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Race Review: Ancaster Old Mill 10km & 5km

Date: Tues. June 9, 2009.

Time: 7 pm

The Ancaster Old Mill races were celebrating their 26th anniversary this year. That alone made me curious enough to make the weekday evening trek to the Hamilton area suburb. The event was a lot larger than the average small town run, as it recorded approximately 1,000 finishers combined from the 10km and 5km distances.

The pre and post race festivities were well organized, and there was plenty of parking in the area. A children’s 1 km run took place in one of the community centre fields as most runners began their warm up. The chip-timed races began 10 minutes apart from each other and shared the same finish line. The weather was partially overcast and cooler than usual, which gave me thoughts of a personal best time.

That notion was quickly erased when I encountered several challenging inclines on the 10km route. The route was situated mostly on small streets within some of Ancaster’s most scenic neighbourhoods, providing a fantastic view of the Escarpment’s trees, hills and vegetation. The price to pay for that view were the inclines. But at least I had nice scenery to distract me from thinking about my foolishly quick start and the massive positive split I was accumulating. 

There were no other complaints from me, as the route was more or less a couple of loops thrown together. That was a nice change from the mainly out-and-back courses I had ran in previous races this season. The course design did have one drawback, however, and that was for the spectators who either arrived after the race began, or needed to leave early. One spectator told me the road closures had left her very few options to access the finish area by car, and missed her husband’s 5km finish as a result. Such traffic headaches are commonplace when a course loops around the start/finish area, and is probably the main reason why a looped course is virtually non-existent in Toronto races nowadays.

The post-race meal was quite good — hot food including Chicken on a bun with salad and other sides. A ‘bouncy castle’ and other children’s activities were set up in the finish area as well.  Overall, a good event worth checking out.

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