have been my imagination, but I'm betting not, so I'm going to give them props for atmosphere.

The staging area was in a nice little glen, so there were plenty of trees for shade.  You'd think I'd get a photo of that, including bag check, sponsor tents and whatnot.  Yeah, you'd think that.

Before we knew it, it was time to head to the corral.  As we gathered, we heard speakers including a young lady who was a recipient of assistance from the affiliated charity - POGO, which was very moving.

About 10 minutes pre-race

Organizer, Corey Freedman also gave a pep talk and before we knew it, we were counting down.

Seconds away!

The course itself was beautiful.  Lots of mature trees, a babbling brook (perhaps the Sunnybrook of Sunnybrook Park fame?  Who can say?), and cheerful volunteers along the way.  Those volunteers included firemen handing out water.  It wasn't too shabby.

A last minute notification from the city about construction meant that both the 10K and 5K runners started at the same time, and it also meant that the 10K runners would loop the course twice, with a slightly modified (but mostly the same) second loop.  That was ok with me.  The scenery was pretty, and then at least I knew "how much farther" after I'd run it once.

I also appreciated the volunteers who shouted out the time, or distance as we went along when there weren't km markers.  The one who told me "Only 500m to go" was my favourite.  She was probably everyone's favourite.

I didn't immediately realize it, but they had print-outs of everyone's chip time posted as well, so no waiting!

Afterwards there were loads of bottles of water and snack bags (Hello, Old Dutch chips!  You WILL be my sodium replenishment, thank you!) that held a banana, a Cadbury Thin bar, a Pita Break pita, and the aforementioned chips.

One of the sponsors, was providing 'mocktails', and I grabbed what they had left - a Pimm's Cup, which will now become my Drink of the Summer!  Or what's left of the summer.  It's my Drink of What's Left of the Summer!  Delish.  Googling recipe.

So here were my goals for this race:

  1. Have Fun (check)
  2. Beat a time of 1:20 (check - did 1:15:55)
  3. Calm my nerves about running the Disneyland Half Marathon next weekend (check)
  4. Meet some great ladies (double check)
New runDisney friends!

Here is what I learned as I prepared for and ran this race:

It is possible to wake up before Scooter.

Anyone want to go for a walk?  Anyone?

When a box of 'instant' microwaveable Steelcut oatmeal suggests using a deep bowl to prevent spill-over, do NOT walk away from the microwave while it is cooking.
Tastes better than it looks
Look in the mirror closely before you head out.  It's early, it's worth a moment to double check everything.  Otherwise you might run the whole 10K looking like a dope.

Notice anything out of place?


Double-check your Garmin math.  Mine stopped counting my intervals after 4.5 miles, and it took me a while to figure out what was wrong.  Ok, so I never figured out what was wrong.  I just restarted it, and I'm pretty sure the confusion cost me breaking 1:15.  Not a big deal, but annoying.

Meet new people!  I was at the race solo, and normally I probably would have just headed home when I finished, but I knew there were some fellow runDisney Princesses (past, present and future) in attendance, and I've never participated in a mini-meet-up, so... FUN!  I look forward to meeting them at future races, and cheering on their efforts as they train for the Princess this year.  Guys, we chatted so long, we basically shut down the event.  Rock stars.

Bring cash.  It was probably best that I didn't, because we're on a pretty tight budget right now.  (Scooter, I'm looking at you - chemo don't come free, buddy.)  But there was some really nice jewellery there from Foxy Originals.  I'm not normally a big accessory person, but come on.

I love this.  It is officially a problem.

So there you have it.  My impressions of my very first 10K race and my very first non-runDisney event.  Wonderful, wonderful time.

And the medal's not too shabby, either!

I did it!

What's your favourite distance to run?  Or favorite, for our American friends.

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